Province announces $55M to upgrade, expand North Bay long-term care home

The Ontario government is redeveloping and expanding Water’s Edge Care Community, a long-term care home in North Bay.

The long-term care home will get a $55 million upgrade, including 12 new and 148 redeveloped and modern long-term care spaces in North Bay.

"This project will see a brand new facility built on another site in North Bay and is expected to open in spring 2023," the province said in a news release Monday.

Elaine Lebold, president of the Waters Edge residents' association, said the project is welcome news.

"Our building is old and it does need a lot of repairs," Lebold said. "We're so happy to hear it's finally being built today."

The project is part of more than 20,000 new and 15,000 upgraded spaces that are in development.

"Long-term care was ignored and now we're pouring money into long-term care," Ontario Premier Doug Ford told reporters. "It's a $55 million project and we're investing $4.9 billion right across the province."

“This government is repairing and rebuilding Ontario’s long-term care sector after decades of neglect,” Rod Phillips, Minister of Long-Term Care, said in the release.

“That is why we are investing in projects like Water’s Edge Care Community and making good on our plan to build 30,000 new long-term care spaces in 10 years.”

The province has a $2.68 billion, 10-year plan for the delivery of 30,000 safe, modern, comfortable spaces for seniors in care homes.

"The new Water’s Edge Care Community facility is great news for seniors and their families in our community,” Vic Fedeli, MPP for Nipissing, said in the release. “It is just one example of how our government is investing in the infrastructure, people and services needed to ensure long-term care residents in Nipissing receive the care they need in a safe, modern place they can call home.”

“It is both a great privilege and great responsibility to care for and serve Canada’s seniors, ensuring they live with the utmost comfort, dignity and respect,” Nitin Jain, Sienna president and CEO, said in the release.

“Sienna has been working hard to ensure this new site will be a great resource and community asset to the people of North Bay. My thanks to the Government of Ontario and to the City of North Bay for all their work and support on this project. We wouldn’t be here today without them.”

Ontario now has 20,161 new and 15,918 upgraded spaces in the development pipeline. As of February 2021, more than 40,000 people were on the waitlist to access a long-term care bed in Ontario. The average wait time is 147 days for residents currently living in community settings.

The premier said the announcement is part of the province's commitment to hire 27,000 PSWs, registered nurses and extra support staff across the province.

"We will provide four hours of daily direct care making Ontario a leader of long-term care in North America," Ford said.

-- Files from Eric Taschner