Games torch relay to visit 130 communities

TorchRelayMore than 180 celebrations are set to take place during the 41-day journey of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games torch relay.

More than 130 Ontario communities and five communities outside the province will have the honour of hosting the Pan Am flame during community celebrations.

As it makes its way to the opening ceremony of the Pan Am Games, the torch relay will visit six Canadian Forces Bases, a national and provincial park as well as five First Nations communities, including the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, the official Host First Nation of the Games.

The torch relay will also visit five national historic sites, including Fort Henry in Kingston and the Halifax Citadel.

A detailed map is available online at highlighting each community, with the date and location for all of the community celebrations.

“The games are all about bringing people together, and the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games torch relay will unite Ontarians, Canadians and communities,” said Saäd Rafi, CEO of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015).

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people to experience the emotion, excitement and significance of the Pan Am flame.”

The torch relay begins its journey when the Pan Am flame is lit during a traditional Aztec lighting ceremony at the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, Mexico, before landing in Canada on May 30, 2015.

From Toronto, the flame heads to Thunder Bay on May 31 where it will visit the Terry Fox Monument before arriving in Nipigon, the most northern town on the Ontario leg of the journey. The smallest towns the torch will pass through on its journey are Bruce Mines (population 566) and White River (population 607).

On July 1, the torch will take part in Canada Day festivities on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, providing a chance to celebrate and share the Pan Am spirit during Canada’s biggest birthday party.

Three-thousand torchbearers will carry the flame through communities across Ontario as well as Richmond, BC, Calgary, AB, Winnipeg, MB, Montreal, QC and Halifax, NS. The torch will see more than 60 modes of transportation while touring Canada and exceed 5,000 kilometres on the road and 15,000 kilometres by air.

The relay will finish in Toronto on July 10 to light the cauldron in downtown Toronto at the opening ceremony, signifying the start of the games.

TO2015 is bringing the relay to Canadian communities with the help of presenting partners President’s Choice and OLG, community partner CIBC and signature supporters Ontario Trillium Foundation, Porter Airlines and Star Media Group and Metroland Media.

Specific timing for the more than 180 community celebrations will be confirmed beginning in May. The street-level route will also be confirmed in May.

A separate Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games torch relay will take place prior to the start of the Parapan Am Games on Aug. 7. Details on the route and torchbearer application process will be released in April.