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TORONTO — The Pan Am Games torch relay begins its 41-day journey through Ontario today, with torchbearer and Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield helping to fan the flames of excitement ahead of the event.

The flame will arrive on Toronto’s waterfront this afternoon, before being taken in a flotilla of canoes to a welcoming ceremony with musical performances and members of the province’s First Nations communities.

The first torchbearer of the relay will depart from the ceremony carrying the Pan Am flame through the city’s downtown core.

The final torchbearer of the day will be Hadfield, self-described first Canadian to walk in space, who will deliver the flame to a to a community event in Toronto’s Distillery District where he’ll light a cauldron with the flame.

About 3,000 torchbearers will run legs of the 41-day relay that will conclude with the lighting of the official cauldron at the Games opening ceremony on July 10 in Toronto.

The torch relay will cover 5,000 km on the road and 15,000 km by air.

 

The Canadian Press

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