Toronto's cost to host Pan Am Games could double
Toronto's cost to host portions of the 2015 Pan Am Games could nearly double if a recommendation to add millions of dollars worth of facility upgrades made on Monday is approved.
The Toronto Organizing Committee for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games has recommended to the city's executive council that the city should pick up the tab for $47 million worth of extra work.
In 2009, city council approved spending $49.5 million to upgrade six city-owned facilities for use in the 2015 Pan Am Games.
The new request to spend an additional $47 million would nearly double that price tag.
The main issue is the Pan Am Aquatic Centre to be built at the University of Toronto's Scarborough campus, which was once a dump site. The parcel of land requires $23 million in soil remediation to be included in the construction.
The remainder of the figure includes:
• $21.3 million associated with construction cost inflation
• $1.6 million for upgrades to the existing track at York University
• $700,000 for the development of a bicycle moto cross course in Etobicoke's Centennial Park
• $464,000 for capital project management.
The request comes as councillors and city staff pore over next year's budget to find ways to cut spending. Mayor Rob Ford has asked for a 5 per cent spending decrease across city departments.
Ford and his executive council were not impressed with Monday's request.
"Unfortunately we are in a point of delivery, so it is a little bit late in the day to be looking at that," Coun. Georgio Mammoliti told the executive council Monday morning.
He questioned whether the possibility of a cost overrun had been raised in the past.
"We talked about $40-some odd million in initial costs. Why wasn't it specified that there were extra costs in this kind of scenario."
With a report from CTV Toronto's Alicia Markson