Close to 500 long-term care beds coming to Ajax by 2022 

Rod Phillips and Cynthia Davis

On Thursday 27th August the new long-term care facility in Ajax Ontario had its topping off ceremony. What is truly amazing about this is that in January 2021 they broke ground for this facility; eight months later we are celebrating topping off of this six-story 320 room facility located just south of the Ajax-Pickering hospital.

Cindy Davidson, CEO of Lakeridge Health, praised the partnership between Lakeridge Health the government and PCL Construction for the facility’s successful completion. On hand was Minister of Long-term Care Rod Phillips, who said that adding these 320 beds to 144 beds new beds, located at the nearby Valley Cliff development, means that Ajax will have a total of nearly 500 new spaces by 2023.

“The province has a commitment to add 30,000 long-term beds by 2028, and we’re well on our way to that commitment with 20,000 beds in development and another 15,000 beds in redevelopment.  It’s a great start but we also need to show that we can do it quickly. Quite frankly the premier said that if the Chinese government can build a hospital in 12 weeks, we should be able to build a long-term care facility quicker than 4 years,” the minister told the Caribbean Camera,

“We know that across the province, as part of the program, we’ll also need the 27000 new professional nurses, PSWs, maintenance staff, cooks and support people who make it all work. These professionals will be adding to those over the next four years from colleges. We have been talking to those students for whom the province of Ontario is paying tuition – PSWs and nurses etc – because we need them on the front lines; we need them to be ready for the fabulous facilities like this one. So we have a three part plan – the first part of course is that piece about the building that’s going on right behind you; the second part is staffing and making sure that the staff is there; we’ve increased the pay; the third is that we know that we need better accountability, better enforcement of more transparency inside the long-term care system. This will be done with legislation in the fall.”

Cynthis Davis, Rod Phillips, Peter Bethlenfalvy, Sharon Cochran and Todd Craigen

Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy spoke about “the importance of this topping-off Ceremony being a very important milestone for Lakeridge Health. And I must say that as I was waiting for the ceremony, I had a chance to really spend some time and look at this facility – it is a magnificent facility – and what we can do when we work together on a common goal.”

Sharon Cochran Chair of Lakeridge said “this facility will have a very modern design, but probably the most important thing is that it will feature evidence-based infection prevention and control. It means safer living and working conditions, and an environment for our residents our staff and for the families. From the board’s perspective I think this means that we have the peace of mind and we hope that the Durham residents will have peace on mind as well.”

Todd Craigen president of PCL Constractors spoke about the building of the facility: “We all know that PCL is known for delivering fast-track projects.

I’ve been astounded to watch the agility of the innovation that has been used to deliver this extremely challenging schedule. It aligns with IOS accelerated build model. The structure you see before you today was made possible by using a hybrid approach of off-site prefabricated materials and on-site construction techniques and, while we are pleased with the speed and agility that is in evidence, so far our projects do not truly exist until our clients are satisfied with the final result and all of our hardworking men and women go home safe to their families every night.

On this note I would like to commend the more than 300 women and men for their daily commitment to safety; the facility will be completed by December and will be welcoming occupants by the spring of 2022.”