With project costs anticipated in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and substantial multi-year economic spin-off benefits boosting employment and community growth, the City of Orillia and Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital have a shared interest in planning toward construction of a new hospital in Orillia over the next decade, followed by redevelopment of the existing Hospital site.
Fresh off a consultant’s report detailing the Hospital’s significant economic benefit to the community, presented to City Council on Monday, the City and the Hospital remain committed to moving the project forward.
“The economic benefit of having a modernized hospital in our city is undisputable,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “We know that a new hospital in Orillia is important to the OSMH Board of Directors in order to align the hospital with the Province’s new model for delivering health care and meet growing patient care needs. It will also impact future development patterns, travel behaviors and spin-off benefits to Orillia. This report provides the City and the Hospital with valuable information as we continue to move forward together on this very important project.”
One element of the consultant’s report identifies the potential economic spin-off benefits of remediating and developing brownfield sites, similar to the where the City is constructing its new recreation centre.
“When it comes time to consider potential sites, the more options we have on the table, the better,” said Carmine Stumpo, OSMH President and CEO.
“I want to commend the City for commissioning this report. It provides insight that we can draw upon throughout our planning process.”
The City and the Hospital both recognize the multiplier effect that a project of this magnitude creates through multiple years of planning and construction of a new hospital, followed by redevelopment of the existing site.
“This project has the potential to be the single most impactful infrastructure development for the future health and well-being of our community that the City of Orillia has ever experienced,” said Stumpo.
“We look forward to working closely with the City, the Province, our Couchiching Ontario Health Team and other community partners to turn our vision into reality.”
In 2018, the Hospital’s Board of Directors endorsed a plan to work toward building a new hospital on a different site, while repurposing the Community Tower and remainder of the existing site to address community needs.
A Stage One capital planning submission was made to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) and the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network (NSM-LHIN) in 2019.
A preferred location to build a new hospital in Orillia has not been identified.