The decision came down Friday in Guadalajara, Mexico, where a team including Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Toronto Mayor David Miller made their last pitch to host the games.
"Our commitment, our pledge, our undertaking, our promise is to provide you with the best Pan Am Games ever," McGuinty told delegates assembled for the announcement.
"It's an exciting time for so many of us here."
Toronto won on the first ballot, with 33 votes, beating out bids from Lima, Peru, which got 11 votes and Bogota, Colombia, which came in third with seven votes. One vote was spoiled.
It's an important win for a city that has lost two Olympic bids. Hamilton, which will host some events, has also lost bids for two Commonwealth Games.
Athletes and officials in Canada's sports community where thrilled with the news.
"That's awesome," said Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, who won a bronze medal in the hurdles at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
-- The Canadian Press