Ontario Construction News staff writer
Canada’s first rehabilitation centre dedicated to treating first responders with post-traumatic stress injuries will be built at Toronto’s Runnymede Healthcare Centre.
The Runnymede First Responders Post Traumatic Stress Injury Rehabilitation Centre, a purpose-built facility, will provide prevention services, intensive treatment, after care and return-to-work support for first responders and frontline healthcare workers.
The project is for new construction of a stand-alone dedicated centre in Toronto and a residential treatment facility in Peel Region. Both will be state-of-the-art facilities:
- The federal and provincial governments are providing $1 million each in funding for the capital planning stage.
- Peel Region allocated 26 acres of land, which will be used to house the Centre’s inpatient facility.
- The City of Toronto has seconded Deputy Fire Chief Tony Bavota to lead stakeholder consultation and advise on program development.
“As leaders in rehabilitation, Runnymede Healthcare Centre recognizes the inherent importance of helping others achieve their fullest potential,” said Connie Dejak, president and CEO.
“Station 3434 and the Caledon Wellness Centre will not only be the first facility of its kind built in Ontario but the first of its kind in Canada.”
Firefighters, paramedics, medical personnel, police officers and correction officers on the front lines face traumatic events unique to their professions. Recurrent traumatic events can have lasting effects and leave them vulnerable to PTSI and other mental health conditions. This growing crisis has only worsened amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are funding the planning stages of a one-of-a-kind facility for the treatment of mental health, addictions and PTSD dedicated to treating our first responders in their times of need,” said Premier Doug Ford.
Peel Region has allocated 26 acres to support the future site of one of the new residential treatment facilities and Ontario is working with Runnymede Healthcare Centre to finalize the early stages of planning, including identifying programming, operational, space and funding needs.