The sun was shining as hundreds gathered at CAMH’s Queen Street West site to celebrate the groundbreaking of its third phase of redevelopment (Phase 1C) on Monday. The occasion kicked off what will add two beautiful buildings to the West Queen West neighbourhood.
“Our buildings will be much more than walls, floors and ceilings,” said CAMH President and CEO Dr. Catherine Zahn. “They will be venues for recovery, they will enable our academic mission and they will help us to change the trajectory of mental illness for our patients.”
Phase 1C officially breaks ground! (L to R): Tom Milroy, Chair of the CAMH Foundation; Michael McCain, Co-Chair, CAMH Breakthrough Campaign; Han Dong, MPP for Trinity-Spadina; Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care; Dr. Catherine Zahn, CAMH President and CEO; City Councillor Mike Layton; David Wilson, Chair of the CAMH Board of Trustees; and former CAMH client Jessica Rogers.
When construction is completed, the new buildings – approximately 600,000 square feet of new space in total – will feature 235 inpatient beds for people who are acutely ill as well as those experiencing the most complex forms of mental illness.
READ MORE: Phase 1C and Vision 2020
"This exciting next step in the redevelopment of CAMH is an example of our government's commitment to improving access to high-quality mental health supports," said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "CAMH is a nationwide leader in the mental health sector, and our government is proud to support this project which will enhance CAMH's ability to support people in our community."
Minister Hoskins addresses the audience next to Dr. Catherine Zahn.
The Minister used the occasion to also announce improved access to mental health and addictions services by expanding psychotherapy programs across the province, which will result in 100,000 more Ontarians each year gaining access to the services they need for anxiety and depression. “I believe there is no health without mental health,” he added. “They are two sides of the same coin.”
Three generations of support
Adding to the day’s excitement was the naming of CAMH’s flagship new building the McCain Complex Care and Recovery Centre.
“This naming is in recognition of Michael McCain and his family’s latest $10-million commitment in support of CAMH, bringing his family’s total campaign contributions to over $22 million,” said Tom Milroy, Chair of the CAMH Foundation. “Three generations of the McCain family have stood alongside CAMH in the effort to end prejudice and discrimination around mental illness.
“They are leaders in our community and in leading this important social change.”
Michael McCain and Tom Milroy embrace at the Phase 1C groundbreaking event.
This building, home to a number of programs and services including 110 inpatient complex mental illness units, the Simulation Learning Centre and the Temerty Centre for Brain Stimulation, will sit just east of Lower Ossington, next to the existing Intergenerational Wellness Centre.
READ MORE: CAMH announces McCain Complex Care and Recovery Centre
“Together, we are building the mental health hospital of tomorrow, today,” said Michael McCain. “It’s been a long journey but days like today keep us all energized. We, and every one of you, have a huge opportunity to change the course of mental health. I’d say it is more than an opportunity: it is a responsibility.”
Published on October 3, 2017