With only a few days left to go in the PanAm Games we’d definitely suggest checking out the city as it hosts the most expansive competitions ever held in the country. Even if you want to take some of the action in casually, Nathan Phillips square has a group of screens setup (corner of Queen & Bay) where you can catch the events live, not to mention one of the few official PanAm stores offsite from the venues where merchandise like this year’s mascot Pachi can be found (other side of square on Queen), while two sound stages have been setup outside city hall where live music is being performed throughout the games. However if you’re hoping to get a picture with the flame, you’ll need to go down to the CN Tower by the Rogers Centre.
Even if you’re not able to, or are interested in, seeing one of the events, you should check out some of the changes Toronto’s undergone in preparation for the multitude of Western Hemisphere nations visiting for the games. Along what was once largely industrial parkland since designated as the home of the PanAm Athlete’s Village, Waterfront Toronto saw an opportunity to incorporate art installations from the inception of these new communities. In fact the pieces designed by renowned Canadian and international artists to blur the line between art and practical use, have been scattered across the West Don Lands, and must say, the mirror exhibit under the Gardiner has proven to be the most transformative of the installations, taking what has long been a drab patchwork of concrete and asphalt, and really sprucing it up. Below you can find a great video (approximately 5 minutes long) showcasing some of the art that’s been added over last two years. So even if you decide to skip PanAm altogether, it’s clear the city has a lot of new things to discover for even the longtime resident.