What’s Happening Around Niagara for the XVII Pan Am Games

July 3, 2015 10:00 am

image001The 2015 XVII Pan Games are an international competition featuring numerous sports and world-class athletes, and Toronto is hosting them between July 7 and July 26. Over 6,000 athletes from over 40 different countries will compete against one another in 36 sports. This particular Pan Am Games is notable and unusual for a number of reasons, including the fact that the Niagara region will be the setting for a number of different events.

For the first time in history, a record 45 percent of the athletes participating in the Pan Am Games are expected to be women. It’s the highest percentage of women to ever participate in a multiple sport, international event. Also, the XVII Pan Am Games will have the largest number of athletes in a multiple sport event to ever take place in Canada — even more than the 2010 Winter Olympics. Finally, these Pan Am Games will also be the first entirely carbon neutral games of their kind, which is no small feat considering the scale of people, events, and tasks involved.

For the visitor to the Niagara region, then, the Pan Am Games mark something special, and while all the usual draws will still be in place — the waterfalls, the stunning and world-renowned wine country, the excellent shopping, and the second-to-none entertainment — the Pan Am events being held in Niagara provide just one more reason why booking a stay in Niagara this July would make for an unforgettable and once-in-a-lifetime vacation opportunity.

Canoe/Kayak Slalom and Sprint

image003Held at the Welland Flatwater Centre between July 11 and July 19, these head-to-head competitions feature some amazing rowing and paddling. The sprinting events take place in flat, calm water, while the slalom events feature whitewater through which the canoer(s) and kayaker(s) must paddle or row while maneuvering a course of gates that can’t be skipped or hit, since missing one or making contact with one results in a time penalty.

Canoe Sprint and Slalom events feature both singles and doubles competition, wherein competitors must paddle while kneeling. The Sprint course covers three distances: 200 meters, 500 meters, and 1,000 meters. The Kayak Sprint requires competitors to paddle from a sitting position over the same three distances, but it features four-person events, as well as singles and doubles. The Kayak Slalom follows the same whitewater course but only features competitors as singles or doubles.


Held on Henley Island at the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Centre on Martindale Pond, located in St. Catharines, the Rowing events run from July 11 through July 15, and they feature a multitude of rowing disciplines across 14 men’s and 14 women’s competitions. A total of 42 medals will be awarded for rowing during the Pan Am Games. Rowing events will include:

  • Single Sculls
  • Double Sculls
  • Lightweight Single Sculls (women only)
  • Coxless Pair
  • Lightweight Double Sculls (men only)
  • And more!

Plan a trip to Niagara during the middle of July to experience the world’s greatest canoers, kayakers, and rowers in direct competition with one another. It’s just one more reason Niagara is a fantastic place to come away to.