West Park Board Chair David MacKinnon, President and CEO Anne-Marie Malek, York South-Weston City Councillor Frances Nunziata and York South-Weston MPP Laura Albanese celebrate after Albanese delivered the good news on West Park's campus development project
A major expansion of West Park Healthcare Centre was given the green light Aug. 24 by the Ontario government, an historic milestone for one of the most significant redevelopments in the hospital’s history.
To widespread cheers from community dignitaries and West Park staff and patients gathered in the Enbridge Auditorium, York South-Weston MPP Laura Albanese announced the long-awaited approval of West Park’s expansion.
“This redevelopment will be one of the largest infrastructure investments that the communities of Mount Dennis and Weston have ever seen,” said Albanese. “It will create jobs, and it will give families better access to state-of-the-art healthcare services closer to home.”
“We are thrilled we can now proceed with the next steps of our campus redevelopment,” says Anne-Marie Malek, West Park President and CEO. “The redevelopment will enable an integrated campus of care that models the way of the future for healthcare delivery, education and research.”
The announcement sets the stage for functional programming – addressing operational design, space requirements and staffing for each functional area in the redeveloped organization, including an anticipated expansion of 51 beds. The announcement also sets the stage for West Park’s Foundation to launch its capital
West Park will also proceed with the development of its ancillary lands, extending the continuum of services available on the campus with a focus on services for seniors and individuals living with disabilities.
Development of the ancillary lands will provide financial support needed to help fund the hospital expansion.
“Today’s announcement is one of the most important in West Park’s history,” said West Park Board Chair David MacKinnon. “It transforms West Park for the future. It helps us deliver 21st century health care to a part of Toronto and a provincial patient base that is going to be modern, contemporary, efficient and, overall, helpful to the patient.”
The approval comes after many years of planning and would not have been possible without the support of key individuals, like York South-Weston MPP Laura Albanese.
“We would not have reached this stage without the strong support and foresight of Laura Albanese. We are truly grateful,” said MacKinnon, West Park Board Chair. “This is an important investment in the healthcare system.”
City of Toronto officials, especially City Councillor Frances Nunziata, played a pivotal role in the appropriate rezoning of West Park property and the community consultation involved.
The completed project will be a healthcare centre that redefines the boundaries of care. The government’s investment responds to the demand for West Park services which are expected to increase by almost 50 per cent over the next two decades, due mainly to a growing and aging population living with more chronic conditions.
In the short term, the project will provide economic stimulus for construction trades and their suppliers in the area. In the long term, the investment helps retain and attract new, highly skilled and higherpaying jobs in the community.