WATCH: 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 – Competitors in the summer’s Pan Am and Parapan Am Games left the athletes village weeks ago, but it will be months before residents of the new downtown Toronto neighbourhood can move in.
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Pan Am crews are still tearing down temporary structures and removing 220,000 pieces of furniture and fixtures from the complex, which will then be turned over to Infrastructure Ontario and developer Dundee Kilmer at the end of the month.
A spokeswoman for the Crown corporation says the units must then be converted into the condos, affordable housing units, commercial spaces and dorm rooms that make up the mixed-use development.
Mandy Downes says only basic units were prepared for the athletes, with temporary walls serving as partitions to allow more people to stay in each unit.
She says some spaces – such as the future YMCA facility and the George Brown College residences – may need less work.
All units must be ready for their new owners by next spring and the cost of the conversion is included in the $514 million construction contract for the village.
“When you look at it from the exterior, it looks like a perfect community, move-in ready,” Downes said. “But really, there is quite a lot of conversion that needs to take place to make it liveable for the legacy owners.”
“There’s no kitchens in any of the units right now because athletes and coaches and officials don’t need kitchens for Games-time use, they have the dining hall,” she said. “And so all of the kitchens will need to be installed in the market condos and all of the affordable housing rental buildings.”
The complex, dubbed the Canary District, contains 810 condos and townhouses ranging in price from the low $200,000s to $800,000.
So far, 75 per cent have been sold, said Jason Lester, president of Dundee Kilmer.
Another 253 units are set aside for affordable rentals, and an eight-storey building will house up to 500 George Brown students.
Seven businesses, including a coffee shop, a spa, a gym and several restaurants, have already confirmed they will move into the retail space.
The conversion is expected to be complete by the end of March, with owners and tenants moving in the following month.