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About Sickkids
About SickKids

May 4, 2010

New Kid on the Block

SickKids announces the most ambitious capital redevelopment plan in its 135-year history

Toronto – The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) today announced the details of the $400 million, 21-storey, 750,000 square foot Research & Learning Tower to be built at the corner of Bay and Elm Streets;  bringing together the 2,000 scientists and staff of SickKids Research Institute.  The Tower is slated to be completed by 2013.  Designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects Inc. with HDR Inc., the world-class facility will achieve LEED® Gold Certification – setting the standard for energy efficiency and sustainable infrastructure in Toronto’s Discovery District.  The construction contract to build the Tower was awarded to Ellis Don Corporation.

For the first time, there will be a public face for SickKids Research Institute.  The building will showcase the incredible depth and breadth of research being conducted by the Hospital to improve child health through prevention, better cures and early detection of childhood disease.

“We take our responsibility as a world leader in children’s health seriously,” said Mary Jo Haddad, President and CEO, SickKids. “The Research & Learning Tower gives us the capacity to build on our leadership in child health research, education and care, and will result in healthier children and a better world.”

Established in 1954, SickKids Research Institute has grown into one of North America’s largest hospital-based research institutes.  It is an integral part of SickKids, with more than 2,000 of the Hospital’s approximately 8,000 staff.

The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology.  

“Our government is investing in science and technology to improve the quality of life for Canadians, strengthen the economy and create jobs,” said Minister Goodyear.  “This investment in the Research & Learning Tower will help ensure that Canada remains a world leader in health research, and that we will continue to make discoveries that benefit children around the world.”

The Tower consolidates the research staff presently working in six different locations across the city and enhances the opportunity for interactions between clinical and research colleagues.  The integration of research with patient care and learning are among the strengths of SickKids that have resulted in many significant contributions to the understanding, treatment and prevention of disease.

The Tower is designed to encourage interdisciplinary research by locating researchers working on related issues in close proximity to one another.  Researchers in the Tower will work in one of seven “neighbourhoods” – each inspired by a cutting-edge research theme.  Neighbourhoods will span two to three floors and will be connected by a spine of interactive space conducive to formal and informal meetings with the specific intent of encouraging interactions and collaborations.

The open, flexible lab space is designed to accommodate diverse research needs that will evolve over the lifetime of the building.  A mixture of wet and dry research benches will provide space for research teams as well as the state-of-the-art tools and technology they need to do their work.  Labs designed in this way have been shown to increase collaboration among researchers thereby increasing the number of new ideas and discoveries they generate.

The Tower will provide important new learning and teaching facilities for SickKids Learning Institute – including a 250-seat lecture theatre, flexible learning spaces and display areas.  The Learning Concourse will include state-of-the-art web and teleconferencing technology.

“Once complete, the Research & Learning Tower will significantly enhance the cutting-edge research being done at SickKids,” said Dr. Eliot Phillipson, President and CEO for the Canada Foundation for Innovation, who also attended the ground-breaking ceremony.  “Bringing all these world-class researchers together into a single facility will undeniably translate into results that will benefit all Canadians.”

The Research & Learning Tower will lead to design, engineering and construction jobs; innovations that lead to new equipment, the development of new drugs, new treatments and new therapies, leading to patents, licensing rights, start-up companies and revenue.  The Tower itself will rejuvenate the corner of Bay and Elm Streets, turning a parking lot into an active retail corner and community.

“Healthy children lead to a healthy and prosperous future for Canada,” said Haddad.  “The economic impact of this ambitious capital campaign will be immediate and sustained.”  

Announced at today’s launch was a $200 million fundraising campaign to support the construction and operation of the Tower.  Tim Hockey, appointed Chair of The Tower Campaign, along with Honorary Chairs Arthur and Sonia Labatt, were at today’s ceremony to introduce the 35-member cabinet.  

“The community is a critical partner in this project,” said Ted Garrard, President & CEO, SickKids Foundation. “Our challenge is to bring private funding to one of the most important capital projects in the history of SickKids.

For more information on the Tower, please visit http://www.sickkidsfoundation.com/bepartofit/.

To view the fly-through video of the Research & Learning Tower, please visit http://www.sickkidsfoundation.com/bepartofit/videos/videoflythrough.html.

About The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is recognized as one of the world’s foremost paediatric health-care institutions and is Canada’s leading centre dedicated to advancing children’s health through the integration of patient care, research and education. Founded in 1875 and affiliated with the University of Toronto, SickKids is one of Canada’s most research-intensive hospitals and has generated discoveries that have helped children globally.  Its mission is to provide the best in complex and specialized family-centred care; pioneer scientific and clinical advancements; share expertise; foster an academic environment that nurtures health-care professionals; and champion an accessible, comprehensive and sustainable child health system. SickKids is proud of its vision of Healthier Children. A Better World.™ For more information, please visit www.sickkids.ca.

About SickKids Foundation
Established in 1972, SickKids Foundation is the fundraising organization of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).  The Foundation’s fundraising is driven by the belief that improving the health and well-being of children is one of the most powerful ways to improve society.  Philanthropy is a critical source of funding for SickKids.  Over the past five years, SickKids Foundation has granted more than $300 million to the Hospital.  A direct result of community support, this is the largest investment in paediatric health care and one of the largest contributions to a hospital anywhere in Canada.  

For more information:

Matet Nebres
The Hospital for Sick Children

Sandra Chiovitti
SickKids Foundation