Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Laura Misener


The concept of legacy has become a potent mechanism for justifying expenditures on large scale sporting events, and is reflected in the policy process. The intention of this research was to examine the embedded power relations within the process of legacy plan development for the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games and how the decision-making processes address community needs. Drawing upon Rütten and Gelius’ (2011) Multi-level Interdependence of Structure and Agency model, a combination of interviews and document analyses were used to examine a cross-section of the parasport system in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area from the policy to community levels. The emphasis was on understanding the structure-agency interactions within the legacy-planning phase of a large- scale sport event. Findings indicate that the decisions made during the legacy-planning phase functioned to reinforce existing power structures, further disable individuals and groups who were not already involved in decision-making processes, and question the likelihood that legacy initiatives will meet community needs.