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CAMH Stories Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

CAMH shares Queen Street site concepts with community

Community members and stakeholders learned more about the latest development phase of CAMH’s Queen Street site at a public meeting in October. Phase 1C represents the largest phase of CAMH’s redevelopment to date -- 235 inpatient beds are planned as part of two new buildings for acute and complex care.

“The end state of our redevelopment is a city-integrated site,” Project Director Jennifer Clarke told participants. A hospital site once hidden behind four walls “is blending into the fabric of our community and helping to destigmatize mental illness,” she said.

Jennifer also spoke about the integration of CAMH’s clinical care, education, research and other functions with shared public elements such as courtyards, a library, auditorium and green spaces. These elements will synthesize into a healing environment.

Phase 1C building illustration
A city-integrated site emerges: CAMH’s planned complex care building at the south-east corner of Queen Street West and Ossington.

CAMH will request proposals for this phase from three pre-qualified vendors in January 2016 and will select a preferred vendor/builder by the end of 2016.

For community participants at the October 2015 meeting, it was a chance to ask questions on topics ranging from green space to site maintenance to traffic flow.

Jennifer Clarke
Healing environment: CAMH Redevelopment Project Director Jennifer Clarke.

Doug Campbell
Long-term vision: Senior Project Manager Doug Campbell of CAMH’s Redevelopment Office shared a history and overview of the long-term vision for the Queen Street site. Redevelopment planning began following the creation of CAMH in 1998. Occupancy of the new Phase 1C buildings is scheduled for early 2020.

Question and Answers: The big picture

What is the CAMH Queen Street Redevelopment Project?

CAMH has embarked on a bold, multi-phased Redevelopment Project that is transforming lives. We are building a new kind of hospital for the 21st century – advancing treatment, revitalizing our community, and changing attitudes toward those with mental illness and addictions.

With two phases already complete, the CAMH Queen Street Redevelopment Project is converting our 27-acre site on Queen Street West into a welcoming, integrated community, weaving together cutting-edge CAMH facilities with shops, residences, businesses, parks, and through-streets, creating an inclusive, healing neighbourhood.

What next?

The third phase of CAMH’s Redevelopment Project (known as Phase 1C) will include:

  • A Complex Care building featuring inpatient and outpatient services for people with complex mental illness, as well as supportive programming
  • An Acute Care building including a 24/7 mental health emergency department, inpatient units, as well as other programming.


These two new buildings will be constructed adjacent to Queen Street West starting in late 2016/early 2017 with occupancy by 2020. The entire phase, including the related demolition of older buildings, new roads and parkland, will be completed by mid-2021.

Participants at the public meeting
Community engagement: Participants at the public meeting in October asked questions on topics ranging from green space to traffic flow.

Questions and Answers: Phase 1C Community meeting October 21, 2015

How will the next phase affect the green space?

Design will ensure connection of green corridors throughout the site. The new acute care building will adjoin a park; new buildings will have interior courtyard green spaces. Improvements to the Shaw Street Park and new green space adjacent to the small extension to Adelaide St. West are also planned.

Is the Sunshine Garden affected?

There are no major impacts in the third phase of development on the Sunshine Garden, located in the southwest area of the site. CAMH is looking to add new facilities such as a greenhouse next to the Sunshine Garden.

What is the impact of the new emergency department?

CAMH currently operates its emergency department at its College Street site. Our mental health emergency department has volumes that are far lower than a general hospital emergency. The new acute care building will have well-equipped drop-off locations and infrastructure to minimize disruption, and support privacy and ease of access.

What kind of library and auditorium are planned?

A client library, family resource centre and academic library will be combined into an integrated service open to the public. A new state-of-the-art auditorium will be a destination for CAMH events, partnership events with Workman Arts and other groups, and public events such as film festivals.

Will the new spaces and design be safe?

We continue to test our new space concepts with hundreds of clients, clinicians, community members and hospital experts. A safe and recovery-focused environment is a top priority. The design and construction must meet stringent standards from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Infrastructure Ontario, the City of Toronto as well as building codes and accessibility requirements.

Will the site accommodate more pedestrian and bicycle traffic?

As more streets on the CAMH site are integrated with city streets, CAMH will ensure a site design that is safe and friendly to pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle traffic flows.

What about noise during the upcoming construction?

Noise bylaws are in effect and CAMH will monitor this closely.

Who will maintain the grounds after the new construction?

CAMH will maintain the grounds throughout the site. The company chosen to construct the new buildings will have a long-term obligation for building maintenance.

Toronto City Councillor Mike Layton attended meeting
City-building: Toronto City Councillor Mike Layton (at right) attended the meeting and provided information on City of Toronto infrastructure initiatives such as parks and cycle corridors.

Architect Gavin McLachlan
Reconnecting with the street: The two new buildings in Phase 1C will continue CAMH’s strategy to reconnect with the street, said Architect Gavin McLachlan of Montgomery Sisam. Interior courtyards will have visual and physical access from Queen Street, making the development more permeable and accessible, he said. Queen Street frontage will include retail.

“Face to face meetings with community stakeholders are critical to this process,’ said Janet Mawhinney, Director, CAMH Community Engagement and Planning. “We want to ensure people have a chance to really engage with the redevelopment team, and discuss whatever is of interest or concern to them. We learn a lot from these meetings. We will continue to keep the community informed and involved.”

Learn more about the latest phase of CAMH’s Queen Street Site Redevelopment on the CAMH web site:

Redevelopment project

Phase 1C details

Neighborhood page

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