Construction on new long-term care home in Ajax progressing

Progress is coming along on the new long-term care home, currently under construction adjacent to the Ajax Pickering Hospital.

In a recent update to the community, Lakeridge Health, which is overseeing the project, said the construction team continued its excavation work through January, including pouring concrete for the building’s foundation, and work is underway to install necessary utility services, such as the power supply and connections to the main Region of Durham stormwater and sanitation lines.

“Concurrent with the construction site work, modular sections of the building are being built offsite,” reads the letter.

Construction of the long-term care home in February 2021. This type of modular build is part of the Accelerated Build Pilot Program and enables the new home to be constructed faster than a traditional long-term care project, while adhering to the strictest health, safety, and design standards.

Due to the construction, and for the safety of community members, bike lanes will be closed on Clement Street until the end of August.

“As the project progresses, we have been seeking expertise and guidance from across the Lakeridge Health system on many of the details of how spaces within the home will be used to promote the health and safety of seniors with a range of needs and abilities,” the letter continues.

“Building on the insights learned throughout the pandemic, we will ensure that the home meets our expected high standards for care, safety, and infection control and, at the same time, create a comfortable, home-like environment, benefitting residents, families, employees, and volunteers.”

The home will be located at the northwest corner of Harwood Avenue South and Clements Road West. Construction is expected to be completed by late 2021 and will have capacity for 320 beds.

The province announced in July 2020 a new home would be built in Ajax as part of the government’s Accelerated Build Pilot Program, in which homes will be built in a matter of months instead of years.

The pilot program is part of the government’s plan to create new long-term care beds across the province that meet modern design standards, including features such as air conditioning and private or semi-private rooms.

“Our government won’t accept the status quo in long-term care,” says Premier Doug Ford, who adds the province made a commitment to seniors and their families to improve the quality of long-term care homes in Ontario.

Two new long-term care homes are also being built in Mississauga as part of the pilot program.

Ford says “government after government failed to make the necessary investments in long-term care homes”. “That ends now,” he says.

According to the province, as of March 2020, nearly 78,000 residents were living in long-term care homes across the province, with more than 38,000 people on a waitlist to access a long-term care bed.

Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, says the project is a key step towards repairing the cracks in the long-term care system, addressing the growing waitlist, building healthier communities, and ending hallway health care.

“Our government will continue to implement innovative ideas and modern solutions to provide our vulnerable seniors with a place to call home and the care they need.”