Carpenters donate $1 million to build long-term care centre in Toronto’s Portuguese community

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Special to Ontario Construction Report

The Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario (CDCO) along with a two of its local unions – UBCJA Local 27 and D.A.L.I Local 675 – will contribute $1 million towards the construction of a new long-term care facility in Toronto.

“We are extremely honoured and very proud to make this contribution to the Magellan Centre,” said Tony Iannuzzi, CDCO’s executive secretary-treasurer.

Union members agree the donation is their way of saying ‘thank you’ to Toronto’s Portuguese community.

“It was one of the simplest decisions we’ve ever had to make. All you have to do is look around Toronto to see the huge contribution that the Portuguese community has made to our city and so our union has no hesitation in giving something back.”

“Everyone knows what the Portuguese community means to our union and construction in the GTA and so this is a no-brainer for our whole industry to help them out with this great project.”

The seven-storey Magellan Centre will feature a slab-style massing, articulated into volumes with alternating architectural treatments of brick and glazing. There will be 265 long-term care beds created, along with 60 assisted living units.

Corebuild Construction Ltd. had been selected as the lead contractor for the new building. Construction originally expected to begin in 2020 was delayed due to COVID-19, and the need for new long-term care beds is even greater as the pandemic eases.

“The Portuguese community in Ontario have waited a very long time for a long term care home that integrates our culture, traditions, cuisine and all comforts of life. This generous gift helps Magellan Community Foundation get one step closer to bringing the Magellan Centre to life” said Ulysses Pratas, chair, Magellan Community Charities.

The Magellan Centre will be built on the northwest corner of Lansdowne Avenue and Paton Road, on 1.18 acres facing Lansdowne Avenue. The site is in a mature area, conveniently located to public transit near the Bloor subway station.

The second and third floors will accommodate the 60 assisted living units and the top four floors will be home to the 256 long-term care units. These units will be grouped into eight pods, which will offer residents smaller communities in which to form bonds and enjoy activities together.

An exciting feature of the Magellan Centre will be the Community Hub located on the ground floor. It will incorporate shared space for both the long-term care and the assisted living residents while extending a warm welcome to the larger community as well.

Community space is designed to promote inclusivity outreach. It will be used to support recreational, educational and culturally focused programs, such as arts and crafts, cooking classes, movie nights, exercise classes, interactive
workshops and a computer lab hub/learning centre.

Included in the design are main floor spaces for medical services to address the health and wellness needs of seniors.

Julio DaSilva of Local 675 and Horacio Leal of Local 27—both members of Toronto’s Portuguese-Canadian community—facilitated the Carpenters Union’s involvement with Magellan Community Charities.

“For Portuguese people, taking care of our seniors is vital,” they said in a joint statement.

“It’s something we do because we love and respect them. We do it to show them how thankful we are for everything they have done for us and because of this, we are so grateful to all of the members of our Union for supporting this project in such a big way.”

An additional $100,000 has been donated by the Concrete Forming Association of Ontario (CFAO), its Executive Director Rocco Lotito standing behind the value of this project with a statement reading “The CFAO is pleased to support this ‘state of the art’ center which is so crucial to the Portuguese community and seniors–those who have contributed so much to Canada.”

Funding for the construction of desperately-needed LTC beds is one facet of Local 27’s contribution to preparation for future outbreaks.

To say we care for the elderly population, it is more than just a feeling or statement. As a Portuguese community, we must be vigilant in providing the utmost care to our loved ones. We cannot allow for improper health procedures, which escalate their fears and worries,” said . We should not stand for unmet basic needs.”

At Magellan, the vision is to build a centre that will represent the spirit of the Portuguese community and acknowledge the legacy of those who built the ground it stands on.

“With openness, our hope is to ease the minds of families worried of their decision to place their loved one in the care of others.”

The new facility will also recognize the cultural aspect of residents.

“We would like to thank the Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario, along with UBCJA Local 27 and D.A.L.I Local 675, for the generous $1 million gift which will go a long way, have a major impact on the development process and encourages others to support us in striving to reach our fundraising goals,” Pratas said.

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