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Courtesy of NAK Design Strategies


At the eastern edge of downtown Toronto, this LEED Gold development housed more than 10,000 athletes during the 2015 Pan-American Games. It was then transformed into the Canary District, a vibrant, mixed income, mixed-use neighbourhood of affordable, market-rate and student housing. As part of the greater redevelopment of the West Don Lands, this sustainable community was founded on a set of core design principles including environmental, social and economic sustainability; intensification of green space; connectivity to surrounding neighbourhoods; and a strong pedestrian realm. NAK Design Strategies completed the landscape design for four residential blocks, the Athletes’ Polyclinic, a new YMCA branch and George Brown’s first student residence. (…)

What was once a temporary home to athletes in the 2015 Olympics, has turned into a condominium. This transition will create economic growth in the area with the new residents coming in, creating the opportunity for profit in the surrounding businesses. As a result of this project, new stores, cafes and restaurants will be opening up at the base of the buildings and will line the Front St. [1]

Unlike many international athletic games projects, which are purpose-built and then converted to other uses, the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Athletes’ Village accelerates the build-out of a key site in the redevelopment of Toronto’s West Don Lands. Originally planned for completion in three phases over 12 years, the new 14.3-hectare downtown neighbourhood will be designed and built in less than three years. This new community, part of a broader development initiative for the city’s waterfront, is being undertaken by Infrastructure Ontario and Waterfront Toronto using a Design-Build-Finance procurement process. (…)

Intensification of Green Space The Village’s network of laneways, mews, courtyards and planted terraces–inspired by the site’s history as a parkland and proximity to the Don River Valley–draws green space from the ground plane upward, and from the Park westward through the site. [2]


Urban Land Institute Global Awards for Excellence Winner, 2017

Canadian Architect Award of Excellence, 2012


[1]      “Pan Am Athletes’ Village / the Canary District.” NAK, August 21, 2020. https://www.nakdesignstrategies.com/projects/pan-gamescanary-district/.

[2]      “2015 Pan Am/Parapan American Games Athletes’ Village: Canary District.” Canadian Architect, November 30, 2012. https://www.canadianarchitect.com/2015-pan-am-parapan-american-games-athletes-village-canary-district/.

Additional information:

“2015 PANAM/PARAPAN Games Athletes’ Village: Canary District.” KPMB. Accessed August 16, 2021. https://www.kpmb.com/project/2015-panamparapan-games-athletes-village-canary-district/.

Bozikovic, Alex. “How Top Canadian Architects Designed a Pan Am District from Scratch.” The Globe and Mail, July 9, 2015. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/home-and-garden/architecture/how-canadas-top-architects-designed-a-pan-am-district-from-scratch/article25385393/.

“Pan Am Games Athletes’ Village/Canary DISTRICT TORONTO: Dpm Energy.” DPM Energy | Utility Engineering Consultants Canada, September 29, 2018. https://dpmenergy.com/pan-am-games-athletes-village-canary-district/.

“Pan Am Village in the West Don Lands: Urbantoronto.” News. Accessed August 16, 2021. https://urbantoronto.ca/database/projects/pan-am-village-west-don-lands.

Skinner, Justin. “Pan Am Athletes’ Village Nearly Complete in Canary District.” Toronto.com. Toronto.com, October 1, 2014. https://www.toronto.com/news-story/4889359-pan-am-athletes-village-nearly-complete-in-canary-district/.

Project Title: Pan Am Athletes Village/Canary District
Artists:  DundeeKilmer Integrated Design Team
Year: 2015

Place: Toronto, Ontario

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