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About Sickkids
About SickKids

October 22, 2019

A new phase begins: Patient Support Centre groundbreaking

By: Tara MacPherson, Intern, Communications and Public Affairs 

A new SickKids is starting to rise.

After eight months of demolition, today we marked a milestone moment for our campus redevelopment (known as Project Horizon) as we broke ground on the Patient Support Centre: a new 22-storey education, training and administrative hub, expected to open in late 2022.

Staff, donors and onlookers were feeling the buzz as performers clad in construction gear kicked off the event with a lively performance sporting vests and SickKids hard hats.

Musicians dressed as construction workers perform. Some of the drums are upside down buckets.
Performers get the crowd excited with a lively performance – construction-themed, of course.

Ted Garrard, Chief Executive Officer, SickKids Foundation, opened the groundbreaking ceremony with a land acknowledgement. He then introduced a moving video featuring the new SickKids VS This is Why campaign.

Ted Garrard, President, SickKids Foundation speaks at a podium
Ted Garrard, Chief Executive Officer, SickKids Foundation

Mayor John Tory was also in attendance, representing the City of Toronto, and offered his congratulations on this exciting new phase, “I’ve had the chance to meet many kids at SickKids, past and present. Thank you to the doctors, nurses and staff and all those who provide care to those who need it. The new development has taken a lot of hard work, but the goal is on its way to being met!”

Mayor Tory speaks at a podium
Mayor John Tory

Dr. Ronald Cohn, SickKids President and CEO, brought the significance of this milestone home by getting back to basics and focusing on the link between health-care providers and the care they offer: “Beginning to build a new hospital for precision child health significantly impacts the way we care for our patients at SickKids. The new building will really represent our identity, who we are.”

Dr. Ronald Cohn, President and CEO, SickKids speaks at a podium.
Dr. Ronald Cohn, President and CEO, SickKids

In a poignant moment, SickKids patient ambassadors, senior leadership and Peter Gilgan and family joined up for the big moment: the shovel breaking ground.

Group of children holding shovels wearing blue ponchos. A line of adults dressed formally stand behind them.
Dr. Ronald Cohn, Mayor John Tory, Ted Garrard, donors and board members join SickKids patient ambassadors with a smile as they mark the moment the shovel digs into the future site of the Patient Support Centre.

The Patient Support Centre will house the SickKids Learning Institute, which will support over 1000 world-class trainees, students and learners annually. It will also include a Simulation Centre for hands-on teaching, allowing our healthcare practitioners to continue to provide leading-edge paediatric care to patients.

The aesthetic of the PSC will be inviting, with a modern and wellness-focused workspace for over 3000 professionals, management and support staff. The space will include a variety of collaboration and activity spaces that will be accessible for all staff from across the SickKids campus. Being housed under one roof will provide convenience and ease for professionals from different departments at SickKids – creating an inclusive environment for all staff.

Artist rendering of interior lobby of new patient support building.
A neutral palette featuring pops of colour accentuate the light-filled PSC lobby. Access to natural light was a major focus in building design.

Artist rendering of interior lobby of new patient support building.
Transparent glass at the main level creates an open feel, while a playful art piece dangles above (specific art not confirmed).

Artist rendering of main staircase in new patient support centre.
A colourful blue staircase weaves through the lobby space, connecting the main floor with the Learning Institute and event spaces.

Artist rendering of external view of new patient support centre.
The new Patient Support Centre, the first critical phase on our way to build a new SickKids.

The Patient Support Centre is the first of three phases in SickKids master redevelopment plan, situating staff in a shared location as the Hill and Black Wings are demolished to make room for the new hospital tower, the Peter Gilgan Family Patient Care Tower. The benefits of the new space include saving on costs for leasing purposes, compliance with new building standards and advanced work spaces to keep staff on the forefront of paediatric medicine.

Another key phase – The Peter Gilgan Family Patient Care Tower – will house critical care and inpatient units. It will reflect the very latest in medical design: a renewed focus on privacy for patients and families, dedicated mental-health beds, a state-of-the-art blood and marrow transplant/cellular therapy unit, specialized operating theatres, advanced diagnostic imaging facilities, and a vastly expanded emergency department.

The project is the first step to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations. SickKids’ plan to build a paediatric hospital of the future will transform how we deliver care in a world-class setting and empower patients and families to be partners in their care.