In-depth Look at the Pan Am Games Pool

by SwimSwam 4

July 17th, 2015 College, Industry, Lifestyle, News

The Pan American Games and the Parapan Am Games will be in Toronto Canada at the newly completed 2015 Pan American Games Aquatics Centre and Field House and the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario.

2015 Pan American Games pool,  Toronto Canada (courtesy of Counsilman-Hunsaker)Housed on the University of Toronto Scarborough campus, the aquatics center contains internationally sanctioned swimming and diving pools and is capable of hosting championship level swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming. The facility is also capable of hosting 6,000 spectators, (which makes the aquatics center larger than the biggest facility in the United States). The facility seating will be reduced to approximately 2,300 permanent seats and 900 retractable seats on the pool deck upon the completion of the games.

The 1,300 square meter (13,993 square feet) full-sized Olympic competition pool is the crown jewel of the aquatics center, The 50-meter by 25-meter pool is 3 meters deep (9 feet. 11 inch) for the entire length. The pool is fully complainant with FINA regulations for 10 competitive lanes for the main race course that are 2.5-meters wide. (The term Olympic in the USA is often missed used as a pool must be 25-meters in width, not 25-yards, to be a full Olympic sized pool.) The competition pool will also accommodate FINA regulated fields of play for men’s and women’s water polo, as well as, synchronized swimming through the use of two moveable bulkheads. The pool structure is comprised of a Myrtha stainless steel pool wall system that makes it aesthetically similar to the London Olympic pool and the last four United States Olympic Trials pools.

2015 Pan American Games pool,  Toronto Canada (courtesy of Counsilman-Hunsaker)To compliment the competition pool, the aquatics center has a second full size 50 meter warm-up pool. The warm-up pool has an equivalent surface area of the competition pool, giving the aquatics center 2,600 square meter (27,986 square feet) of competitive water. The warm-up pool also has ten (10) competitive lap lanes for the main course with two moveable bulkheads, one motorized and one manual. The pool is also constructed of a Myrtha stainless steel pool wall system, however the warm-up pool only has a maximum depth of 2.5 meters. The design of the warm-down pool also includes two moveable floors covering half of the total pool area. These movable floors allow the water depth to fluctuate between 0 and 2.5 meters. This program feature will maximize the legacy value of the aquatic center for use by the University of Toronto Scarborough, the Canadian Sport Institute of Ontario, and the City of Toronto.

The smallest body of water in the aquatic center is the 547.5 square meter (5,892 square feet) dive pool. The dive pool comes complete with a three centerline platform dive tower which includes a 1- , 3-, 5-, 7½-, and 10-meter. Each platform is wide enough to allow full synchronized diving. The dive pool also includes three 3-meter springboards and one 1-meter springboard. The pool itself is 5 meters (16 ft. 4.8 in.) deep. The Dive Pool was constructed through the use of concrete with a 100% interior ceramic tile finish. A unique feature of the pool is that it’s an all tile pool, includes diving markings for each platform height and each springboard location. The markings for the dive tower look like “H” to the spectators or “I” to the athletes. The markings for the springboards are “X” in front of each plummet. For training purposes an air sparger system is included beneath each platform and springboard and the facility also includes a dedicated dryland dive training room.

Once the games have concluded, the facility will serve the local community as a recreation center, as well as a hub for competitive sporting events and activities. The facility will be jointly owned by the City of Toronto and the University of Toronto Scarborough.

On April 7, 2015, the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatics Centre and Field House received Gold level accreditation from the Canadian Green Building Council for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for its efforts in sustainable design.

Jim Derenzis, director of facilities management for the University of Toronto Scarborough, wanted to the design to help offset utilities cost. “Because swimming pools of this nature generally have significant utility consumption rates, we were particularly interested in targeting optimized energy performance. We achieved this by harnessing geothermal energy from the field located under the north parking lot of the facility; using building envelope materials that combat high humidity and contribute to overall building envelope and energy performance; and using unique air handling units that prevent condensation and reduce the energy demand required to heat the pools.”

These design parameters helped the Aquatics Centre receive the Gold level accreditation and will help make the pool more financially sustainable for the city and the university by lowering operating costs.

The Pan American Games is one of the world’s largest international multi-sport events, held every four years for athletes of the 42 member nations of the Pan American Sport Organization. Infrastructure Ontario, on behalf of TO2015 (Toronto Organizing Committee), the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto and the University of Toronto, selected the Aquatic Consortium of Toronto 2015 (ACT 2015) to create the Pan Am Games facilities. The ACT 2015 was a design build team comprised of PCL Constructors Canada Inc., NORR Ltd., Counsilman – Hunsaker and TD Securities. The team was charged with designing, building and financing the high-performance complex which houses the 2015 Pan American Games Aquatics Centre and Field House and the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario. The Pan Am Games will be taking place July 10-26, 2015, and the Parapan Am Games will be held August 7-15, 2015.

Counsilman-Hunsaker , Logo - inline - 389x70


The history of Counsilman-Hunsaker is valuable in the context and the confidence it provides. Over the past 45 years, we’ve led the industry by completing more than 1,000 national and international aquatic projects of every size and complexity. In fact, many of the innovations that are now standard in the industry were conceived by our team.

Counsilman-Hunsaker believes that people of all ages are changed for the better through aquatic experiences and that our services reach beyond just solving design, or engineering or facility operational challenges. Our mission is to create aquatic experiences that transform people and communities, which supports our mantra of “Aquatics for Life”. And when we say “Aquatics for Life” we’re talking about the lives of humans we serve through every decision from conception, to the detail of daily operations. By focusing and serving the human experience, our full circle approach to everything we do allows us to be your guide every step of the way from facility audits, to program and design, thru facility creation and day to day operations. 

Along the way, we’ve developed an international reputation for innovation and integrity, as people who are passionate about what they do and who do it exceptionally well. Today, our firm consists of an integrated team of designers, engineers and operational specialists with incomparable aquatic industry experience.









 Swimming News courtesy of Counsilman-Hunsaker, a SwimSwam partner. Pan American Games Aquatics Centre images courtesy of NORR.

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Just wondering
5 years ago

Nice PR piece. It doesn’t say what the cost is to build or the annual maintenance cost. How many age group swimmers at $150 a month does it take to maintain?

Travis Stensby
Reply to  Just wondering
5 years ago

Just Wondering,

We will be talking about this topic at ASCA. Hope you can attend the session on Friday at 4 pm.

Large Pool
5 years ago

I would really like to see what this 500 meter pool looks like!!

5 years ago

The Toronto pool is an absolutely spectacular facility. Is there any facility in the western hemisphere that is nicer? Ohio State maybe…..Let’s face it, there are quite a few super awesome facilities that have been built over the last ten years and the Toronto facility has to be at or very near to the top of the list.

Whaddya think?