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E-BLAST: The Future of Seniors Care at North York General

There are exciting changes coming to our local North York General Hospital (NYGH). NYGH is a cornerstone of our community here in Don Valley North, and delivers an exceptional quality of care to our neighbourhoods. As our population continues to grow, it is essential that NYGH grows with it. Next week, NYGH is hosting a community information session to share their plans for an incredible new long-term care home and more seniors-focused services coming to our community, and to give you a peek at their future plans for the whole hospital campus. I strongly encourage you to come out, meet your local hospital staff, and learn more about this impactful project.



I'll admit to being a little biased where NYGH is concerned. I was one of the first patients through the emergency ward when the hospital opened up with its giant purple smokestack in 1968. I broke my shoulder when I was a little girl. My parents weren't home, so our brand new next door neighbours drove me and my sister to the new hospital they had seen across the 401 when they arrived in town. It's hard to imagine, but there were only about six people being treated in the shiny new emergency room that day. That was the beginning of NYGH serving my family extensively throughout our lives, from the births of my two daughters to the last two weeks of my mother's life when we were all cared for so sensitively and so well. 


I know that many of you have similar stories. NYGH has been ranked Canada's number one community hospital for five years in a row, and for very good reason. Of course, many of us also have stories of times when our hospital appeared close to overflowing as we poured through its doors for care. Even during those most challenging times, NYGH's health care team is there for patients and families with unwavering professionalism and compassion. We all know that NYGH needs to continue to expand, and this is something I hear from the community often. 


At every community consultation meeting for a new development in Don Valley North, neighbours ask about hospital and health care capacity. You are all bang on when you insist that we must maintain access to community healthcare as our neighbourhoods grow. NYGH is currently serving one of Toronto's most diverse and rapidly-growing areas, which also has the highest proportion of seniors in the city. Expanding and increasing access to seniors' health and residential care is a top priority for the hospital, and they have already successfully made their case to the Ontario Government to expand long-term care and the hospital itself. I've seen the plans and I'm very excited for you to see them as well.


A photo of NYGH in 1973


The focus of the upcoming community info session is NYGH's plan to build a new long-term care and seniors' health facility across the street from the hospital. You may be at a time in your life when you don't think seniors care concerns you, but you never know when a loved one will need it. Don Valley North is increasingly becoming a 'seniors strong' community as residents live longer and longer, often downsizing right in their own neighbourhood and staying close to their local supports. NYGH's expansion plan mirrors the desire for seniors in our community to be able to age in place and access a first-rate community of care right in their own backyards. 


NYGH has owned and operated a 192-bed long-term care home since 1985. They were one of the first hospitals to own and operate a long-term care home, and have been providing excellent care to seniors in our community since the hospital opened over 50 years ago. As with much of our aging infrastructure, NYGH’s current long-term care facility isn't able to meet all of the latest codes and standards. That's why NYGH is partnering with the Ontario Government and donors to build a new, modern home with more beds and services for seniors who need a higher level of care. 


The new facility, which staff will talk about in-depth at the community information session next week, will be located steps from the hospital at 4000 Leslie Street, and will be among the largest long-term care homes in the country. NYGH is leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to design a top-tier facility centred on residents' comfort and dignity. Unlike most long-term care homes, every resident will have their own private room and bathroom. There will also be substantial gathering spaces and green spaces for residents and visitors to enjoy, recreational and social programming, and in-house facilities such as a salon that will help residents feel right at home. Ultimately, NYGH's vision is that this new facility will be more than a long-term care home. They want it to be a hub where people from across North York come to access a range of seniors-focused health and wellness services.



This facility isn't slated to open until 2027-2028. I'm sure many of you have questions about the exact plans for the site, and that's where I want to leave it to NYGH's staff. Over a dozen of them will be in attendance at the community open house next week and are ready to answer all of your questions about the plan for this new facility. The community information session is being held on Thursday, November 16 from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM at our brand-new Ethennonnhawahstihnen' Community Recreation Centre (100 Ethennonnhawahstihnen' Lane). You can RSVP by emailing planning@nygh.on.ca by Monday, November 13. The DVN team will be in attendance, and I really do hope that you will take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to learn more about this project. 


Don Valley Northerners are right to raise hospital and health care capacity as one of the most pressing needs in our growing community. It is one of the infrastructure pieces over which municipalities have very little control, which is why I'm so happy that NYGH is ready to share their future plans with you with the support of the Province. This meeting is just the first step in one important expansion to NYGH's world-class Campus of Care. I'll be sure to keep our community updated through this E-Blast as the plan moves forward in the years to come.



 


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