SickKids breaks ground on transformative Patient Support Centre


Ontario Construction News staff writer

The SickKids Foundation and Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) held a ground-breaking ceremony Tuesday, to commemorate the transformative first step towards building a new hospital on the site where a new Patient Support Centre (PSC) will be built. Donors who have contributed $1 million or more – including the Peter Gilgan family whose visionary gift of $100 million was announced in June were included.

“Today we celebrated with our SickKids ‘Catalyst’ and ‘Groundbreakers’ donors – those who have put a stake in the ground with a commitment of over $1 million towards building a new SickKids,” said Ted Garrard, Chief Executive Officer, SickKids Foundation. “These bold, forward-thinking individuals and organizations give our campaign momentum and inspire others to join the fight. Together, with their extraordinary support, a new SickKids will rise.”

The site initially housed SickKids’ Elizabeth McMaster building – an eight-storey laboratory and administrative building built in 1987. For the greater part of this year, SickKids has been demolishing the building, working to reach ground level to begin construction.

“We’re truly thrilled to have reached this significant milestone in our campus transformation. Moments like these are not possible without the vision and support of our dedicated staff, government partners, donors and the community,” says Dr. Ronald Cohn, president and CEO of SickKids. “As we build a new SickKids, we are defining a new approach to paediatric medicine using precision child health to diagnose and then treat our individual patients.”

SickKids’ campus redevelopment project, known as Project Horizon, will result in the renewal or renovation of virtually all clinical care and support areas of the hospital.

Tuesday’s ground-breaking marks the first critical phase before construction of the Patient Support Centre that will include SickKids Learning Institute, supporting over 1,000 world-class trainees, students and learners annually; a Simulation Centre for hands-on teaching; bright, modern workspace for professionals, management and support staff, as well as a variety of collaboration and activity spaces accessible to all staff from across the campus.

Another key phase – The Peter Gilgan Family Patient Care Tower – will house critical care and inpatient units and will reflect the latest in medical design: a renewed focus on privacy for patients and families, dedicated mental-health beds, a state-of-the-art blood and marrow transplant/cellular therapy unit, specialized operating theatres, advanced diagnostic imaging facilities, and a vastly expanded emergency department.

There are three main phases of the redevelopment project, over approximately 10 years:

Patient Support Centre (PSC): a new 22-storey educational, training, and administrative tower and critical first step, enabling the project to move forward and build a new hospital.

  • Intended to be a collaboration hub – consolidating staff from leased spaces and saving on costs
  • Targeted to comply with Well building standards, meaning fresh air and access to natural light for all staff
  • New simulation and training spaces to keep our staff on the leading edge of paediatric medicine

Peter Gilgan Family Patient Care Tower: a new acute-care hospital tower with a renewed focus on patient and family-centred care.

  • Addition of 144 beds (total of 430 beds)
  • Approximately 120 critical care beds built as single patient rooms to improve infection prevention and patient privacy for better outcomes
  • A new blood and marrow transplant unit with specialized ventilation systems to ensure
  • Approximately 19 operating suites, where space will be adaptable to accommodate new technologies and procedures
  • A new emergency department featuring 51 treatment spaces
  • Renovations to other areas of the existing campus to support new and renovated outpatient clinics.

When SickKids was built at 555 University Ave. in 1949, it was the largest children’s hospital in the world. In 1993, the hospital expanded with the opening of the Atrium building at 170 Elizabeth St.

The $1.3 billion fundraising campaign is expected to run through to March 31, 2022.


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