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Healthcare and Wellness : Development News

47 Healthcare and Wellness Articles | Page: | Show All

YMCA names new Canary District development after major donors

At a ceremony marking construction reaching the top floor, organizers announced that the city's newest YMCA would be formally known as the Cooper Koo YMCA in honour of Michael Cooper and Krystal Koo, who donated $2 million toward the $20 million Canary District project.

Cooper, the vice chair and CEO of Canary District developer Dundee REIT, and Koo, a marketing manager at the company, contributed the money needed to finish the project after the province kicked in $8 million and the YMCA the remaining $10 million.

The 82,000 square foot Y, which is being built by Ellis Don, will first be used as part of the Pan Am/Para Pan Games in 2015 before opening to the public as a community centre and athletic facility.

"We had been looking at different neigbourhoods and were very excited about the possibility of having this building built," says Judy McLeod, Greater Toronto’s chief development officer for the YMCA. "When the Pan Am games are over, it's an opportunity for us to help in the building of a community."

The last Y in the GTA was built in Markham in 2007.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Judy McLeod

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St. Michael's Hospital to build 17-storey tower

St. Michael's Hospital is the latest Toronto care facility to embark on a major 21st-century overhaul.

The centrepiece of the new St. Mike's, following hard on the heels of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute built last year just north of the main building, is an 18-storey tower that will extend the Cardinal Carter wing down to Queen Street.

A request for qualifications, the first step in what hospital officials figure will be a five-year process, went out last week.

"We needed more space," says Robert Fox, the hospital's vice president of planning and development. "We are absolutely packed as a hospital. I think we have the greatest density of any hospital in Ontario.

“We have patients in old wings, wings that are as much as 85 years old. Those wings were designed back when care was different and we have some struggled with maintaining capabilities around technology, flows, hallway clutter, things that are really restricting our ability to operate at the best of our capabilities."

Fox added that the emergency room, built for 36,000 visits a year, currently handles about 74,000. The emergency room, also part of the development plans, will remain in operation throughout the process.

The new tower will be going up on what is now a parking lot, garbage area and loading dock at Queen and Victoria. The project as a whole is expected to add about 154,000 square feet to the hospital.

The upgrade will allow the hospital to undertake major renovations in the existing building, including an expansion of operating rooms and rationalizing an often confusing layout.

"We'd love to have one front door instead of six back doors," Fox says.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Robert Fox

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City testing new sidewalk surfaces for the visually impaired

The city is starting work on figuring out whether there's a way to help the visually impaired better determine when they're approaching an intersection.

The Public Works and Infrastructure Committee is overseeing the installation of four trial surfaces at Victoria and Shuter.

"It is our goal to make pedestrian travel as safe as possible for all residents and visitors to the city—especially for those who are visually impaired," said councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, chair of the committee, in a prepared statement on the subject. "Testing different options at the same intersection will give us an opportunity to perform a side-by-side comparison of the cost, ease of installation, durability and effectiveness of each treatment."

In addition to textured surfaces, the city is experimenting with different colours, looking for high-contrast patterns that will be more easily detectable to people with low vision.

"We're very happy that the city is undertaking this consultation," says Chris McLean, the regional director for the GTA chapter of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. "Generally, we feel that tactile walking surface indicators add an extra element of safety for blind and low-vision pedestrians."

Though the city chose Victoria/Shuter intersection because it's already slated for reconstruction at the end of next year, which is when the pilot project is scheduled for completion, McLean figures it's a better location than most, given its proximity to St. Michael's Hospital and its ophthalmological unit.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Chris McLean

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Lakeshore Lodge long-term care unveils therapeutic terrace gardens

It started with a fundraising lake cruise in 2006, and it finished just last week, with the official opening of the therapeutic terrace for the residents of the Lakeshore Lodge.

With the help of landscape architect Viive Kittask of Vertechs Design, the municipally owned long-term care home now has a lake view, a gazebo and a raised garden, part pre-planted, and part left fallow for those of the home's 150 residents to plan themselves.

The lodge also invested in a floor specially designed for its residents.

"For people who may be shuffling, it's a perfectly level floor," says Rob Price, the lodge's administrator, speaking of the Buzon system. "It's a technology that was borrowed from Belgium. It's like little piano stools underneath each corner of the floor slabs. They're raised and lowered as needed to make the floor level."

The budget for the project, Price says, was in the neighbourhood of $30,000.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Rob Price

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17-storey tower to rise at St. Michael's Hospital

Diamond and Schmitt Architects (DSAI) and multidisciplinary design firm DIALOG will be planning St. Michael's Hospital's next big expansion and renovation.

In a system that the Ontario government describes as transferring "risks associated with the design, construction and financing of complex hospital projects," the two firms will come up with the planning, design and compliance documents that will lead to a request for proposals from consortia of builders and architects.

Matt Smith, the Diamond and Schmitt architect who led the design of St. Mike's new Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, is heading the project.

"It's basically an addition and renovations to St Michael's Hospital as part of an overall redevelopment process," he says. "Some old buildings they need to move people out of and update some of their space."

The project will ultimately include a 17-storey tower, the renovation of 150,000 square feet of the current hospital, and the expansion of the emergency department, which has become city's busiest, seeing more than 70,000 patients a year.

The plan will be complete in about 12 months. By taking on this role, DSAI have removed themselves from the eventual design competition that will result from this planning process.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Matt Smith


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Adelaide Club to get $500,000 renovation

The Adelaide Club is getting s $500,000 makeover.

"We're looking to do a total renovation," says general manager Blair Lyon. In addition to renovating the two existing studios, contractors will be creating a third for group exercise.

"There are waiting lists of 18 people per class," Lyons says.

The health club, founded in 1978, is part of the Cambridge Group, which includes the Cambridge Club and the Toronto Athletic Club. Clive Caldwell is the majority owner.

The architect behind the renovation is David Peters, who will be incorporating designs by Steffanie Gareau.

Work will commence in December and be completed in January. The club will remain open, with studios and the squash court going into rotating closures.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Blair Lyon

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Design of 8,500-square-metre Salvation Army church recognized for its use of wood

The Salvation Army's much-awarded flagship downtown building has been recognized once again.

Ontario Wood Works has given the Diamond and Schmitt-designed structure, with its maple floors and red oak millwork and cabinetry, its annual prize for "outstanding use of wood."

"We are pleased to be recognized by Ontario Wood Works and especially gratified that the Salvation Army Harbour Light is the recipient of yet another award," said Donald Schmitt, a principal with the firm, in a released statement.

The $35-million building at Jarvis and Shuter opened its 85 residential treatment beds and its 98-unit transitional housing complex in 2009. It has already won the 2010 Brick in Architecture award, the Ontario Architecture Association Design Excellence award for 2011, and the Toronto Urban Design Award of Excellence, also for 2011.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Paul French

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Ground broken for 192-bed long-term care facility, Kipling Acres

Ground was broken last week on a new 192-bed long-term care facility in north Etobicoke.

The 10.5-acre site, currently housing a 337-bed long-term care facility, is being restructured to keep up with current ministry standards.

"We decided to build the home towards the south end of the property so we could maintain the current physical structure until the end of construction," says Reg Paul, acting general manager of long-term care homes and services for the city. "Once we've opened up the new home, there will be a month or two in between and then we will tear down the old structure."

The old facility had already been downsized by 75 beds, and by early 2013, when the current construction is completed, Paul figures the problem of the remaining difference between the two facilities of 70 residents will have resolved itself through what he pragmatically refers to as “natural attrition."

The new facility, which will continue to be known as Kipling Acres, has been designed by Montgomery Sisam Architects. The construction is being managed by Buttcon Ltd.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Reg Paul

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Work to start immediately on complete overhaul of 119-bed Grace Hospital

The provincial government announced last week that Toronto Grace Health Centre would receive all the funding it needed for a complete overhaul.

The hospital, which caters to the chronically and terminally ill and is run by the Salvation Army, has 119 beds, a number it will maintain after the renovation. But significantly, according to Glen Murray, the Ontario Minister for Research and Innovation who announced the funding, "It's keeping all 119 beds active" throughout the renovation.

"Basically, it's a rebuild for the entire building," Murray says of the Bloor and Church hospital, built in 1909, and the setting of Allan King's 2003 documentary, Dying at Grace. "On the concrete skeleton of the old building, it will be rebuilt floor by floor into a brand new hospital." According to Murray, the hospital has set aside some money of its own equivalent to roughly 10 per cent of the cost of the rebuild, which staff at the hospital are referring to as a "decanting" -- to begin preparations immediately before sending out the request for proposals for the project next summer.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Glen Murray

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Mississauga pharmaceutical campus to transform warehouse into 200 new office spaces

As part of a $190-million investment, Roche Canada will be renovating its Mississauga campus to accommodate as many as 200 new employees.

"It's re-purposing the existing facilities," says Roche spokesman Mike Vesik. "We don't have enough room to build up on the property. We're taking a section of our warehouse to accommodate the new positions."

Vesik said renovations, which were to include new infrastructure and amenities such as a cafeteria, were going to begin immediately.

The $190-million, which includes $7.79 million from Ontario's Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, will make the Mississauga campus into what Roche is calling a "global site for pharmaceutical development."

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Mike Vesik

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Emily's House, a new Philip Aziz hospice, gets $500,000 Trillium grant to renovate 1888 building

Toronto is well on its way to getting a new hospice for children that will allow their families to live right alongside them as long as they like.
The Philip Aziz Centre is building the $7.5 million Emily's House at Gerard and Broadview in front of the old Don Jail, part of which will be housed in the old jail governor's mansion.

The result of six years of working with the city and Bridgepoint Health, physical work began on the site in July.

The hospice has been named in honour of the capital campaign's first donor, Emily Yeskoo, a 16-year-old girl with a terminal illness who gave $100. The Centre has also received a $500,000 Trillium grant, as well as an anonymous donation of $2 million, and is currently about 75 per cent of the way to its goal.

Emily's House will have room for 10 hospice beds, in addition to the family facilities. It will be run free of charge.

"There are two buildings," says Rauni Salminen, executive director of the Philip Aziz Centre, "one is the mansion, which will become the children's home, with an addition of 6,000 square feet, and the smaller building, right on the street, will be the administrative offices for the current hospice. We've been providing support in their own homes."

The Philip Aziz Centre was founded with a bequest to the Church in the City by Mr. Aziz, an artist and art teacher, who died of AIDS in 1991.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Rauni Salminen


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130,000 square foot, $73-million St. Joseph hospital reno progressing, 1st floor nears completion

Our Lady of Mercy is nearing the completion of her ascent at the Queensway and Sunnyside.

Work that began in January, 2007 on the underground parking lot is finally nearing completion, and the first floor of the new Our Lady of Mercy wing of St. Joseph's Health Centre this week is getting its drywall and flooring, as well as tiling in the showers of the second floor.

Work has also begun on the third and fourth floors.

"One of the most exciting aspects of the new OLM wing," says St. Joe's president and CEO Carolyn Baker, "is the state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that helps us provide high quality care to our tiniest patients featuring 20 bassinettes, an increase from our current 12. The new wing will also house an expanded Family Birth Centre to accommodate 4,000 annual births and increase over the 3,300 we had last year."


Once completed, the new wing, which replaced the old one that was demolished, will be 130,000 square feet spread over four floors. It will be the home of neonatal and pediatric care units, as well as a new birthing centre and mental health facilities for children and adolescents.

The work is being done by between 40 and 100 workers a day, employed by Vanbots.

The total budget is $73 million.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Carolyn Baker

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Official opening of $103-million Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Mike's Hospital

Construction finally finished this month on the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at Shuter and Victoria.

The latest addition to St. Michael's Hospital, the two-building, $103-million facility, comprised of the 270,000 square foot Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, are now connected by a 17-metre helix-shaped glass bridge, constructed in Germany from Italian materials and shipped in one piece to Toronto, where it was installed in October. Glazing of the structural glass was just completed two weeks ago.

"When we started, we didn't submit the bridge for approval," says Matt Smith, project architect for Diamond and Schmitt, "because it was unclear whether the city would permit us to build the bridge, and so it was added as an eleventh hour addition to the project linking the main hospital to the knowledge institute, and as it turns out, its everyone's favourite part of the building.

"St Mikes is sort of a three-legged stool of research, education and chair and the bridge has come to represent that connection."

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Matt Smith

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Roncesvalles Dental Clinic opens at 235 Roncesvalles, site of old Royal Bank

The Roncesvalles renaissance has begun, as spring brings out a new batch of businesses taking advantage of the waves of displacement on this roadwork-belaboured strip.

Roncesvalles Dental Centre just opened mid-March in the space at No. 235 vacated by the Royal Bank, who moved down the street.

"We had to pretty much gut everything," says Dr. Pamela McGrath, one of three partners who own the clinic and have been overseeing the renovation since September. "We had to take down the walls, redo the ceiling, do plumbing, redo the electrical. We were supposed to open in January, but we were delayed. Construction always takes longer than you think."

The project was handled by Dentrix Construction, which specializes in customizing dental spaces.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Pamela McGrath

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Renovated seniors home at 717 Broadview opens its doors

Residents are moving in to 717 Broadview, a comprehensively renovated seniors building owned by Toronto Community Housing.

Originally slated for a December opening, the $10-million renovation and redesign has taken a 1970s building with 200 small rooms and transformed it into a 69-unit apartment building. The overhaul also turned part of the rear parking lot into a community garden.

In addition to being a more livable space for seniors in need of assisted housing, the new building is expected have its energy needs reduced by between 25 and 40 per cent.

Woodgreen Community Services will also be running programs out of the refurbished building's first floor.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Riva Finkelstein

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to [email protected]

47 Healthcare and Wellness Articles | Page: | Show All
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