The ceremonial flame left Ottawa Monday afternoon, exactly months before the start of the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games. The Games take place between August 6 and 21. Pictured is Canadian sprinter Sam Effah on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, June 6, 2022. Photo credit: Niagara Host Society
The Canada Summer Games torch has officially left the nation’s capital, making its unique trek to and inside Niagara.
The torch left Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill and will journey to Gatineau Park via the Trans Canada Trail. In the coming days it will travel along other parts of the trail enroute to Montreal, where it will embark on a CSL ship and be transported along the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Niagara Region.
The Canada Games flame was lit by two-time 100m Canadian champion and 2009 Canada Games gold medalist Sam Effah, along with a pair of Team Ontario athletes in 17-year-old Tristan Caldwell and 15-year-old Tristan Thompson. The two will compete in the first lacrosse competition at a Canada Games in 37 years, when they arrive in Niagara in exactly two months’ time.
Shortly after the torch-lighting proceedings on Parliament Hill, which continued a time-honoured tradition that now dates back 55 years, the Roly McLenahan Torch began its journey down the Trans Canada Trail by bicycle, where it concluded for the day at Gatineau Park in Chelsea, Quebec.
The torch relay will continue along the Trans Canada Trail into Quebec, with stops in Wakefield, Messines, Mont-Laurier, Mont-Tremblant, Mont-Blanc, Saint-Jérôme and Terrebonne, before arriving in Montreal on Wednesday, June 15.
Then, in partnership with Canada Steamship Lines, the presenting sponsor of Niagara 2022’s Torch Relay Program, the torch will embark on a CSL vessel in Montreal and travel by water for the first time in Canada Games history — travelling along the St. Lawrence Seaway to Niagara, where starting at the end of June, it will visit all 12 of the region’s local municipalities in the lead up to the 2022 Canada Games.
“As the Torch Relay begins journeying towards Niagara, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome neighbouring communities and Canadians along its path to join us in the excitement of the 2022 Canada Summer Games,” said Doug Hamilton, Board Chair of the Niagara 2022 Host Society.
“We are also proud to be partnering with Canada Steamship Lines and the Trans Canada Trail to bring to life this long-standing Canada Games tradition, and we look forward to building excitement in the coming weeks as we rapidly approach the arrival of Canada’s largest multi-sport event and its celebrations to the Niagara Region.”
Between now and Niagara 2022’s Opening Ceremony, which will take place on the night of August 6 at the Meridian Centre in downtown St. Catharines, the incredible journey of the Canada Games Torch will see it travel across 21 communities in both the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
In total, the Roly McLenahan Torch will voyage approximately 1,200 kilometres by foot, bike, and boat over the next 60 days.
“The start of the torch relay is yet another thrilling milestone for our community as we inch ever closer to the opening ceremonies of the 2022 Canada Summer Games when we will welcome the nation to Niagara,” said Jim Bradley, Chair of the Niagara Region.
“To have the torch travel on the St. Lawrence Seaway, a key feature of Niagara’s collective identity and economy, is especially fitting as excitement continues to build across our communities. On behalf of Regional Council and the people of Niagara, I want to thank Canada Steamship Lines and the Trans Canada Trail for their crucial role in delivering the torch to Niagara.”
Held every two years, alternating between winter and summer, the Canada Games are the country’s marquee event for amateur sport representing the highest level of national competition for thousands of up-and-coming Canadian athletes. The 28th edition of the Canada Games will mark just the third occasion in the event’s history that it will have taken place in the province of Ontario and the first time in 21 years.
In total, more than 5,000 participants and close to 4,500 volunteers are expected to take part in the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games.
Here is the scheduled list and dates of the Niagara stops for the Canada Games Torch:
Thorold – June 25
Niagara Falls – June 26
Fort Erie – July 2
Port Colborne – July 3
Wainfleet – July 9
Welland – July 10
West Lincoln – July 15
Pelham – July 16
Grimsby – July 23
Lincoln – July 24
Niagara-on-the-Lake – July 30
St. Catharines – July 31
For more information visit niagara2022games.ca
Rod Mawhood is a lifelong Niagara native who has had the pleasure of working in all three mediums – Radio, Print and TV – for over 20 years. His first announcing gig was with the then St. Catharines Stompers. Since then he’s worked in radio and TV in Toronto, and currently is the announcer for the Niagara IceDogs and Niagara River Lions.
Rod also covers the Buffalo Bills for FOX Sports and the Buffalo Sabres for NBC Sports.