If you attended the Pan Am Games this past summer for a diving or swimming event, you would have found yourself at the newest addition to the University of Toronto’s family of facilities, the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre (TPASC).
TPASC is owned by both U of T and the City of Toronto — allowing both students and community members access to the most expensive investment in Canadian amateur sport history.
Although the facility opened a year ago, it has been closed to the public since the beginning of the Pan Am Games in early May.
Included in the TPASC are a fitness centre, aquatic centre, field house and climbing wall. The fitness centre — the new home of UTSC’s drop-in sports programs — is a multi-level concourse equipped with free weights, squat decks, and Jacob’s Ladders on the lower level and a cardio studio above, consisting of treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical machines.
The most impressive feature of the TPASC, however, is the aquatic centre, which houses two Olympic size pools which served as ground-zero for the diving and swimming Pan Am events — the place where U of T alumni Zack Chetrat won bronze in the 200-meter butterfly competition.
All of the TPASC facilities, with the exception of the competition pool, which opens on September 28, will open on September 14, and will be mainly used for aquatic programming such as lane swimming and aqua fit classes during the school year. Believe it or not, U of T’s Varsity Blues swim team will continue training at the Athletic Center pool, meaning fewer lane closures and program hours.
Certainly one of the most exciting features of TPASC is its 41-foot climbing wall. This is the first climbing facility at U of T, and is available for drop-in sessions or for lessons. The facility offers a variety of climbing routes for beginners and experts alike.
TPASC is also the new home of the Canadian Sports Institute Ontario, which provides sports service and research. They work with Canadian athletes and coaches to deliver programming, provide rehabilitation, and much more.
For the time being, students need but a TCard to access TPASC, which will be open from 5 AM to 12 PM daily, seven days a week, so students no longer have an excuse to miss a workout, and have the unique opportunity to swim where Olympians swam, and train like the pros.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated that U of T St. George and U of T Mississauga students might be limited in their access to TPASC in the new year. This was reported in error, as students from both of these campuses are welcome to use the facility at no charge in keeping with pre-Pan Am Games policy. The Varsity regrets the error.