Ontario Construction News staff writer
A new long-term care home will be built at Lakeridge Health’s Ajax Pickering Hospital site in months, not years, the Ontario government announced on Tuesday. The project is part of the province’s Accelerated Build Pilot Program.
By working with Lakeridge Health and Infrastructure Ontario, the province intends to build up to 320 new long-term care beds at the site by 2021.
The pilot program is part of the government’s plan to create new long-term care beds across the province that include features such as air conditioning and private or semi-private rooms, beginning immediately. The program launched recently aims to build 640 new beds by 2021.
“Government after government failed to make the necessary investments in our long-term care homes and that ends now,” said Premier Doug Ford.
“With our new modernized funding model and this innovative pilot program, we will get shovels in the ground faster on these critical projects and ensure more seniors get the quality care they deserve. I won’t rest until every senior in Ontario has a safe and comfortable place to call home.”
Through the use of hospital lands, along with a range of accelerating measures such as modular construction and rapid procurement, the government and its partners are targeting completion of the project in 2021, years faster than the traditional timeline.
Lakeridge Health will work with Infrastructure Ontario to manage the day-to-day construction oversight, monitor commissioning, and provide timely status reporting on progress.
“This project is a key step towards repairing the cracks in our long-term care system, addressing our growing waitlist, building healthier communities, and ending hallway health care,” Merrilee Fullerton, minister of long-term care.
“Our government will continue to implement innovative ideas and modern solutions to provide our vulnerable seniors with a place to call home and the care they need.”
On July 15, 2020, the government announced a modernized funding model to help accelerate the construction of urgently needed long-term care beds and the Accelerated Build Pilot Program started with two projects in partnership with Trillium Health Partners and Infrastructure Ontario to build up to 640 new long-term care beds in Mississauga by 2021.