The Pan Am Games have wrapped, as has the athletic fuelled media attention that was brought to the city of Toronto. It was a good look for the city. However, there is a question that must be answered, and it is whether or not Toronto is ready for the Olympics. Is Toronto really ready to host such a big event?
Unfortunately, it is not. It is probably best for Toronto to hold off on the Olympics because of the issues the city is currently facing. Although hosting the Olympics would bring in a lot of revenue to the city, it is worth wondering what it could cost the city as well. Other countries that have hosted the Olympics have had experiences that were not so pleasant. Toronto does not seem like it is prepared to take on that burden.
Ontario was expected to have a GDP boost of $3.7 billion between 2009 and 2017, according to the Globe and Mail. The Pan Am Games were supposed to be part of it. There is potential for the city in hosting the Olympics in 2024. However, in comparison to other cities, Toronto is not in the best standing. Los Angeles has proposed an Olympic bid of $4.5 billion, according to the Star. An Olympic bid would cost Toronto up to $60 million, and hosting the Olympics could cost up to $8 billion, according to the Globe and Mail. Besides the possibility of hosting the Olympics, Toronto already has a lot on its plate. The Star pointed out what Toronto ought to focus on instead, such as: Infrastructure, public housing stock, transit and public schools. Hosting the Olympics in Toronto would distract from a lot of the mandatory work the city needs done.
The city of Toronto can look at countries that have previously hosted the Olympics as examples. Athens hosted the Olympics in 2004, and spent up to $14 billion on a venue, according to the Daily Mail UK. It has been 10 years since then, and the venue has not been put to any good use. It is also worth noting that Athens spent twice as much as it originally planned to. Although the Olympics brought millions of people to Athens, the aftermath was not worth it. Montreal had a similar outcome to Athens in 1976 when it hosted the Olympics. The construction that Montreal needed done to host the Olympics was a struggle. In addition, workers protested against the Olympics because of work days that were lost. In the end, the Olympics cost Montreal up to $2 billion which left the city in debt for three decades, according to The Main Mtl.
You have to admit, having the Pan Am Games in Toronto was exciting. It is always interesting to see tourists in your own city having a good time. The city was very busy, and people were enjoying the events that the Pan Am Games hosted. Toronto Pearson Airport had its hands full with 200,000 more people travelling to and from the city, compared to last summer, according to the Globe and Mail. Hosting the Olympics would also be exciting, but it has to be worth it.
Mayor John Tory put an end to any hopes of Toronto hosting the Olympics in a recent article published by CBC News. “I believe that one day Toronto will be a great venue for the Olympic Games, but not in 2024,” said Tory. The article mentioned Tory being in the process of creating a board that can advise about hosting major events. In addition, Tory mentioned that hosting the Olympics was a possibility but that now was not the time.
Mayor John Tory is determined to get Toronto where it needs to be financially before considering something as large as this. I don’t think Tory wants this city in anymore debt where not necessary. Furthermore, I don’t think Canadians do either.