By Tom Degun

Etobicoke OlympiumJanuary 9 - Toronto 2015 have announced a $20 million (£13 million/€16 million) upgrade to the Etobicoke Olympium, a major community aquatics centre in the city that will be used as a training venue for the Pan and Parapan Am Games.

Hundreds of athletes involved in the aquatic disciplines of swimming, water polo, diving and synchronised swimming are set to use the Etobicoke Olympium, which is located in Centennial Park.

The project, jointly funded by the Government of Canada and the City of Toronto, will see the facility close for renovations on July 1 this year and reopen in the summer of 2014.

The upgrades will see a new roof put on the Etobicoke Olympium and Toronto 2015 chief executive Ian Troop believes the investment highlights the huge long-term benefits the Pan and Parapan American Games are having for the city.

"The Etobicoke Olympium is a testament to the powerful legacy of sport facilities in the community," he said.

"For almost 40 years, the Olympium has nurtured community and competitive-level swimming and diving programmes at the provincial and national level.

"We're pleased the Games are providing an opportunity to breathe new life into this dynamic community facility."

Etobicoke LobbyA brand-new lobby will be added to the Etobicoke Olympium as part of a $20 million upgrade ahead of Toronto 2015

Built in 1975 ahead of the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games, the multi-sport Etobicoke Olympium includes an Olympic-sized pool, a lesson/training pool, four dive towers, two springboards, a gymnasium and a fitness centre.

As well as the new roof, a state-of-the-art Myrtha Pools system will be installed and the facility's existing dive towers will be upgraded to meet International Swimming Federation (FINA) standards.

"As the Host City of the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, we're excited to partner on the extensive upgrades to the Etobicoke Olympium," said Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford.

"The improvements will bring the Etobicoke Olympium up to the latest standards and will be a lasting legacy for generations to enjoy."

Much of the work is mechanical and electrical in nature and includes the replacement of the pool filtration system and the replacement of the current timing and scoring booth.

It also includes a new fire alarm system, new heating and ventilation and air conditioning improvements.

A brand-new entry lobby with natural light will also be added to the building.

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