Hospital staff, dignitaries, and friends gathered on Wednesday to celebrate another milestone in the long awaited redevelopment of Bridgepoint Hospital, a 150 year old hospital site. This project is now 10 years in the making, and is poised to rejuvenate a hospital which was once declared redundant by the Ontario Government over a decade ago. It is now being developed by Bridgepoint Health, Infrastructure Ontario, and Plenary Health.

Bridgepoint is a chronic care hospital which deals with the 5% of patients that require approximately 85% of the healthcare resources. In 18 months it will have a state of the art facility, with the tools needed to care for some of the most chronically ill patients in our health care system. This hospital will become a place where research, education, and care will co-exist, and begin to realize the goal of bending the cost curve in the long run by helping patients heal better, faster, and through preventative care measures. 

Marian Walsh (President and CEO of Bridgepoint Health) spoke passionately about the many hurdles and negotiations it took to reach this point, and the work left to do to accomplish this facility, currently sitting at about the 50% completion mark.

Marian Walsh President CEO, Bridgepoint Hospital topping-off ceremony, TorontoMarian Walsh, President and CEO Bridgepoint Hospital, topping off ceremony. Image by Dumitru Onceanu.

With a sense of accomplishment and pride, several dignitaries spoke enthusiastically about what this hospital means to them, the community, to their patients, and to the health care system as a whole. NDP MPP Peter Tabuns for Toronto Danforth and the Honourable Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, spoke about the government's commitment to healthcare in Ontario. 

Bridgepoint Hospital topping-off ceremony, TorontoThe dignitaries cheer the building's structural completion. Image by Dumitru Onceanu.

The festive atmosphere was punctuated with music and confetti. The beam was slowly raised the height of the 10-storey building, and quickly hoisted beyond view and positioned on the top of what will be the mechanical roof of the facility. The beam was signed by hospital staff, friends, family, supporters, patients, and dignitaries. 

Last beam at Bridgepoint Hospital topping-off ceremony, TorontoBridgepoint Hospital topping off ceremony. Signed beam ready to be raised to the top. Image by Dumitru Onceanu.

Last beam at Bridgepoint Hospital topping-off ceremony, TorontoBridgepoint Hospital topping off ceremony. Last beam nearing the top. Image by Dumitru Onceanu.

This project is particularly notable because of the restoration and conversion of Toronto's Old Don Jail into the hospital's new administration wing.

Old Don Jail restoration and conversion for Bridgepoint Hospital, TorontoOld Don Jail under scaffolding being restored and converted into the administration wing. Image by Dumitru Onceanu.

The hospital's cladding is at about the half-way point, and the entire structure is already making a statement from all directions, but particularly from the Don Valley as one drives past. A few more images of the building from various vantage points: 

New Bridgepoint Hospital building, TorontoNew Bridgepoint Hospital building viewed from the east. Image by Dumitru Onceanu.

New Bridgepoint Hospital building, TorontoNew Bridgepoint Hospital building viewed from the south. Image by Dumitru Onceanu.

This is how the south view will look when complete. 

Rendering of new Bridgepoint Hospital building, TorontoNew Bridgepoint Hospital building viewed from the south. Rendering by Cicada Design.

On the top right hand side of the building in the following image is where the last beam was placed, completing the mechanical roof structure. 

New Bridegpoint Hospital building, TorontoNew Bridgepoint Hospital building viewed from the west. Image by Dumitru Onceanu.

A rendering viewing the new hospital looking south-east from the Don Valley.

Rendering of new Bridgepoint Hospital building, TorontoNew Bridgepoint Hospital building viewed from the northwest. Rendering by Cicada Design.

An aerial view of the site from October 27, 2010, showing the extent of the redevelopment. The old Bridgepoint Hospital "half-round" building will be demolished, as will the Don Jail addition to the right of the Old Don Jail building. Those spaces will form the new hospital's green courtyard. The Old Don Jail road will be straightened and realigned in front of the Old Don Jail, allowing the parking lot space to be greened, and reconnected with the park space behind the public library in the lower right corner of the block. 

Bridgepoint Hospital redevelopment aerial view, TorontoAerial view of the Bridgepoint Hospital redevelopment, looking NE on Oct 27, 2010. Image courtesy of Bridgepoint Hospital.

Designed by Diamond + Schmitt Architects with HDR Architects, the new Bridgepoint Hospital will be LEED certified, 10 storeys, 680,000 sq ft, and have a capacity of 472 beds. It will relieve congestion in the exisiting aging facility, and will provide state-of-the-art facilities including:

  • larger rooms
  • individual washrooms for enhanced infection prevention and control
  • more natural light, and spectacular city views
  • double the existing therapy space
  • state-of-the-art therapy area on each floor with easy access
  • open areas to the public
  • cafetaria
  • auditorium
  • retail shop
  • library
  • internet cafe

Bridgepoint Hospital has over 150 years of history in Toronto. Started in 1860 as the House of Refuge for "incurables and the indigent poor", it became a Smallpox hospital in 1872, followed by an Isolation Hospital to address communicable diseases in 1891. It's evolved over the years into a hospital specialized in the treatment and therapy of patients with complex chronic diseases, an area which will become increasingly important with an aging and longer-living population. 

This following video and fly-through gives you an overview of what the facility and it's grounds will look like when the entire project is complete.

For more high resolution renders of this project, please visit the dataBase entry below, leave your comments here, and join the ongoing conversation in the project thread. 

Join us in a few months as UrbanToronto returns to take an inside tour of the new facility as it nears completion, as well as the restoration and conversion of the Old Don Jail into the hospital's new administration wing.