Olympic dream extinguished: Mayor rejects Toronto bid for 2024 Summer Games

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Toronto will not bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games after all, following a decision announced today by the city’s mayor.

“I believe that one day Toronto will be a great venue for the Olympic Games, but not in 2024,” said Mayor John Tory in a video conference earlier today.

“Time was against us in building the kind of support you have to have from the community in order for this to work… I am not saying no to the Olympics. I am saying not this time.”

Aside from the billions of dollars required for the new infrastructure and facilities as well as operating costs, a bid alone could have cost up to $60 million.

There was neither the corporate nor provincial government interest to support either of the costs less than two months after the conclusion of the city’s role as the host city of the 2015 Pan American Games, which cost over $2.5 billion to stage.

The idea to bid for the 2024 Games was spurred during the final days of the Pan American Games, in light of the event’s early indications of success. But public support for a bid, according to the latest opinion polls, has been lukewarm.

Proponents for the bid have said a successful bid for the 2024 Games could be a major catalyst for much-needed public transit improvements and drive the redevelopment of the Lake Ontario waterfront.

The deadline to submit a letter of intent to apply to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to become an applicant city for the 2024 Games bidding process is today, Lausanne time. The letter required the signatures of both the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) president and the mayor of the prospective host city.

Today’s decision comes after last week’s unanimous COC member vote that provided COC president Marcel Aubut the required authorization to sign a letter of interest to the IOC.

Toronto’s most recent Olympic bids were for the 1996 and 2008 Summer Games, which were awarded to Atlanta and Beijing, respectively.

The cities that are vying to host the 2024 Games and have submitted the necessary paperwork are Budapest, Hamburg, Paris, Rome and Los Angeles, which recently replaced Boston.

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Kenneth Chan Deputy Editor & Social Media Manager at Vancity Buzz. He covers stories pertaining to local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation, infrastructure, and anything else that makes a difference in the lives of Vancouverites. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]vancitybuzz.com
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