The newest building on the SickKids Hospital campus in Downtown Toronto officially started construction yesterday, as the institution and associated SickKids Foundation held a ground breaking ceremony for their new B+H Architects-designed Patient Support Centre) at 175 Elizabeth Street. The milestone was celebrated with a ceremonial photo-op attended by 'Catalyst' and 'Groundbreakers' donors who contributed a minimum of $1 million, including the Peter Gilgan family, whose $100 million donation was announced in June.

Official ground breaking ceremony marks the first step in building a new SickKids., image courtesy CNW Group/SickKids Foundation

"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," reads a statement from 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 new tower will rise 22 storeys from the recently-cleared site of SickKids' former Elizabeth McMaster building, an eight-storey laboratory and administrative building that was constructed from 1983 to 1987 in the Postmodern style. Crews from PCL and Priestly Demolition have wrapped up the old medical building's demolition phase, paving the way for yesterday's ground breaking.

Cleared site of the SickKids Patient Support Centre, image by UT Forum contributor Benito

"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," reads a statement from 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. Today, we celebrate a major step forward in our journey to transform care delivery for children." 

SickKids Patient Support Centre, image via submission to City of Toronto

The new Patient Support Centre represents the first phase in SickKids’ Project Horizon, a full-fledged campus redevelopment project that will renew virtually all care and support areas of the campus. This initial component of Project Horizon will be home to SickKids Learning Institute, to contain 1,000 employees, students, and learners annually, plus a variety of collaboration and activity spaces accessible to all staff from across the campus. The second phase planned is The Peter Gilgan Family Patient Care Tower, a new acute-care hospital tower set to house critical care and inpatient units, while a third phase would see renovations carried out to other existing areas of the campus.

Additional information and images can be found in our Database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment below.

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Related Companies:  B+H Architects, Doka Canada Ltd./Ltee, Entuitive, PCL, The Mitchell Partnership Inc., Urban Strategies Inc.