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The 2008 Toronto Bid


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Many considered Toronto's bid for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad to be the best competing for the 2008 Games, and possible one of the best ever.  They lost to Beijing on the second ballot, but let's look back at this bid.

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Toronto the Good - the City Skyline at Twilight viewed from Lake Ontario.

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Toronto the Good - the Overall Games Plan

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Around the Harbour and Olympic Village

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The Proposed Olympic Stadium

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Area around the Stadium

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The SkyDome and CNTower

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One can only imagine what Toronto would be like now, with the waterfront construction starting, and even the feeling of the city would be alot different now if they had of won.
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I loved their concept of the rowing alongside the main stadium right in the centre of things...  I always thought it was a shame they didnt clean up Homebush Bay a bit better and staged the Sydney rowing/canoeing near Olympic Park - even in the harbour proper!

Toronto had a great plan, but Samaranch publically backed Beijing, and the Chinese ran a slick ship for the whole bidding period.  I dont think Toronto's mayors comments about Africa helped much, but by the time he made the comment, Beijing was a sure thing.

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Under Toronto's 2008 Olympic bid it also included venues from other cities such as Hamilton.

Boxing - Copps Coliseum

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Football - Ivor Wynne Stadium (1930 Commonwealth Games Stadium)

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I don't think there's really much left to say, this issue about Toronto losing 2008, beijing winning etc, has been discussed many times.

What I think is important now, is what CHANGES are going to be made for a future SOG bid (around 2020).

Toronto did not win over a huge number of IOC votes - Beijing won quite easily in round 2. Had toronto narrowly lost (as beijing did to Sydney in the 2000 vote), it could have just been down to bad luck.

Changes definetly need to be made - any future Toronto SOG bidding team must learn how to play politics.

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Anyway, I think it's time to forget the 2008 losing bid. I think Vancouver being given 2010 was a good compensation.

I don't think it's that bitter a pill to swallow, given that we have now entered an era when it is unlikely that any city will be awarded an SOG on their first bid, hence even the most famous and iconic cities like New York, paris will have failed bids.

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Anyway, I think it's time to forget the 2008 losing bid. I think Vancouver being given 2010 was a good compensation.

I don't think it's that bitter a pill to swallow, given that we have now entered an era when it is unlikely that any city will be awarded an SOG on their first bid, hence even the most famous and iconic cities like New York, paris will have failed bids.

sydney won on their first bid.

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sydney won on their first bid.

Yes, I know that. Atlanta also won on their first bid, along with many cities in the past.

That why, in my last post I wrote:

"We have NOW entered era when it is unlikely that any city will be awarded an SOG on their first bid."

I am not referring to past SOG elections. I am talking about present (2012),and future bids (2016, 2020, 2024 etc).

I don't see London being picked ahead of Paris for 2012, or somewhere like Dubai winning 2016. (London and dubai bidding for the first time of course).

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Can I just add that although Sydney was always one of the front runners for 2000, (because it is a well-known city around the world, and without a doubt Australia's No.1 city, hence a huge attraction for the IOC to go there), 2 failed Australian bids for the 1992 and 1996 SOG's helped Sydney.
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I don't see Vancouver as "compensation" for Toronto.  Cities bid, not countries.  Toronto's loss was mostly political.  Nothing was going to stop Beijing.  Remember that back in 2001 the US and China were saber rattling, a lot of people were protesting the idea of sending the Olympic Games to the capital of the People's Republic and great cities (like Paris) and great bids (like Toronto) didn't even get in the way.  2008 was China's destiny.
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I think Toronto should bis again soon - 2016 or 2020 - the whole "they just got the Winter Games" argument shouldnt effect it as so many people believe the two are totally seperate.  It would be a good test for the IOC...

A pricey experiment though!!  Have there been any other plans submitted for the waterfront areas that were to be used by the 2008 Games?  Or are they holding back for the time being??

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Have there been any other plans submitted for the waterfront areas that were to be used by the 2008 Games?  Or are they holding back for the time being??

There were plans to expand the Toronto Island Airport but the new Mayor of Toronto, David Miller, killed that idea.

Then there's currently talks of building a garbage burning factory at Toronto waterfront since Toronto can't find any solutions to dump their garbage. Currently Toronto transport all their garbage to Detroit, Michigan where they burn it.

Aaahhh nothing like southern air coming up and smelling burnt diapers.

Then there’s a problem with the Pickering nuclear power plant which the provincial government want closed since it's too pricey, doesn't work properly and inefficient. So guess where they plan to build another power plant? You guess right, Toronto waterfront.

Though I believe all of this idea will be shot down by Torontonians. Though they have serious garbage and power issues that need to be dealt with (Toronto and other cities had rolling black out for about a week during the Blackout in the summer, proves the serious lack of power in Ontario). I just hoped to god the borders never close or the border would be backed up with trucks after trucks of Toronto garbage.

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well, i heard that some of the plans if Toronto bids again will have to be scrapped. for example, where the press centre & broadcast centre was destined to be on the waterfront is now going to be home to a 2 millions square foot movie studio.

probably the best Summer Olympic & Olympic bid ever. :)

....and good thing the airport wasn't going to be built, as if the city doesn't have enough pollution and noise and it would make the city less attractive.

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I hope that Toronto bids again. Of course, there will be spectacles for and against the bid, but the city deserves to be in this sporting spotlight.
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I don't see Vancouver as "compensation" for Toronto.  

Yes, i agree that a WOG, is not quite the same, as hosting a summer games. i think most people would agree that SOG's are much more high profile, getting much more interest, compared to a WOG.

However, I think if Vancouver had not been awarded 2010, it would have been a real blow for the Canadian olympic committee and canadian morale as a whole.

However, i think a lot of non-British Columbians, in Canada wouldn't have been too disappointed if Pyongchang won 2010, as today, right now everybody would have been talking about Toronto 2012, as being the hot favorite to win most votes in Singapore July 2005.

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I don't see Vancouver as "compensation" for Toronto.  Cities bid, not countries.  Toronto's loss was mostly political.  Nothing was going to stop Beijing.  Remember that back in 2001 the US and China were saber rattling, a lot of people were protesting the idea of sending the Olympic Games to the capital of the People's Republic and great cities (like Paris) and great bids (like Toronto) didn't even get in the way.  2008 was China's destiny.

While I supported Toronto for 2008, you have to wonder how long this "make China accoutable for its actions" 'stuff' could go on. They say China's politics cost Beijing those vital two votes to Sydney for the 2000 Olympic Games.

On top of that also, the Worlds largest nation, which has never before hosted, was bidding. Canada had hosted in 1976 and 1988. Just don't forget those facts before outright saying "Beijing won entirely on political merit"

Beijing, like Toronto, was also a very impressive, attractive bid.

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Clearly, though, both from the ioc reports and general consensus, Beijing's bid was no better than third best, behind Toronto and Paris.

While beijing wouldnt have got the games with an awful bid, i think their solid bid was the reason they didnt lose the games, if you see what i mean. they won, IMO, for political reasons, and the point about the most populous country not having hosted was political, too.

Finally, the vote for the 2000 games would have been in 1993, right? if i'm not wrong, then the tiannanmen atrocity would have happened during the bid process(or at least very recently).  An olympics in a country where that murder and horrific event had just occurred would have been a disgrace. it would have blackened the olympic movement more than anything else ever has. the ioc would be indirectly condoning the massacre of innocent civilians. The 2008 games is bad enough IMO, but a 2000 beijing games would have been rightly condemned. And we would never have had Sydney!

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I hate how people downplay the possibility of a Toronto 2016/2020 bid even though they would probably be one of the favourites. Summer Olympics should be judged differently than Winter Olympics.
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Firstly, I want to say that the rumour about the trash incinerator on the waterfront is absurd. It would be a ridiculous waste of prime real estate to do that. Aside from that, Toronto is already in the process of implementing its plan to divert 100% of household waste from landfill sites by 2010 (the equivalent of 1 million tonnes of garbage per year). Currently, Toronto's garbage is being shipped via truck to a private landfill site in Michigan. While Michigan has been trying to stop the flow of garbage, fortunately NAFTA has worked on our side for once, and forced them to continue to accept our garbage.

Secondly, I think Toronto should bid for 2016 provided NYC does not win 2012. I think Toronto would stand a fighting chance if the US candidate slips up, and on top of that bidding provides excellent exposure for Toronto and forces senior levels of government to act to support Toronto financially (as with our current waterfront plan).

Thirdly, what plans are there now for Toronto's waterfront? Not many. At the moment, Union Station is in the process of being rebuilt to add another subway platform. Also, there are extensive land clean-up operations underway in the more contaminated areas of the waterfront.  There are also some improvements being done to beaches along the central waterfront. Aside from that the project is languishing. The Toronto Waterfront Revitalisation Committee has spent the past few years developing plans and consulting with the public.

The general plan is to provide 40 000 new units of housing and room for 20 000 new jobs as well as creating abundant public space. The details are the problem. Part of the difficulty is the debate over the Gardiner, the elevated highway in this picture:

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Gardiner

The debate stems from the cost of tearing down the Gardiner, and more specifically, its replacement. Car advocates argue that the Gardiner is needed, and should be replaced with an underground tunnel if at all. This would cost $3 billion or more, so this idea is rather unpalatable. Others argue for merely dismantling the Gardiner withiut replacing it. But, this has been a political hot potatoe and no one is willing to make much of a stand on the issue.

Beyond that, the federal, municipal and provincial governments (the latter two especially) are facing significant budgetary difficulties and are also being slow to release funds for the project.

All in all, it is mired in uncertainty. I'm not sure why, but the lack of money and the lack of will to remove the Gardiner are two major issues. Another, which is less of a political issue, is the need to deal with the railroad tracks you can also see in the above image. I favour burying them to make them less of a barrier to the waterfront, but this plan also would incur significant costs.

All in all, it is a difficult time in Toronto politics. But since every level of government has recently had a change in leadership to more urban/Toronto-friendly leadership, hopefully these things will change.

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