The Pan American Games have just begun here in Toronto. Our city has been preparing for them for quite a while now.
All of the subway trains I’ve ridden in recently have either included posters about the games or friendly reminders to those of us who live in the city about how busy public transit is projected to be for the next several weeks. Some of the ads have asked us to work from home or travel during off-peak hours when possible.
So I started off July with the expectation that my city would be insanely busy until the middle of August. As in, I was planning to walk everywhere I could and to cut down on trips that would have required public transit during the busiest parts of the day. I was also planning to gently dissuade any friends or relatives who were hoping to visit this month because I assumed the hotels would be sold out and a lot of the tourist destinations would be even busier than they normally are in the summer.
My life is structured in a way that I can generally make these adjustments. A lot of other people’s lives aren’t.
What has surprised me the most about the Pan-Am games is that none of this has come true so far. The subway is not more crowded than normal. I’ve only seen a handful of people wearing lanyards that identify them in some way with this competition. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say this was a perfectly ordinary July. If anything, it’s actually a little quieter in my city than I’d normally expect for this time of year. There definitely aren’t a noticeable number of tourists here which is bizarre.
If any of this changes, I’ll let you know over the next month. It’s going to be fascinating to see how it all pans out.
Readers, are you interested in the Pan-Am games? If any of you are planning to attend them, what have you thought so far?