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PAC – CIBC Pan Am/ Parapan Am Aquatics Centre & Field House

15 Jul 2015
 
Image Credit: Bob Gundu
Architectural Credit: NORR Limited Architects and Engineers (Project Architect)
 
Located east of downtown Toronto at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus, the CIBC Pan Am/ Parapan Am Aquatics Centre and Field House is the largest new sports facility built for the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games and the largest investment ever in Canadian amateur sport history. Organized around a main north-south circulation spine, the complex hosts a wide variety of programs including aquatic facilities, a field house, and the new home of the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO). Built for the Games, but designed for the community, the Aquatics Centre and Field House meets all the international standards for elite sporting events while remaining flexible enough to accommodate the post-Games needs of its surrounding community. East of the north-south spine lies the Aquatics Centre, including two internationally sanctioned 10-lane, 50 metre pools; a 5-metre deep diving tank with 3-metre, 5-metre, 7.5-metre and 10-metre platforms; dry-land dive training facilities; and a Games-time seating capacity for 6,000 spectators. The Centre doubles the number of Olympic-sized pools in the Greater Toronto Area and is the sole aquatics facility in the region to meet current international competition standards for the Olympic and other elite world championship events. Keeping post-Games needs in mind, the moveable bulkheads enable the facility’s two 50-metre pools to be divided for various uses by the community. One pool includes a movable floor area to facilitate access for individuals with disabilities while also providing suitable conditions for new swimmers and a variety of shallow-water fitness activities. The west side of the complex is occupied by the field house and the Canadian Sport Institute of Ontario (CSIO). The field house features flexible gymnasium space for training and competition with a Games-time seating capacity for 2000 spectators. The field house also includes a fitness area with cardio and weightlifting facilities, as well as an indoor recreational track overlooking the gymnasium, creating a visual connection between the users of the different spaces. Accessibility also played a central role in the design of the facility. The CIBC Aquatics Centre and Field House is an excellent example of how an integrated accessible design process has resulted in an unusually inclusive environment that does not pronounce its accessible qualities. Innovative accessible features were introduced throughout to create an attractive and intuitive environment that is accessible to the widest group of empowered users. The contrasting tile around the exterior of the pool, integrated accessible seating, wide circulation spaces, double handrails, reception desks with a variety of counter heights, low height windows, and service animal relief areas are some of the design features that ensure everyone, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, will feel welcomed in this world-class facility. During the Games, the Centre will host numerous competitions including diving, fencing, modern pentathlon, roller sports/speed skating, swimming, synchronized swimming, Parapan Am sitting volleyball and Parapan Am swimming. Once the Games are over, the world-class Aquatics Centre and Field House will be used by the University of Toronto Scarborough and the surrounding community, as well as the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario. *by: OAA staff, with contributions by NORR limited Architects and Engineers (Project Architect) and Quadrangle Architects (accessibility consultant to the planning, design and compliance team)
 
 
 

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