If you live in Toronto, there’s no doubt that you’ve seen and heard of the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games which are set to take over Toronto come July. So are you ready? Aside from the mental and physical preparation that comes along with such a massive and historical event taking over the capital of Ontario, there is the wardrobe preparation to consider too. And it’s not to be overlooked.
Similar to the Olympics, viewers are often just as intrigued to see what the athletic uniforms of each country look like, as much as who wins the competition. At least amongst the fashion set, this is what’s most often discussed. The Pan Am/Parapan Am Games will be no different. And just like with the Olympics, those of us cheering in the crowd – in the streets or on our couches at home – can still join in and support our teams, especially through the clothes we wear.
If you’ve paid a visit to downtown’s Toronto Eaton Centre as of late, you may have noticed the Toronto 2015 Official Store that opened up this spring to offer fans and customers a unique shopping experience. Inside shoppers can expect to find an array of vintage-style varsity t-shirts, and everything and anything adorned with the adorable PACHI, who is the official mascot of the Games.
Considering the vast selection available at the official store in Toronto Eaton Centre, it may help to know what’s considered to be in ‘high demand’ for when you’re shopping for yourself, or your loved ones, or just for the right souvenirs. Some of the most in-demand merchandise includes:
PACHI plush: The official mascot of the Games comes ina range of sizes: form a 5.5″ keychain to a 16″ standing plush. Northern Gifts of Burnaby, BC is a 25-year-old company and is responsible for producing PACHI plush. The company is best known for producing the phenomenally successul plush mascots for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Pins: Pins are the ultimate Games collectable. The Pin People of Regina, a leading supplier of pins since the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games, produce the highly collectable TORONTO 2015 pins.
Apparel: Choose from a range of high-preformane quality Games apparel and accessories, including baseball caps, T-shirts and hoodies. Trimark Sportswear Group of Richmond Hill, Ontario, the licensee producing the TORONTO 2015 apparel line was also the licensee for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
To be honest, when bringing up the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games in conversation over the past couple of weeks, most people I’ve talked to have admitted they didn’t know anything about the Pan Am games and what it means, or what to expect. So I’m going to share some facts to help put things into perspective in case you’re not sure why you should care about the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games in Toronto this summer:
- TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games take place from July 10-26, Parapan Am Games from August 7-15
- Over 10,000 athletes and team officials will take part, with 41 countries competing.
- The “People’s Games” will the largest international multi-sport event ever hosted in Canada – with more athletes and sports than the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and the Montreal 1076 Olympic Games.
- There will be a 5,300-square kilometre Games footprint, and 16 municipalities hosting training and/or competitions.
- 250,000 visitors are expected, and 20,000 volunteers
- There will be 51 sports and 68 sports disciplines
- There are 10 brand-new sport facilities, and 15 more upgraded for the Games
- 26,000 jobs have been generated for the Games
As if that wasn’t enough information to knock your socks off and rev up your engines right there, you don’t want to miss the opening of the massive TORONTO 2015 SUPERSTORE that will be opening at Nathan Phillips Square on Wednesday, July 1, 2015.
As you can imagine, within such a massive pop-up space, you will be able to experience a once in a lifetime TORONTO 2015 shopping experience, and score exclusive merchandise to remember the event for the rest of your life. Plus, when you head down to Nathan Phillips Square during TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, you’ll have the chance to experience PANAMANIA – the 35 day arts and culture festival presented by CBC. And trust me, there are a lot of amazing acts on the line up that you don’t want to miss, including Serena Ryder & Wyclef Jean on July 11th, and Death from Above on July 12th.
See You There!