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Simcoe Manor redevelopment project moving along

June 18, 2020   ·   0 Comments

A milestone has been achieved for improving long-term care and seniors housing in New Tecumseth.

The County of Simcoe operates Simcoe Manor in Beeton and approved a plan last Tuesday to purchase a 20-acre property adjacent to it for a redevelopment and expansion project.

The recently acquired property will allow for the construction of 34 additional long-term care beds and more than 140 new seniors housing units for individuals over 60 with varying levels of care and support needs.

“The only milestone left to proceeding is to receive approval from the Ministry of Long-Term Care…County Council has given us the green light to proceed with the development as proposed,” said Jane Sinclair, who manages Simcoe Manor for the County.

The proposed redevelopment is projected to cost approximately $171 million over three to four years. Roughly $60 million of it is being covered by the County of Simcoe, while other costs are being funded through the Ministry of Long-Term Care and other sectors of government.

The redevelopment focuses on supporting seniors in an age friendly environment with services for their health needs as they require more support.

“This is just a great way to support our seniors both living in the campus and around the communities – we’re really excited to move forward with this project,” said Sinclair.

The redevelopment will replicate Penetanguishene’s award winning model at Georgian Village, which creates more of a community environment for seniors.

For that project, Simcoe County was able to secure 80 percent of the funding required and Sinclair said she’s hopeful more funding sources will become available for Simcoe Manor in the future to lessen the county’s costs

“Our proposal includes not only the redevelopment of long-term care but a number of different types of housing – all centred around a community hub,” she noted.

“The campus model will have much more amenities and services for not only folks in the long-term care but for seniors living on a campus.”

The campus plans are close to 440,000 square feet and will feature health services, a pharmacy, dental care, restaurants, retailers, a hair salon, exercise areas and outdoor recreation spaces.

“As we get older, social and recreational programming are a huge part of anyone’s health and wellness,” Sinclair explained.

“These campuses are designed so there’s lots of social and recreational space, there’s space both indoors and outdoors… there will be lots of opportunities for folks to socialize and really live an enjoyable, high quality life.”

Some of the redevelopment plans could change following the recent release of the Canadian Armed Forces report that indicates there’s deplorable and neglectful conditions for many residents in Ontario’s long-term care system.

Sinclair said the recommendations that come out of the report could be applied to the redevelopment, particularly around infection control, residents sharing rooms, and the size of common spaces for meals and recreation.

“We anticipate there may be some recommendations coming forward to advance the physical design and our architects and our staff are working closely with the Province to ensure that any of those recommendations are included,” she noted.

The potential risks of COVID-19 are also being taken into account for the redevelopment project.

Sinclair said the redevelopment is much needed as the long-term care home is currently 120 years old with some infrastructure dating back to when it was built in 1898

Through Simcoe County’s communication with the Ford government, Sinclair noted that they’ll be able to move forward very soon.

Once the Ministry of Long-Term Care approves the project it can be put to tender, allowing construction to commence shortly thereafter.

“We’re working with an architectural firm around design, now we’re starting to move into more detail design processes, so that when we do get the approval we’ll be ready to go,” noted Sinclair.

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


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