Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre Now New Home of Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Canada’s largest city finally has a world-class pool that will be home to everything from international championships to development programs for the next generation of aquatic athletes.

Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre - Ontario has relocated from the old University of Toronto pool to the new Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. Based on the U of T Scarborough campus, the state-of-the-art facility features two 50-metre pools, a 25-m diving tank, and countless amenities out of the pool. Built for next summer’s Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, the pool is already having an impact that will endure well into the future.

“This is a world-class daily training environment for our athletes and will give our High Performance Centre a real boost,” said Swimming Canada High Performance Director John Atkinson.

World-renowned coach Ben Titley heads up the centre, which is home to Toronto-area products such as 2011 world championship medallist and 2012 Olympian Martha McCabe and past national team members Zack Chetrat and Michelle Williams. Sandrine Mainville of Montreal recently moved to Toronto to join them in their pursuit of representing Canada at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Mainville and Williams were double relay medallists at this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

Among the services available are extensive dryland training options, from weights to yoga classes, and on-site integrated support team in partnership with the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario. The building will also be home to a bar and restaurants, while athletes will have access to the CSIO Sport Performance Kitchen.

“It’s the little things,” McCabe said. “You want to fuel your body right after, the kitchen’s available right outside the pool deck. It’s the little benefits you need to get an extra edge on competitors. We’re going to have all our support staff right on site with us, whenever you need physio or to see a doctor or anything like that. It’s definitely the best I’ve ever been at.”

“It’s cool to have everything under one roof like that,” said Chetrat, a Toronto native who grew up in Oakville. “To go from the pool right to the gym to the nutritionist to the physio, it’s all there, all centralized and all as good as it gets anywhere in the world, which is incredibly exciting as an athlete.”

Mainville, a law student, said the option to be right on the U of T Scarborough campus and continue her studies was a deal breaker for her.

“I thought Ben was very dynamic and he sees the future for swimming. Canadian female sprinters are very important for him, I’m a sprinter and I know he sees good things in the future for us and really wants to build something big,” Mainville said.

Titley has coached at three Olympic Games, including as women’s head coach for British Swimming in 2008. He has coached multiple world champions and world record holders including Liam Tancock and James Gibson. His accomplishments include coaching three consecutive British record holders in the women’s 100-metre freestyle (Melanie Marshall, Caitlin McClatchey and Francesca Halsall), all of which went on to win medals in world level competition.

Since coming to Canada in 2012, he has already impacted swimmers such as Chantal Van Landeghem. The Winnipeg native trains at the centre while not at the University of Georgia and this summer set a Canadian record (24.69) in the 50-m free with her bronze-medal performance at Pan Pacific Championships. Titley sees the ingredients for more success from Canadian swimmers training at his centre’s new home.

“It’s about creating an environment where success can flourish,” Titley said. “It’s a high-performance environment where athletes have the space and time to do a comprehensive pre-pool routine, there are rooms for school work between sessions, designated kitchens, an indoor running track, designated gym space for athletes. I don’t think I’ve been in a better gym and it’s only for performance athletes.”

“What you can get here is better than you can get anywhere else, and it will be focused on international success,” Titley said.

Meanwhile, Swim Ontario has launched its Ontario Swimming Academy alongside the national centre. More than 135 targeted athletes and their coaches have been invited to participate in the Academy programs.

Provincial Mentor Coach Dean Boles will lead the program, which includes three-day camps geared towards Olympic podium hopefuls for 2020 and beyond.

“This is an opportunity for our Ontario athletes to shine and demonstrate their abilities on an international scale. As a former Olympic coach with a long history of elite athlete development, Dean is the ideal person to build a solid foundation and long term vision for the Academy,” said John Vadeika, executive director of Swim Ontario.

“It’s exciting for swimming in Ontario and swimming in Canada in general,” Chetrat added.

Story from the Swimming Canada Website |

News Category: 

Latest News

  • Silver, Canadian record for Oleksiak
    June 15, 2017
    BARCELONA – Penny Oleksiak set a Canadian record on the way to a silver medal in the women’s 50-metre butterfly as the Barcelona leg of the Mare Nostrum tour wrapped up Wednesday. The 17-year-old from Toronto was one of three Canadian medallists...
  • Mare Nostrum medals for Thormeyer, Oleksiak, Ruck
    June 14, 2017
    BARCELONA , Spain – Markus Thormeyer of the Swimming Canada High Performance Centre – Vancouver was one of three Canadian medallists as the second leg of the Mare Nostrum tour opened Tuesday in Barcelona, Spain. Thormeyer took silver in the men’s...
  • Canadian Paralympic Committee and Pfizer Canada Inc. pave the way for a healthy Canada and future Paralympians
    June 8, 2017
    June 8, 2017 – OTTAWA – Celebrating more than 20 years of partnership, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Pfizer Canada Inc. are pleased today to announce the renewal of their partnership agreement of more than $1 million through 2019. The...
  • Marc Antoine Ducharme Named Head Coach Of Canadian Senior Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team
    June 5, 2017
    (Ottawa, Ont.) Wheelchair Basketball Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Marc Antoine Ducharme as the head coach of the Canadian Senior Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team. A native of Chambly, Que., Ducharme takes on the head...
  • In their first World Tour event of 2017, Melissa Humana-Paredes (Toronto, ON) and Sarah Pavan (Kitchener, ON) finished second
    May 23, 2017
    May 21, 2017: In their first World Tour event of 2017, Melissa Humana-Paredes (Toronto, ON ) and Sarah Pavan (Kitchener, ON ) finished second after a 2-1 (21-14, 13-21, 15-13) battle with Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda “Duda” Santos Lisboa...