Toronto hospital to build $800-million patient tower

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By  Michael Lewis

Special to Ontario Construction Report

After providing a $34 million planning grant in 2022 the PC government in Ontario is investing another $794 million for construction of the University Health Network’s (UHN) new patient tower at Toronto Western Hospital.

The 260,000-sq. ft., 15-storey tower on Western’s Bathurst Street campus will add 82 patient and critical care beds, along with 20 state-of-the-art operating rooms including three image-guided ORs for complex neurosurgical and spinal procedures.

It will also include single patient rooms designed to enhance the hospital’s infection control abilities to respond to future public health outbreaks. A hospital foundation is raising funds to complete financing for the $1.3 billion project.

The province in a statement said the patient tower will allow the UHN, a network of teaching and research hospitals in Toronto, to reduce surgical backlogs by increasing the number of surgeries completed by more than 20 per cent over the next 10 years.

The project is part of a revitalization at the hospital, whose main pavilion is more than a century old and the McLaughlin Pavilion where day surgery takes place is 60 years old.

The OHN says current operating rooms are safe but outdated. “The need to improve the existing ORs is clear, and renovation is not the best option.”  It says the tower design features modern digital infrastructure and a more comfortable space for family members and other visitors.

DIALOG is the design partner and EllisDon is the construction manager, with construction scheduled to start in early 2024 and be completed in 2028.

Eleven storeys of the tower are designated for patient care and support services, one storey will house mechanical rooms while there will be a three-storey high ground level. A 40,000-square-foot, two-story below grade parking structure will contain more than 80 underground parking stalls.

The tower will replace a surface parking lot and three-storey auditorium that currently occupy the site.

“Our government is making record investments in hospital infrastructure, expanding hospital capacity across the province with shovels in the ground for over 50 new projects to connect people to the care they need, when they need it,” said Ontario health minister Sylvia Jones in a statement.

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