CAMH Celebrates “Topping Off” of New Facility
TORONTO – Today, Liz Sandals, MPP for Guelph and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, joined hospital officials and construction workers to celebrate the “topping off” of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)’s new Gateway Building.
A “topping off” ceremony is a tradition on building sites, signifying that the highest point of a building has been reached.
The CAMH site on Queen Street West in downtown Toronto is being dramatically transformed from an institutional campus to an urban village setting with the construction of three new buildings: the Gateway Building, the Intergenerational Wellness Centre and the Utilities and Parking Building. In total, more than 450,000 square feet of new space will be created in this phase of the CAMH Queen Street Redevelopment Project.
Construction of the new facilities began in January 2010 and is now approximately 35 per cent complete, with work continuing to progress on schedule and on budget.
“I am pleased to see the progress made on the CAMH project,” said Ms. Sandals. “The redevelopment of the CAMH site demonstrates the McGuinty government’s commitment to modernize Ontario’s hospitals, so that all Ontarians facing mental health challenges can get the help they need in the most up-to-date facilities.”
“Today is a proud day for CAMH,” said Dr. Catherine Zahn, President and CEO, CAMH. “Our vision of becoming part of a vibrant urban community is coming to life through our redevelopment. We are witnessing the transformation of a marginalized psychiatric institution into a new kind of hospital, a hospital that will contribute to our local community, our city and our province to mutual benefit. Our goal is to continually improve care and services for people with mental illness and addictions through implementation of new models of care and through our health promotion, education, research, and system leadership. We aim to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and addiction and in doing so, eliminate the prejudice and discrimination experienced by people living with these conditions.”
Carillion Health Solutions is building the new facilities, with an average of 235 workers on site daily. At the peak of construction, an estimated 350 workers will be on site daily. Labour is being drawn largely from the Greater Toronto Area.
The next step in construction of the Gateway Building is to close in the facility, allowing mechanical, electrical and drywall work to proceed during the coming months, while structural work will continue on the Intergenerational Wellness Centre and the Utilities and Parking Building.
Construction of the new buildings is expected to be completed in spring 2012.
CAMH is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental health. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues. Fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, CAMH is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.
Infrastructure Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care are working with CAMH to construct the new facilities, which will remain publicly owned, publicly controlled and publicly accountable.
Infrastructure Ontario is a Crown corporation dedicated to delivering some of the province’s larger and more complex infrastructure renewal projects – ensuring they are built on time and on budget – and to providing the public sector and not-for-profit organizations with long-term financing to renew their infrastructure.