TORONTO – The royal founder of the Invictus Games is in Toronto today to set the stage for the multi-sport competition.
Prince Harry arrived at a downtown Toronto office building under tight security Friday morning as he begins a series of events in the city the day before the games for wounded and sick soldiers get underway.
The competition, which includes current and veteran members of the forces, runs until Sept. 30 and marks the first time Canada hosts the event.
WATCH: Prince Harry arrives in Toronto to open Invictus Games. Minna Rhee reports.
A smiling Harry, wearing a blue blazer, white shirt and black slacks, greeted and posed for photographs with athletes as he headed into the start of a symposium about veterans issues.
A large group of bystanders gathered to catch a glimpse of the prince as he left the event, letting out a cheer as he walked swiftly past and into a waiting vehicle.
Harry is set to spend time with athletes training for the Games this afternoon.
On Saturday, Harry will tour Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health before meeting with Prime Minster Justin Trudeau in the hours before the opening ceremony.
That takes place at the Air Canada Centre and is set to feature performances from Sarah McLachlan, Alessia Cara and the Tenors.
VIDEO: Invictus Games athletes’ village like a global village. Farah Nasser has more.
Harry founded the Invictus Games in 2014 as a way to inspire and motivate wounded soldiers on their paths to recovery.
At least 550 competitors from 17 countries are slated to compete in 12 sports, including track and field, swimming and, in a first for the Invictus Games, golf.
Sporting event tickets cost $25 and both opening and closing ceremony tickets start at $60.
Closing ceremony performers include the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams and Kelly Clarkson.
The first Invictus Games were held in London, England, in 2014.
VIDEO: How the Invictus Games empower wounded warriors and their communities