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Toronto 2015 - Dress Rehearsal For Olympic Bid

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Ahead of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford accepting the Pan American Games flag in Guadalajara Mexico at the closing ceremonies Sunday in the handover between host cities for the Pan American Games, Allen Vansen, senior vice president of operations for Toronto's organizing committee TO2015, answered journalists questions Saturday on how Canada landed another multi-post Games after two Olympics and the 1999 Pan Ams.

He said, "Canada is a very big country. The majority of the population lives in Toronto and we're a very multi-cultural city. Every country in the Pan Americas and many other countries around the world live in Toronto".

TSN reports two dozen officials from Toronto 2015 have been in Guadalajara for the past two weeks learning the finer details on how to run a Pan Am Games.

However Vansen said Toronto plans to do some things differently. Although Guadalajara's budget was $225 million (U.S), and has reportedly ballooned three times, Vansen said the number is still half of what Toronto plans to spend.

Toronto has a budget of $700 million (Can.) for venues - five new and renovations to 22 existing structures - and an operating budget of $700 million for everything from transportation to security to food.

Guadalajara was an Olympic qualifier for a dozen sports, reports TSN, but TO2015 wants to double that number.

Vansen said, "we believe that's one of the key elements of attracting the best to compete, best on best".

Toronto lost its bid for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games to Beijing. Organizers believe that the Pan Am Games could provide the perfect dress rehearsal for a successful Summer Games bid.

Vansen added, "I think our team is very focused on delivering an exceptional Games in 2015 and I think it would be a fair statement to say that if Toronto and Canada is interested in hosting another Olympic Games, the Games in 2015 have to be a success. That's really the extent of our focus, making sure we deliver a fantastic event in 2015".

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