Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ontario government will be fast-tracking the construction of two long-term care homes in Mississauga, to create 640 new long-term care beds by next year.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford made the announcement last week with Minister of Long-Term Care Merrliee Fullerton, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and President and CEO of Trillium Health Partners Michelle DiEmanuele.
“It’s no secret that the system is in desperate need,” Ford said. “We’re all working together to deliver new long-term care homes and deliver them fast, not the typical four or five years, but next year.”
While typically it takes about 36 months to build a long-term care facility, Ford said he hopes that “accelerating measures” like modular construction, rapid procurement and the use of hospital land will speed the process to get the projects completed in 2021.
The pilot program is part of the government’s plan to create new long-term care beds across the province that meet modern design standards, with features such as air conditioning and private or semi-private rooms.
“Our government won’t accept the status quo in long-term care,” Ford said. “We made a commitment to seniors and their families to improve the quality of Ontario’s long-term care homes, and we intend to follow through.”
Along with the announcement to get shovels in the ground faster on over 120 long-term care project, the government is also exploring innovative partnerships to get more beds built sooner – starting with these two pilot projects in Mississauga.
Trillium Health Partners will work with Infrastructure Ontario to manage the day-to-day construction oversight, monitor commissioning, and provide timely status reporting on progress.
Large urban centres like Mississauga are areas of high service need and have a critical need for additional long-term care capacity, but the government says they are difficult to build in due to issues like land availability and land cost. To overcome challenges, the homes will be built on land already owned by Trillium Health Partners.
“The pilot is bold and innovative and aims to ensure that more seniors get access to modern homes in a fraction of the time,” said Fullerton. “Between 2011 and 2018, just 600 beds were added to Ontario’s long-term care system — that’s less than one bed per home. Our government intends to do better to meet the needs of our aging population.”
The 640 long-term care beds in Mississauga are in addition to the nearly 8,000 new beds announced last week through the province’s modernized funding model. The government has announced a modernized funding model to help accelerate the construction of urgently needed long-term care beds.
Over the next five years, the government is investing $1.75 billion in long-term care homes.