August 11, 2020, Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Long-term Care, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, announced plans for a fourth accelerated build long-term care home. This home will be located at Humber River Hospital’s Finch site in Toronto. Premier Ford and Dr. Fullerton were joined by Mayor of Toronto, John Tory, President and CEO of Humber River Hospital, Barbara Collins, and MPP for York Centre, Roman Baber.
Following this afternoon’s announcement, Premier Ford responded to questions from media regarding the province’s ongoing response to COVID-19.
Accelerated Build Long-Term Care Home in Toronto
This afternoon, Premier Ford and Dr. Fullerton announced plans for an accelerated build long-term care home at Humber River Hospital’s Finch site in Toronto. This facility is projected to be completed by the end of 2021, as opposed to the 36-month timeline that is typical for building long-term care homes. Modular design and construction, rapid procurement, and the use of hospital lands are being employed in order to accelerate the construction timeline.
The 320-bed facility announced today is the fourth long-term care home to be announced as part of the province’s Accelerated Build Pilot Program, in addition to two new homes in Mississauga, and one in Ajax. This pilot is part of the government’s ongoing efforts to modernize the long-term care sector by building capacity and creating new beds with modern features including air conditioning and private or semi-private rooms.
Questions from Media – COVID-19 Response
In response to continued questions about the Ontario back-to-school plan, Premier Ford reiterated that government would not spare any expense to ensure the safety of classrooms in Ontario. He added that the government is working to be flexible for school boards and urged school boards to employ innovative approaches to ensure safe classroom learning, such as the use of tents or other alternative spaces where possible.
When asked about funding for additional staffing to enable physical distancing and smaller classroom sizes, Premier Ford once again pointed to the $30 million that the government set aside to assist school boards with the cost of additional staffing. He emphasized that the government would be willing to provide additional funding for boards in high-risk, urban areas, if more funding is required.