Since early 2015, when the contract to construct the new 17-storey addition to St. Michael's Hospital was awarded to Bondfield Construction, there has been significant activity on the site, with shoring and excavation now well underway following the project's groundbreaking in the Spring. Located at the corner of Queen and Victoria Streets, the NORR Architects and Diamond Scmitt Architects-designed addition is set to substantially increase the hospital's capacity while bringing new, state of the art care facilities to the Downtown Toronto medical hub. In addition, the expansion project will also see some 150,000 square feet of existing space renovated to help facilitate improved standards of care.

St. Michael's Hospital Patient Care Tower & Emergency Department, Diamond ScmittA rendering of the completed expansion, image courtesy of St. Michael's Hospital

The corner, whichdespite its prime locationhad long housed service facilities and a parking lot liberally accented with dumpsters, is now finally seeing signs of re-development, with the bulk of shoring work completed as the project's excavation phase begins (below). With the parking lot gone at long last, excavators can now be seen removing the upper layers of soil in order to make way for the new foundations.  

St. Michael's Hospital Patient Care Tower & Emergency Department, Diamond ScmittLooking southwest from the current hospital building, image by Craig White

The expansive addition will be named the 'Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower,' honouring the Mattamy Homes magnate turned philanthropist who donated $30 million to the project. In addition to increasing the hospital's capacity to meet the growing volume of patients expected over the coming years, the new space will house expanded facilities for orthopaedic surgery, coronary care, and oncology, plus an expanded and more efficient Emergency Department, which will be named for the Slaight family in honour of a $10 million donation.

St. Michael's Hospital Patient Care Tower & Emergency Department, Diamond ScmittLooking northwest from the current hopsital building, image by Craig White

The 250,000 square foot Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower will also feature five new state-of-the-art operating theatres, updating the hospital's facilities to meet the cutting edge of medical innovation. The layout of the new wing and the redistribution of the hospital's space is previewed in a video provided by the hospital:

While the expansion will nearly double the capacity of an Emergency Department that currently sees over 75,000 patients a year—1.5 times more than the space was designed forthe new addition is also notable for the new design principles it will bring to the historic hospital. Emphasizing communal space, natural light, and aesthetically pleasing form, renderings of the airy new space present a departure from the sterile and institutional design that dominated hospital construction for much of the past century.

St. Michael's Hospital Patient Care Tower & Emergency Department, Diamond ScmittThe atrium of the Peter Gilligan Health Centre, image courtesy of St. Michael's Hospital

Featuring the 10-storey high Element Financial atrium (above), as well large, south and west facing windows, the expanded St. Mike's is designed to create a calming, welcoming, and ultimately therapeutic environment, indicative of a commitment to patient care and wellness that extends through to the design of the hospital space itself. The Element Financial atrium—named in recognition of the company's $15 million donationalso provides the hospital with a prominently visible new main entrance on Queen Street, giving St. Mike's a more vital presence on the urban streetscape.

St. Michael's Hospital Patient Care Tower & Emergency Department, Diamond ScmittAnother view of the atrium, image courtesy of St. Michael's Hospital

According to Dr. Robert Howard, CEO of St. Michael's Hospital, the expansion project reflects a commitment to make the facility "the best critical care hospital in Canada." Following the substantial completion of the new wing in 2018, the demolition and redevelopment of the aging Shuter Street Wing is expected to commence, with a new wing expected on that site by 2019.

Additional information and renderings for the project can be found in our dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? You can join in on the conversation in the associated Forum thread, or by leaving a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page.