Ontario Premier Doug Ford answers questions at the daily briefing at Queen's Park in Toronto on Tuesday June 30, 2020. THECANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Ontario is creating up to 254 more beds in hospitals and alternative health facilities in Ottawa to help protect residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Premier Doug Ford, Finance Minister Rob Phillips and Health Minister Christine Elliott visited Ottawa on Friday, one day after tabling the 2020 Ontario budget. The fiscal blueprint included $15.2 billion investment in health care.

Ontario is investing $45 million to create up to 254 more beds in Ottawa, including $16 million to build a temporary ambulatory offload space in the parking lot at the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus.

"Our government is making the necessary investments to quickly and effectively increase hospital capacity and reduce wait times for patients and families in Ottawa," said Minister Elliott. "We are ensuring our health system is able to respond to COVID-19 outbreaks and help patients waiting for surgeries and other procedures get the care they need, faster and closer to home."

The 254 total patient beds include:

  • 120 beds at the Greystone Village Retirement Home, operated by Bruyere Continuing Care;
  • 56 beds to be operated by the Queensway Carleton Hospital;
  • 39 beds and 20 ambulatory offload spaces at the Ottawa Hospital;
  • 10 beds at Montfort Hospital; and
  • Nine beds at CHEO

Last month, the Ottawa Hospital unveiled plans to build a temporary unit in the parking lot at the Civic Campus to help deal with overcrowding and ambulance offload wait times in the emergency department. 

The Emergency Department Ambulance Offload and Medicine Transition Unit facility will help increase hospital capacity and allow for efficient patient flow throughout the hospital.

Earlier in the day, Premier Ford and Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries Lisa MacLeod announced $3 million in funding for the inaugural Valour Games, a national multi-sport competition for wounded, ill and injured military personnel and veterans.

The Valour Games will be held in Ottawa in 2022.

Ford visited Ottawa on the eve of the national capital region moving out of the 28-day modified Stage 2, which imposed new restrictions on bars, restaurants, fitness centres, gyms, movie theatres and other activities.

The Ontario Government has already said Ottawa, Peel Region, York Region and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit will be placed in the restrict level starting Saturday. Under restrict level, restaurants and bars can open indoor dining rooms, while gyms and fitness centres can reopen.