A New Varsity Sports Centre: A community facility in the heart of Toronto

Toronto, May 21, 2004 – The federal government today announced a partnership with Toronto community, athletic and sports leaders to rebuild the historic Varsity Stadium site on Bloor Street just west of Avenue Road/University Avenue, resulting in a new community facility in the heart of Canada’s largest city.
The new Varsity Stadium will be a major component in the bid of the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) for Canada to host the 2007 FIFA Men’s Under-20 World Youth Championship. It will also serve as a new permanent home and focal point for Canadian soccer. Community and University sports enthusiasts will enjoy this 25,000-seat venue, which will also be the new home field of the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts beginning in 2006.
“The Government is very excited about competing to host the FIFA under-20s”, said Human Resources and Skills Development Minister Joe Volpe. A new Varsity Stadium will provide a critical boost to the bid of the CSA to win the right for Canada to host the 2007 FIFA Men’s Under 20 World Youth Championship. The tournament, which would be played in six cities across the country, would generate approximately $30 million in economic benefits, with as much as $15 million dollars in benefits coming directly to Toronto.

Toronto, May 21, 2004 – The federal government today announced a partnership with Toronto community, athletic and sports leaders to rebuild the historic Varsity Stadium site on Bloor Street just west of Avenue Road/University Avenue, resulting in a new community facility in the heart of Canada’s largest city.
The new Varsity Stadium will be a major component in the bid of the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) for Canada to host the 2007 FIFA Men’s Under-20 World Youth Championship. It will also serve as a new permanent home and focal point for Canadian soccer. Community and University sports enthusiasts will enjoy this 25,000-seat venue, which will also be the new home field of the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts beginning in 2006.
“The Government is very excited about competing to host the FIFA under-20s”, said Human Resources and Skills Development Minister Joe Volpe. A new Varsity Stadium will provide a critical boost to the bid of the CSA to win the right for Canada to host the 2007 FIFA Men’s Under 20 World Youth Championship. The tournament, which would be played in six cities across the country, would generate approximately $30 million in economic benefits, with as much as $15 million dollars in benefits coming directly to Toronto.
“This facility will give Toronto a much-needed, 25,000-seat venue of the type and quality needed to host international athletic events,” said Kevan Pipe, Chief Operating Officer of the CSA.
“This will truly be a resource for the whole community,” said federal Human Resources and Skills Development Minister Joe Volpe. “People from every community in every part of our diverse city will welcome the chance to enjoy watching great players – including family and friends – play the world’s favorite game in the heart of Toronto.” The Minister pledged that a Community Access Advisory Committee will be established with representatives from the Toronto Parks and Recreation department, city school boards, the Sports Alliance of Ontario and the Canadian Sports Centre – Toronto. The Stadium will be easily accessible by TTC subway and will complete the revitalization of Bloor Street West from Avenue Road to Spadina.
“The new Varsity Stadium will be a key addition to the University of Toronto’s track and field and athletics programs. Its rebuilding signals a return to the glory days when national championship games were played at Varsity Stadium” said Dr. Jon Dellandrea, Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer for the University of Toronto.
The project is a unique strategic partnership of the federal and provincial governments; the University of Toronto and its donors; and community, amateur and professional sports. The University will finance $30 million, and $15 million will be raised by the University from philanthropy. The federal and provincial governments have pledged a combined $35 million towards the total $80 million cost of the project. This government support is contingent on the CSA winning the right to host the 2007 FIFA Under-20 championship, which will be awarded in October 2004. The Toronto Argonauts Football Club will pay the annual $2.1 million cost of debt servicing on the U of T’s financing for the new facility, and will operate the new Stadium and use the field for Argo home games. Varsity Stadium will remain the property of the U of T.
The former Varsity Stadium, built in 1924, was demolished in 2002 for safety reasons.

Guidelines for the Return to Soccer

Canada Soccer outlines return to soccer guidelines. The return to soccer guidelines provide member organizations with a five-step process, including a checklist of weighted questions known as the Return to Soccer Assessment Tool.