Blockbuster Course Enhancements to 2012 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon & Half-marathon

TORONTO, July 24th. Organizers today announced exciting new Course enhancements for the 2012 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon & Half-marathon, to be run on Sunday, October 14th. “These are blockbuster course improvements that we believe will take the event to the next level — more neighbourhoods, more spectators, more Toronto, greater ‘marathon

STWM 2012, exiting new course for marathon and half marathon!

experience’,” said Race Director Alan Brookes. “This is the latest in a series of changes over the past few years that have propelled us towards our Toronto 2015 goal of having a world-class, big-city marathon for Canada — with at least 8,000 runners in the 42k; 500,000 spectators on the streets; and $5 million a year raised for charity. First was a move to Nathan Phillips Square as our prestigious venue (2008). Then we were able to add The Beach neighbourhood to the course, allowing us the get off the lonely Leslie Street Spit (2010). Last year, we were able to

STWM 2012 Finish Line returns to Bay & Albert Street, with great spectator support

add ‘live’ television and internet broadcasts from CBC.” ‘City-marathon’ mania has swept the world over the last few years: from London, to New York, Chicago, and Tokyo, which had 280,000 applications for 30,000 places this year. They are all about “masses” – of both runners and spectators, with more than 1 million spectators lining the courses, cheering on thousands of recreational runners and some of the world’s best, plus charity runners in flamboyant costumes. City marathons also run by landmarks that help showcase the city to the world. “The key to all of this is running through neighbourhoods, that not only showcase the city, but make it easy for millions of spectators to merely step outside their front doors to watch some of the most thrilling marathon racing on the planet, up close and personal. It also gives runners not just a great ‘marathon experience’, but a Rome, Tokyo, Berlin or a Toronto Waterfront marathon experience,” said Brookes. “We are enormously grateful to the City of Toronto, to Staff, especially in Transportation, the Mayor’s Office and Council (in particular Councllors Kristyn Wong-Tam & Adam Vaughan whose Wards 27 & 20 host most of the new route), for helping make this colossal improvement.”

The dramtic new enhancements fall in the first 10km section of the Course, allowing both marathoners and half-marathoners to benefit. After a one-year hiatus caused by construction last year, Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon & Half returns to Nathan Phillips Square, with its signature Finish line on Bay between Old and New City Halls. The Start remains on the West side of the Square, on University Avenue, but now proceeds North to Queens Park, East on Wellesley, North on Church Street, West on Bloor past Toronto’s “Magnificent Mile”, South on St.George through the University of Toronto, West on College, passing Chinatown at Spadina and Kensington Market at Augusta, before running South on Bathurst to the Lakeshore, and resuming the old route. This year, the West-end turnaround will be at Ellis rather than Windermere. The East end turnaround will be on Queen at Beach Avenue, allowing the race to cut the tough hill and nasty u-turn at Neville Park, that came at the 34km mark previously.

Nathan Phillips Square will again provide the Signature "Toronto"setting for pre-race activities & post-race celebrations!

“I don’t know if this makes it a faster course,” said Brookes, “but it certainly doesn’t make it any slower. One thing’s for sure, we can now say not only, ‘Come to Toronto Waterfront to Run St.Lawrence, Run Swansea, Run The Beach’. We can add:

Run Church-Wellesley

Run Bloor-Yorkville

Run U of T

Run Chinatown

Run Kensington Market

Run Alexandra Park!

This will make it much more of a complete “Toronto experience” that includes the Waterfront, but also the vibrant communities just back from the Lake in both East and West End sections.

Brookes adds that the Canada Running Series organizing team is already hard at work to expand its internationally-recognized “Neighbourhood Challenge” programme into the new neighbourhoods.

The changes will also allow organizers to add a wheelchair component for the first time; they will significantly improve traffic flow in the downtown core around GO Transit and Union Station, and for the access ramps to and from the Gardiner Expressway. They will also reduce congestion for participants, allow for growth and an easier first few kilometers, through the implementation of more Wave Starts.

“I think we can finally say we have a Course that we can be proud of, worthy of the 5th largest city in North America,” said Brookes. “We can invite the world ‘TO RUN T.O.’ as our 2012 slogan says, and know that we’re taking the 25,000 participants from 50 countries through some of Toronto’s richest neighbourhoods, and past signature landmarks like Queens Park, The ROM Crystal, and the Bata Shoe Museum.”

ENTER this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon or Half-marathon TODAY at before the caps are reached (6,000 for marathon; 12,000 for the half, this year).

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10 Responses to Blockbuster Course Enhancements to 2012 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon & Half-marathon

  1. Mark says:

    Interesting, sounds fun. Must make the course less flat than previous though…

    • John says:

      Yep definitely less flat right off the start line. University Ave is a slight incline and can be misleading, anyone gassing it at the start will be surprised by the time they hit Wellesley which then turns into a flat.

      Church is more or less a false flat as well, but I think after that it’s all flat and downhill (Bloor St. is flat as a pancake)

      Unfortunately I wont get to experience the new course this year, bad foot.

  2. Margaret Webb says:

    Excellent improvements — I’d like to see even more neighbourhoods included. That’s what Toronto’s all about!

  3. Camilla says:

    Can’t wait to try the new route!!!

  4. Harmander Singh says:

    This seems a fantastic change as it retains all the best bits of the old course and adds the new neighbourhoods for us from accross the pond.

    What about the 5km route? Make it tougher as Fauja said it was easy the last time he ran it.

  5. bob gocool says:

    The new course looks great! Like the neighbourhoods especially The Beach.

  6. abrookes says:

    Hi John;
    Bag check COMPLETELY re-vamped in spacious Nathan Phillips Square with a 100ft x 20 ft tent, and managed by one of our top CRS Staff memebers.

  7. Lauren says:

    Is the course elevation map on your website? I may just be in an Olympics watching coma, but I can’t find it. Thanks!

    • abrookes says:

      Hi Lauren; No coma!! We are working on STWM Course elevation diagram right now and will have up soon on As I’ve replied to a couple of folks on Facebook, the new course will not be any slower than the old. “Swings and roundabouts”, trade-offs… There’s an uphill slope at the start now, but then we eliminate the outbound rise over Spadina overpass on Lakeshore. For marathoners, we’ve also eliminated the nasty little rolly bits between Beech Ave and Neville Park at the 34km mark. With the extra crowd support, I’d conservatively say its likely to be a slight bit faster now. The section from Church-Wellesley to UofT, from 2km to 5km, will be awesone!! Will get Elevation diagram up soonest (aftr Toronto 10 miler), Alan.

  8. abrookes says:

    Hi John; Baggage is tiotall re-organized this year. We will have a large 100ft x 40ft tent at Chestnut & Armoury, just behind City Hall & Nathan Phillips Square for bag check. See website for details:

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