Grimsby long-term care facility to build 128 units in Hamilton

NEWS Sep 10, 2019 by Luke Edwards  Grimsby Lincoln News
One thousand new long-term care beds are coming to 13 sites in southern Ontario, stretching from Haldimand-Norfolk and Brant County, to Hamilton and Niagara.Ontario Minister of Long-Term Care Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, joined by parliamentary assistant Effie Triantafilopoulos — as well as MPPs Sam Oosterhoff, Toby Barrett, Will Bouma and Donna Skelly — were at Shalom Manor in Grimsby Tuesday afternoon, touting the 1,000 new beds, as well as 800 upgraded beds. While the Grimsby site won’t be receiving any new beds, the announcement allows Shalom Manor to move forward with a project it and Hamilton’s Wellingstone Christian Home have planned in the Steel City.

“Seniors expect a high level of care and we’re committed to making sure that care is maintained,” said Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West, pointing to $72-million increase in this year’s budget for long-term care and today’s announcement of the new beds.

While no new beds will be coming to his riding, Oosterhoff said people of Niagara West and beyond will benefit by having new beds close to home and by hopefully relieving pressure on existing facilities.

A number of Niagara facilities are also slated to receive new or upgraded beds, and it appears they were approved under the previous Liberal government. Westhills Care Centre in St. Catharines will be getting 96 new beds and 64 upgraded beds. The Linhaven project will get 13 new beds and 226 existing will be upgraded. There will be 81 new beds and upgrades to 41 existing beds coming to the Pleasant Manor project in Virgil. Welland’s Foyer Richelieu will see 66 new beds and 62 upgraded beds, while Welland’s Royal Rose Place will get 64 new beds.

Sam Voorberg, president of Wellingstone Christian Home, said he was thrilled that they will be able to move ahead with the new project in Hamilton with Shalom Manor.

“We’re really pleased the government has now come through with this commitment,” he said.

Shalom Manor, a faith-based long-term care facility that will later this year celebrate 40 years in Grimsby, has been in talks with Wellingstone for years about an expansion project. Wellingstone, which has 125 independent living units for seniors, donated about 2.5 acres of land to Shalom to build its new long-term care facility. Shalom then acquired another two-plus acres and has plans to build a seven-storey, 128-unit facility on the Stone Church Road East site. Tuesday’s announcement means they can move forward with rezoning and building permit applications, with construction hopefully to begin soon after that two-and-a-half-year process.

They hope to be open in 2024.

All told the project is expected to cost $115 million, a major undertaking for Shalom and Wellingstone, which have a capital campaign going to raise money.

Despite the high price tag, Voorberg said the Wellingstone residents — many of whom own their homes — supported the project. He said 99.1 per cent were in favour of it.

The government committed to allocating 15,000 new beds and upgrading another 15,000 beds within the next five years, in an effort to relieve pressure on Ontario hospitals and provide better access to long-term care for the province’s seniors. Fullerton said she was confident her government is on track to hit those targets.

“You and your family want to know that you are going to find yourself in an environment that provides the highest quality of care and support in a safe and comfortable space,” she said.

Correction – Sept. 12, 2019: This article was updated to correct the cost of the Shalom Manor project.

by Luke Edwards

Luke Edwards is a reporter for Niagara this Week, covering north Niagara, and editor for Niagara Farmers’ Monthly. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.