The Canada Games are over – but they left a legacy of infrastructure

The Canada Games 2023 are over. However, some islanders say the sporting event will continue to have a positive impact on the province for years to come.

The closing ceremony of the Games took place on Sunday evening and the away athletes travel home on Monday.

The two-week event saw the arrival of thousands of visitors and the island had to build new infrastructure to accommodate them

This infrastructure will continue to be used on the island, the organizers say. It includes a $63 million residence in UPEI. a $10 million Olympic-size ice rink in North Rustico and a $5 million multipurpose dome.

A brand new residence at UPEI acted as the athletes’ village for the Games. (Laura Meader/CBC)

“This is the brick and mortar legacy. But there’s a lot of human legacy we’re leaving with these volunteers who will remember the Canada Games for a lifetime,” said Wayne Carew, Chair of the Canada Games Host Society.

“It’s a legacy that allows communities to say, yes, we can host these events because we know we have the horsepower to do it.”

Carew said organizers prioritized spending on facilities that would continue to be used after the Games.

They had considered building a long-distance speed skating oval on PEI, but they reconsidered because they would have spent $2 million on temporary facilities. This event took place in Halifax instead.

Organizers said there is a deficit in sports infrastructure across Canada and the Games are helping to influence more development.

Carew said the Games have helped build infrastructure across Canada worth billions of dollars over the years. The Eastlink Center and Credit Union Place are some of the legacy infrastructure projects from the past when PEI hosted.

“It just screams sport”

“The space is huge,” says JP Desrosiers, Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Summerside, of the new multi-purpose dome. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)

JP Desrosiers, The City of Summerside’s chief administrative officer says the new multi-purpose dome in Summerside was needed to host the Games and that there is a demand in the community for year-round recreational facilities, especially as the city’s population continues to grow.

Some of the events held in the dome were karate and boxing.

“The space is huge, that’s really the only way to describe it,” he said.

“It’s an open play area of ​​60,000 square feet. So it opens the doors to pretty much everything hosting related. It’s very bright and [has an] Open-air feeling, and it just screams sport.”

Desrosiers said the rental income would be enough to make the dome’s operations grid-neutral for the city.

“After the games there will be many follow-up programmes,” he said. “But a lot of excitement. Great to see the impact of tourism at this time of year. Great to see the legacy projects.”

“We couldn’t have done that”

A woman kneels while holding a curling stone and looking ahead.
The Montague Curling Club received some money to upkeep its facility, including fitting new insulation and installing plywood walls on its ice shed. (CBC)

The Montague Curling Club received some money to upkeep its facility, including fitting new insulation and installing plywood walls on its ice shed.

The work cost about $265,000.

Manager Larry Richards says hopefully this will help prolong their season.

“We could add another five, six weeks… It helps the bottom line,” he said.

“Financially we are one of the better clubs here on the island. But no, we couldn’t have done all that work [without the Games].”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *