U of T Houses: welcoming the Americas to the University

As the seconds tick down to the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games and athletes prepare to compete at sporting venues across the University of Toronto, U of T Houses are ready to welcome visitors from here at home and around the world.

With locations at both the downtown and University of Toronto Scarborough campuses, the U of T Houses will be operating throughout the Games and will provide spaces for guests, spectators, athletes and the campus community to come together. Both feature visual displays celebrating U of T athletes, including those who are representing Canada during the Games, and the transformation of the campuses in preparation for the competition.  

“This is the largest multi-sport event in Ontario’s history, and this is the first time the Pan Am and Parapan Am games will be fully integrated,” said Bryn MacPherson, assistant vice-president and chief of protocol in the Office of the President. “We’re using these unique opportunities to both show-off this great university and the important role we’re playing in these games. 

“This project has been a joint effort by many members of the U of T community across all three campuses so we’re looking forward to making it a success and welcoming friends and guests from within the GTA and across the Americas.”  

At UTSC, Chief Administrative Office Andrew Arifuzzaman expects the U of T House to be a busy place throughout the games.

“With a range of sports taking place on campus, we know we’ll have a lot of people stopping by as they’re heading to a competition or sitting down after the contest is done,” said Arifuzzaman.  “The Canadian team is expected to do well in many of the competitions taking place at UTSC so we’re looking forward to using the House to celebrate some medal wins.”

On both campuses, either inside the U of T House or close by, there will be displays inspired by all aspects of sport and the Pan Am movement.  For example, UTSC has put together a collection of posters from past Pan Am games throughout the Americas.  At the downtown campus, the Change Room Project celebrates Pride and brings awareness to the contributions of LGBTQ athletes and the barriers they face.  

For those who are trying to find the U of T Houses on both campuses, they should be easy to spot. The first floor of the Instructional Centre is home to the U of T House at UTSC, just a few hundred metres from the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. Two locations will take turns hosting U of T House at the downtown campus. During the Pan Am Games, the house can be found in the East Common Room of Hart House, just steps away from the Pan Am/Parapan Am fields and will be open daily from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. with a range of cultural and student programming initiatives. During the Parapan Am Games, U of T House will be located in the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport

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