WATCH ABOVE: The area east of Cherry Street at the base of Bayview Avenue is still surrounded by barricades despite calls for fences at the Pan Am Athletes’ Village to come down. Mark McAllister reports.
TORONTO — The 80-acre site where athletes from the Pan Am Games stayed through July and August is still surrounded by fences east of Toronto’s downtown core.
More than two weeks after the conclusion of the Parapan events, there is very little activity on the site aside from a few trucks and security at the fences.
Corktown Common, the park where Front Street and Bayview Avenue meet, is once again open but access to and from is difficult for nearby residents.
“During the Pan Am Games you couldn’t even come here.”
Cherry Street is expected to open from Mill Street to Eastern Avenue at the end of September.
“When the Parapan Am Games were over we started the process of decommissioning the Athletes’ Village, moving all the goods and commodities that we had in there, the beds, the nightstands, the beanbags — you name it,” said Allen Vansen, TO2015’s executive vice-president of operations, sport and venues.
Those that work in the area are also frustrated that the streets aren’t yet open for use.
“You just drive by these ‘road closed’ signs with fences and nothing’s going on,” Greg MacPherson said.
“It looks like Chernobyl over there behind a fence. Time to open it up.”
The village was home to approximately 10,000 athletes and officials during the games. Plans at this point are to convert the area into a mixed-use community with affordable housing, a student residence and 82,000 square foot YMCA.
TO2015 organizers say the property will be “handed over” to Infrastructure Ontario and developer Dundee Kilmer at the end of September.
Staff from the City of Toronto are reportedly negotiating the opening of Mill Street to allow better access to both Corktown Common and the Distillery District.