Toronto is this year’s host of the 2015 Pan Am Games, the world’s third largest international multi-sport event.
Between the dates of July 10 to 26 2015, the city expects to have more than 250,000 people visiting Southern Ontario. If you are getting married over this time period, what will this mean?
This is going to mean that stronger planning and preparation will be vital to reduce stress and enjoy your special day. Your wedding day is already hectic enough as it is, so here are 7 helpful tips for ensuring the Pan Am Games do not create any more stress:
- Starting from June 29 through August 18, there will be temporary road changes getting in and out of the city. For example, there will be temporary High Occupancy Vehicle lanes for athletes, officials and carpoolers along the Gardiner Expressway, Don Valley Parkway and 401 West. Your guests can travel together to take advantage of the carpool lanes. Visit Pan Am Travel News to stay up to date on the road changes as your wedding date gets closer.
- Allow yourself extra time for traveling to and from the venues of your wedding, encourage your guests to do the same. With so many more people in the city, traffic will definitely increase, especially in and around the competition areas as well as the Athletes’ Village. Also, allow for extra time at certain places where they are holding both a Pan Am game and your wedding. For example, Angus Glen Golf Club is a popular choice for weddings but it is also hosting the Pan Am Golf tournament. Be mindful of the extra security measures!
- The multiple venues for the event span throughout the downtown core around University of Toronto and along the Lake Shore, North York, Scarborough, expanding to Milton as well as out towards Hamilton through Niagara Falls. If your wedding venue is near a Pan Am venue, it is highly recommended to plan for longer commutes and alternative parking options. Visit Pan Am Games Map to view all the venues being utilized during the event.
- For out-of-town guests, it is encouraged to book hotel rooms as soon as possible, if they haven’t already. For central city locations and within a 15km radius, hotel prices are starting at $200 per night. Prices will be sure to increase as we approach the Pan Am Games and availability becomes limited. Another tip for out-of-town guests, the Union-Pearson Express train is set to be fully operational for the Pan Am Games. Any guests flying into Pearson Airport can take advantage of the new train for $27.50 one way to Union Station and bypass any traffic on the highways.
- If your wedding is being held at a venue that is open to the public such as The Royal Ontario Museum or Casa Loma, be aware of the possibility of larger crowds visiting the venue. There will be plenty of tourists in the city at this time and may visit Toronto attractions when they are not attending Pan Am competitions. This can also cause an issue for parking around the city or around your wedding venue.
- The Government of Ontario has encouraged people to walk, jog or bike to get around to reduce congestion of cars. That being said, when commuting to and from wedding venues please be more cautious of pedestrians.
- Always call ahead to find out whether the games will affect your wedding day. Even places usually open for wedding photos, like the University of Toronto – University College is not available for wedding photos during the Pan Am Games.
Don’t let the Pan Am Games interfere with your fabulous wedding day. If you can, try to incorporate the games into your wedding weekend. There will be plenty of events and activities going on throughout the city for visitors, not to mention you could possibly attend a competition with family and friends.