West Park Healthcare Centre got the green light Wednesday, Aug. 24 from the provincial government for a major expansion and renovation project.
West Park board chair David MacKinnon said the redevelopment announcement would allow the hospital, located near Jane Street and Weston Road, to provide 21st century healthcare to both current and future patients.
"We can now really look to the future and respond to future needs and not just present ones," said MacKinnon. "We're not just building more of the same. It's a very large complex project."
The planning for the redevelopment project currently includes:
- Construction of a multi-storey building that will accommodate an expanded ambulatory care centre and inpatient complex continuing care beds.
- Anticipated expansion of 51 beds.
- Major renovation to the existing main building.
- New physical plant replacing the boiler plant and back-up generators.
- Demolition of the old Ruddy and Gage buildings.
MacKinnon said he hoped construction of the new building would start in four to five years after detailed planning and full costing of the project is complete.
There are also plans for West Park to develop on its surplus lands to provide continuing care primarily for individuals living with disabilities as well as seniors.
MacKinnon thanked York South-Weston MPP Laura Albanese for her support during the initial planning stages, which began in June 2008 with a $3-million planning and development grant from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
"This is a monumental day for Weston and Mount Dennis," said Albanese, noting West Park will be able to provide state-of-the-art healthcare closer to home.
She added the project will also provide local economic stimulus by creating jobs and attracting skilled professionals to the area.
York South-Weston Councillor Frances Nunziata applauded the work of West Park staff over the last three years to make the project a reality.
"You have to be here to see what happens day to day," said Nunziata, adding that she's been a frequent visitor ever since both her parents moved into West Park a year ago. "We made the right decision and we're happy to be part of the West Park family."