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Toronto working seven days a week to get city looking pretty for Pan Am

Toronto, you clean up well.

While much of the attention leading up to the Pan Am Games has focused on big projects, like new sporting venues or the revamped Queen's Quay, the city has also invested a lot in ensuring Toronto is tidy when visitors and athletes arrive.

"The small things stand out," said Cathy Vincelli, one of the Games' municipal project directors. "If there's garbage lying around, or a planter or flowerbed that isn't maintained, that doesn't look good."

According to Vincelli, parks staff are working seven days a week, 15 hours a day to keep venues and other spots along the Pan Am Path spic and span.

More than 20 additional temporary cleaning staff have been brought on to help with the workload.

"If someone reports something we can respond to it quickly," Vincelli said.

In addition the clean-up effort, the city is beautifying itself in a number of small ways. Pan Am banners have sprung up across Toronto, promotional wraps have covered bus shelters and 137 planters featuring Pan Am-themed floral displays have been placed in various locations.

There's also a giant, three-dimensional Toronto logo installed in Nathan Phillips Square.

All along the Pan Am Path – 80 kilometres of trails running across Toronto – spaces are being cleaned up and murals are being erected reflecting the various communities connected to the path.

Devon Ostrom, curator for Friends of the Pan Am Path, believes the various murals and enhanced spaces will be part of the Games' lasting legacy.

"When we create spaces that are more engaging, then there's an opportunity to invite people into those spaces and make active living more exciting."

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