AJAX —Today, Rod Phillips, Minister of Long-term Care and MPP for Ajax, Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance and MPP for Pickering—Uxbridge, and Lorne Coe, MPP for Whitby, joined leaders from Lakeridge Health, Infrastructure Ontario and PCL Construction to celebrate the “topping off” of the new long-term care home being built at Lakeridge Health’s Ajax Pickering Hospital. A topping off ceremony is a tradition on construction sites, signifying that the highest point of a building has been reached.

“Today’s topping off moves this home one step closer to completion and Ontario one step closer to delivering 30,000 much-needed long-term care beds over 10 years,” said Minister Phillips. “Located on the same grounds as the Ajax Pickering Hospital, this state-of-the-art long-term care home is expected to be ready to meet its residents in the spring, with 320 new beds for seniors in Durham to call home, near their family and friends.”

The long-term care home at Lakeridge Health will provide state-of-the-art care and comfort in a modern, safe environment. The home will also be part of a campus of care to ensure residents have close access to the specialized and complex care they need, and better integrate the long-term care home into the broader health care system.

This pilot program is another example of the government’s historic investment in long-term care, which includes a $2.68 billion investment for the delivery of 30,000 safe, modern, comfortable beds over the next decade. The province’s approach also includes traditional build projects and the sale of surplus provincial lands, enabling new homes to be developed in urban areas where land cost and availability have limited the number of new builds. Together, these innovative initiatives are creating more long-term care beds across Ontario in areas where they are most needed.

“This is an exciting milestone for Lakeridge Health and Durham Region. In addition to promoting the health and safety of seniors with a range of needs and abilities, the new long-term care home will support staff and physicians delivering the highest level of quality care and advance Lakeridge Health’s vision of One System. Best Health,” said Cynthia Davis, President and CEO, Lakeridge Health. “We are truly grateful for our exceptional partnership with the Ministry of Long-Term Care, Infrastructure Ontario and PCL, as well as the many experts and stakeholders who have shared their knowledge and lived experience to guide us.”

“We are privileged to build facilities that have a profound effect upon the lives and health of Ontarians,” said Michael Lindsay, President and CEO, Infrastructure Ontario. “We are proud that, in this case, we were able to create an innovative approach to procurement and construction that allows us to celebrate today’s topping off just one year after the project was first announced. This would not have been possible without the strong partnership we have with our partners at MLTC, Lakeridge Health and PCL.”

“Achieving a topping off milestone in just eight months is an exceptional achievement that would not be possible without the passionate commitment of everyone involved,” said Todd Craigen, President of Eastern Canada, PCL Constructors Canada Inc. “Thank you to all of our partners and the nearly 310 women and men whose daily commitment to safety, over two shifts per day, has enabled us to reach this milestone during a global pandemic in order to advance safe and healthy homes for seniors in the Durham Region.”