Ontario breaks ground on new long-term care home in Toronto

Ontario Premier Doug Ford listens as Finance Minister Rod Phillips speaks at a news conference at the Ontario Legislature in Toronto on Monday March 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Ontario announced the groundbreaking of a new long-term care home in Toronto on Thursday afternoon.

Runnymede Long-Term Care home, located near Dundas Street and Runnymede Road, is expected to be completed in 2021 and will create 200 new spaces for seniors.

Premier Doug Ford was present at the groundbreaking of the facility, as was Minister of Long-Term Care Rod Phillips.

“This home will be state of the art and built to modern designs that will help prevent and contain infectious diseases, ensuring residents have access to the care they need in a safe and secure environment,” the premier said.

The new facility is expected to be fully air conditioned, Phillips said, and will provide “state of the art comfort and care.”

Ford promised in July 2020 to make air conditioning mandatory in long-term care homes after families complained that seniors were stick in their rooms in 30 degree heat.

In May of this year, the province said that about 60 per cent of homes in Ontario are fully air conditioned, including resident rooms. An additional 23 per cent of homes are working towards being fully air conditioned.

Runnymede Long-Term Care home is part of the government’s promise to deliver 30,000 new spaces in long-term care in the next decade.

Phillips told reporters Thursday that the government was “making progress “ on this goal.

“To date, we have over 20,000 new beds and over 15,000 upgraded beds in development,” he said. “That’s more than 60 per cent of our goal.”