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In December 2019, Trillium Health Partners (THP) announced the 2180 Speakman Drive site as the future home of a new health centre (long-term care, residential hospice and health services building). Since the announcement, THP has hosted more than 10 engagement sessions for the community, local businesses and the closest neighbours impacted by the building of the two new long-term care (LTC) homes.

These sessions have helped to build a two-way conversation on the development of the LTC homes, and create opportunities to hear the questions, concerns and suggestions from the community. This feedback is important to the planning and development of these homes. Key partners involved in the engagement include: Heart House Hospice, Infrastructure Ontario, Province of Ontario, City of Mississauga, Ellis Don (construction), Montgomery Sisam (architects), and Vertechs Design (landscape architects).

Engagement sessions have included an overview of the urgent need for LTC and hospital capacity in Mississauga, and the importance of the relationship with local neighbours and the community THP serves. Some of the primary feedback has included: operation of the LTC homes; access for the community; building and site design; construction schedule and impact; and the impact of the LTC homes on traffic and parking once they are open.

The following ‘frequently asked questions’ (FAQs) highlight the information shared at engagement sessions, and the key questions and concerns raised by the community.

New Health Centre in Mississauga & Growing Need for Long-Term Care (LTC)

Located at 2180 Speakman Drive in Mississauga, a new health centre is being developed, which will house a broad range of services for seniors and caregivers. The first phase includes building two long-term care (LTC) homes, which will address the current lack of access to LTC in this community, and create much-needed capacity in hospitals where many patients wait for LTC placement. Future phases of the health centre include a residential hospice (built and operated by Heart House Hospice) and a health services building that will offer a suite of medical services (yet to be determined).

Project partners include: THP, Heart House Hospice, Infrastructure Ontario, Province of Ontario, City of Mississauga, Partners Community Health (LTC home operators), EllisDon (construction), Montgomery Sisam (architects), and Vertechs Design (landscapearchitects).

The hospital looked at more than 100 properties across Mississauga, and a number of factors were considered in the decision about where to locate the new health centre, including compatibility with surrounding uses, community needs, size of site and dimensions, cost, etc.

The property at 2180 Speakman Drive was selected due to:

  • Location - South Mississauga has the oldest population/highest concentration of seniors and demand will continue to grow in the area for health care services.
  • The opportunity to provide community-based services in an area where THP does not currently have health services.
  • Conveniently located near the QEW.
  • Proximity to the Mississauga Hospital (10 minutes) and Credit Valley Hospital (11 minutes) palliative physicians (CVH will be clinical lead physicians at the residential hospice).
  • Benefit of having the health centre close to parkland and in a residential area, so that people in south Mississauga have the opportunity to age and receive care in their own community, in a more home-like and community setting
  • Affordability.

The original announcement in 2019 was for one 220 bed LTC home. In July 2020, the Ontario Government announced this build under Ontario’s ‘Accelerated Build Pilot Program’ – a project focused on building safe, dignified long-term care in an expedient manner, in communities that need it most. As a result of this announcement, and the increased scope to the project, it is now two LTC homes with 632 beds. This program is designed to address the current lack of access to LTC in this community and add capacity in hospitals where many patients are awaiting LTC placement.

Mississauga has 20% fewer LTC beds per capita than the provincial average. As of August 2019, there were 4,560 people on the wait list for placement in LTC homes in Mississauga, and the average wait time is 26% longer than the provincial average. Trillium Health Partners (THP) alone has an average of 90 patients per day waiting for placement in an LTC home. These homes will help address the lack of LTC access in our community.

These new homes will allow for faster access to LTC for the people of Mississauga, and will relieve capacity pressures at THP’s hospital sites by providing patients and the community access to the health care services they need, in the most appropriate place, and within their own community.

Services, Operation, and Placement at Speakman Drive Long-Term Care (LTC) Homes

In addition to providing residential LTC, the homes will also include programs that allow people to receive the care they need close to home, including:

  • two units specially designed to safely care for people who live with advanced dementia (Behavioural Support Units);
  • a day program for older adults who require regular enrolment in activities and services focused on maintaining their independence in order to prevent or delay the need for hospital or LTC;
  • a dialysis program for LTC residents and members of the community living with chronic kidney disease;
  • virtual models of care will be used to connect the homes’ primary care model to hospital specialists at Trillium Health Partners, increasing the quality of resident care.

The LTC homes will be run by Partners Community Health, a new not-for-profit organization focused on bringing health care services together around the needs of people living in Mississauga and West Toronto.

Partners Community Health will determine the name for the LTC homes. More information will be shared in the coming months.

Currently, we expect there to be approximately 800 roles related to these LTC homes, and there will be three clinical shifts a day. This is a current estimate only, and we will ensure more information is shared when it is available.

People interested in seeking placements in the LTC homes will go through the same process for all LTC in Ontario, which is set by the Province. It includes an assessment to determine eligibility for LTC, selecting up to five homes of interest, and placement depending on availability. The Province identifies those in certain communities and individuals coming out of hospital as having priority access to certain LTC homes. Living in close proximity to an LTC home does not mean a request will be accepted to a particular home. There is not a confirmed date for when people can begin selecting Speakman LTC homes as a preferred choice, but we will share this information as soon as it is available.

Currently, there is no projected “move-in date” but we can confirm that construction on the homes is expected to be completed in spring 2022. Following completion, resident move-in will be phased in throughout 2022.

Design of Speakman LTC Homes

Ensuring that residents feel at home is important to us, and has been a priority in the design of the homes. One key feature is the access to natural light, which supports overall wellbeing, and each floor will have bright spaces with access to daylight. Additionally, we want to ensure residents feel comfortable in their spaces so all rooms will be private. In the overall design, each of the five residential floors in both homes will have:

  • A lounge area for residents to interact with other residents, family and visitors;
  • Terraces overlooking landscaping and gardens;
  • Space to deliver therapeutic programs and activities;
  • Dedicated facilities for housekeeping, laundry and storage to foster a safe and clean environment.

By design, the new LTC homes will incorporate features that support infection prevention and control practices. Design with adequate spacing is important which is why all of the rooms will be private or semi-private (the only shared element is a bathroom in the semi-private rooms), and there will be additional spaces to act as “separate areas” should the LTC require a flexible space. Additionally, there will be laundry available on all floors – so residents have access to it daily, while linens will be handled by the LTC staff to guarantee proper cleaning and sanitation. Design is important, but it is the practice, models and standards of care that maintain a high-level of infection prevention and control. The homes will also act in accordance with Ministry and Public Health regulations and guidance for infection prevention and control practices (including outbreak declaration and lock downs).

The majority of the build for the LTC homes is being done using modular construction, which enables building components to be substantially pre-fabricated at an off-site facility into near-complete rooms. This process allows for improved safety, reduced risk and site disruption, accelerated construction schedules and minimized waste.

The LTC homes will be approximately 475,000 square feet, and each home will be six storeys tall.

All rooms in the LTC homes are either private or semi-private (which could be used as spousal rooms) which is important for wellbeing, and for health and infection prevention (the only shared element is a bathroom in the semi-private rooms). The square footage of the private room bedroom area is 145 square feet, and the semi-private bedroom area is 135 square feet – both above the minimum requirement of 130 square feet for LTC homes.

Yes, all resident rooms will have A/C. Additionally, both LTC homes are being built with enhancements to HVAC including capability for 100% fresh air supply.

The LTC homes have integrated gardens and outdoor courtyard spaces for residents to enjoy, as well as terraces overlooking landscaping and gardens. In addition, the site plan includes open green space that can be enjoyed by residents, loved ones and the neighbourhood.

Construction of LTC Homes on Speakman Drive

Construction began in January 2021 and is estimated to be ongoing until spring 2022.

While the majority of construction is scheduled to take place during the day between 7am and 7pm from Monday to Friday, there will be some instances where work needs to be done outside of this timeframe. For example: a series of concrete pours needs to take place throughout the duration of the project and in these scenarios work will to continue from start to finish. Due to this, work for these activities is estimated to take place from 7am to 7am the following morning. In order to stay on schedule for this project, construction activities may also take place on Saturdays and the majority of work that needs to be done on a Saturday will also occur between 7am-7pm.

We acknowledge the frustration, inconvenience and disruption associated with the nearby construction. Throughout the building of the LTC homes, impacts may include: noise, vibration, and dust. We continue to work with our project partners to ensure these impacts are being managed and mitigated wherever possible. Neighbouring homes will not be compromised by construction, as the construction site perimeter is not close enough to impact foundations. There may be vibration or noise, but nothing that will impact or damage the structure of homes.

A six foot screening fence was installed to help minimize the visibility of site lighting and vehicle headlights entering the site. Throughout construction, the team continues to mitigate wherever possible – and consider where lighting should be set up along the perimeter of the property to limit the impact on neighbouring homes.

EllisDon will do its best to control dust throughout the construction period. A dust suppression plan is in place which is done on a daily basis, multiple times throughout the day. A water truck (dust control vehicle) spreads water in areas with dust, and tasks – such as base coat paving – are scheduled to be completed as quickly as possible to reduce the dust impact.

Traffic, Parking and Security at LTC Homes

In terms of future traffic volumes, generally LTC homes are not high generators of traffic. Many of the residents do not drive, so the majority of traffic is from staff and visitors. Additionally, a traffic study was conducted of the anticipated traffic routes to and from the homes, and indicates that there could be an approximate delay at these intersections (at traffic lights) between 0 and 7 seconds.

Yes, there will be a pay-for-parking model at the LTC homes. We acknowledge the frustration some people feel about paying for parking but, when the LTC homes open, we want to make sure the homes are sustainable. We need to ensure funds are available to maintain the homes. Pay parking will generate a main source of funds for repairs that are otherwise not funded, which will be re-invested into the LTC homes (for things such as plumbing, interior and exterior paint touch ups, chair lifts needed by residents, and equipment repairs). Specifics of this parking model are still to be determined and more information will be shared when available.

During the planning stage, the team reviewed traffic study information and estimated that 70% of parking at the LTC homes will be staff, and 30% will be visitors. Based on this, we reviewed the municipal requirement for long-term care which is 200 spots, but we chose to build 300 spots to ensure flexibility.

The concern about people parking on local side streets to avoid paid parking has been raised by local residents and shared with City Councillor Karen Ras. To continue ongoing conversations, Councillor Ras’s office plans to send out a survey in the coming months to gather feedback on the parking matter. As a municipal issue, there are opportunities to explore how to manage this concern if it becomes an issue for the neighbouring streets (e.g. permit parking) in the future.

Similar to other care facilities, security will be a requirement for this property and will help address the concern for safety. Outdoor lighting will be installed on the campus grounds for safety, security and ambience. Based on a lighting level study, as part of the site plan application, it ensures that the site will have adequate lighting for safety without trespassing, or spilling, beyond the property lines. The site lighting design will not cause any light dissipation at night beyond the property boundaries, which is a requirement by the City for any new developments. The selected lighting fixtures ensure that light is directed down to the ground rather than spilling into the sky or into neighbouring homes.

Yes, we are planning how and what community members will have access to (services, facilities, and outdoor green space). There will be a pedestrian walkway along the east side of the property for local area residents to use. It is important to us that the LTC homes are well integrated with the community and that access is well balanced with security. We will share more information as it becomes available.