The Pan Am Path was founded by a group of emerging community leaders from the DiverseCity Fellows program, established mentors and, artists with a strong track record of civic action. They recognized the opportunity presented by the 2015 Games to create a new attraction for visitors and establish an important legacy for the region. They founded Friends of the Pan Am Path in 2013 with the idea to connect Toronto’s extensive trail system and support local communities along the route with arts and culture programming. The project has brought together over 100 stakeholders and partners from across the region, including: the health and active living, arts and culture, the environment, civic engagement, and transportation communities.
Friends of the Pan Am Path is an independent community-led non-profit organization that initiated the creation of the Pan Am Path. As the largest Host City Program, Friends of the Pan Am Path has been mandated by Toronto City Council to bring the Path to life through arts, culture and sport and will establish a legacy that continues to grow beyond the 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games.
The Pan Am Path is a multi-use path that will connect Toronto’s trails and create an active-living legacy for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. The Path will connect over 80km of trails across Toronto and bring together residents, local organizations, artists and businesses to create truly vibrant public spaces that are reflections of those communities along the route. The physical infrastructure of the Pan Am Path is owned and managed by the City of Toronto.
Starting at the Claireville Reservoir in the west end of the city, the Pan Am Path follows the Humber River down to the waterfront, traversing the Martin Goodman Trail to the Don River where it continues North before transferring to the Hydro Corridor in the East end of the city. The trail follows the corridor to Highland Creek where it ends at the shore of Lake Ontario, just a few minutes south of Rouge Park.
The Path will:
Through art installations, programs and improved public spaces, the Pan Am Path will showcase the vibrant communities that exist along the route, including 7 of the 13 Neighborhood Improvement Areas (NIAs). These activities will be conducted through community partners, ensuring local priorities are addressed and stewardship is fostered.
The path will increase recreation, walk-ability and safe and healthy personal transportation in Toronto’s diversity hot-spots. By engaging the local communities along the path in the design of and use of the path, the development of this project will create truly inclusive public spaces.
The number one need expressed in City run consultations is a lack of continuity in the trail system. The Pan Am Path will address this gap to create inviting, accessible, living transportation infrastructure and give Torontonians more active mobility options.
The development of the High-Line path in New York has proven to be not only a vibrant public space, but an economic dynamo, driving $2B in private investment and increased tourism in the surrounding area . Within the Toronto context, the Pan Am Path will also create opportunities for micro-tourism and local economic development.
The Pan Am Path will create a city-wide landmark that will raise the profile of Toronto. Combining the powers of culture and sport to connect the downtown to Toronto’s inner suburbs will create a spectacular legacy that lives on far after the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games are complete. In a recent survey, 69% of Torontonians agreed investment in the Pan Am Games should include paths that would serve as a legacy to the games .
The proposed route would require strategic implementation of just a few additional connections to unlock access to over 75km of continuous trail that will unite the city. For a modest investment, Torontonians can experience the full value of decades of trail investments.