Ontario Construction News staff writer
Mississauga city council has requested an enhanced minister’s zoning order (EMZO) for a portion of the new Trillium Health Partners Mississauga Hospital, a $2 billion-plus project. The order is for land occupied by a long-term care home that is zoned residential and needs to be rezoned institutional for a 22-storey patient tower to be constructed on the site.
When complete, the new facility will include 632 long-term care beds and will be Canada’s largest hospital and one of the largest healthcare facilities in North America.
Responding to a request from Trillium Health Partners (THP), council unanimously approved a resolution to ask the provincial government to issue an EMZO “to ensure the hospital can meet critical deadlines.”
Hospital CEO and President Karli Farrow says planning delays expected without an EMZO would cost the hospital more than $12 million a month.
“We do believe there is a clear public benefit,” Farrow said in a presentation to council. “We are really excited to be a part of all of your plans to develop the city over the next number of years and we see this as a signature part of how the city develops.
“This is not a request that we intend to make repeatedly.”
Councillor Carolyn Parrish called the hospital “spectacular looking”.
“Whoever did your design work did an incredible job. We have a policy not to do MZOs because they are meant for situations just like this, not just for everyday situations,” Parrish said before voting to support the EMZO. “I’m very happy to support that.”
While construction isn’t expected to start until 2025, preliminary work to demolish an existing parking garage and build a new eight-storey parking structure could begin later this year.
The new hospital will include 2.8 million sq. ft. of space with 23 operating rooms and the emergency department will be one of the largest in Ontario and some 350 new beds will be added to bring the total to more than 950.
Council approved a motion unanimously.
“An EMZO in this case would provide a clear public benefit, shortening a process to meet critical deadlines without changing the probable outcome – a process for which EMZOs were intended,” the motion read.
If approved, the EMZO gives the minister of municipal affairs and housing authority of zoning and site plan – removing direct control over the project from the local municipality.