OTTAWA — Ottawa city council recently approved a report confirming Ottawa’s bid to host the 2021 Canada Summer Games.
The Games, which take place every four years, are held in the last week of July and first two weeks of August. It is the largest multi-sport event in Canada for young athletes and a training ground for Olympic athletes.
If the City of Ottawa is selected as the host city, council approved a recommendation for the city's director of economic development, in consultation with the 2021 Canada Summer Games Host Society, to develop a 2018-2021 capital improvement plan outlining the city's capital funding responsibilities for city-owned facilities in advance of the 2018 budget process.
The city's financial and in-kind commitments required to host the 2021 Games, which will have an overall value of $10.5 million, would be invested in upgrading recreational facilities and growing sport development opportunities for local athletes, states the report submitted by the city's finance and economic development committee.
The City of Ottawa's bid for the Canada Summer Games includes an Athletes' Village concept and venue clusters for athletes and spectators.
"With more than 20 existing sport and non-sport venues all within less than a 30 minute drive of the Athletes' Village, Ottawa's bid leverages existing venues owned and operated by the City of Ottawa and the Government of Canada, as well as privately run venues by Carleton University, the University of Ottawa, the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, Camp Fortune, Nepean Sailing Club and the Ottawa Tennis and Lawn Bowling Club," states the report.
If Ottawa is awarded the Games, the report also recommends council contribute $3 million in cash to the host society for improvements to city-owned recreation facilities identified as venues and commit to undertaking $5 million in additional capital improvements to these facilities. These improvements would take place from 2018 to 2021.
To achieve broader benefits to the city as a whole, the report suggests advancing the schedule for some of the capital improvements in order to fund accessibility and esthetic improvements beyond the specific capital improvements identified for the Games. Staff estimate that approximately $900,000 of the improvements would likely fit within prioritized programming. While the Games-oriented work has been the focus of the bid, there are accessibility and esthetic lifecycle improvements at the facilities to the tune of $1.5 million to $2.5 million that may be requested and may add to the investment requirements.
The 2021 Canada Summer Games will take place in Ontario. Ottawa is bidding against three other contenders for this event: Niagara Region; the City of Greater Sudbury; and the combined communities of Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph. Because the Games rotate through all Canadian provinces and territories, this is the City of Ottawa's only chance in the next 20 years to host the Canada Games, the report concludes.