Canadian Consulting Engineer

News

New hospital incorporates 19th century jail

Ground was broken on the new 680,000-sq. ft. Bridgepoint Hospital in Toronto at the end of October. The new ho...


Bridgepoint Hospital and Don Jail building, Toronto
Bridgepoint Hospital and Don Jail building, Toronto

Ground was broken on the new 680,000-sq. ft. Bridgepoint Hospital in Toronto at the end of October. The new hospital of 472 chronic care beds is on the site of an existing aging hospital building near the historic Don Jail in east Toronto, at Broadview and Gerrard Streets.

The historic jail building, which was built in 1865 and closed in 1977, is to be preserved and restored as the hospital’s administrative centre. (There is an adjoining modern jail that will continue operating on a temporary basis.)The architectural focus of the historic jail is a rotunda, which has a glass floor and a skylight that had been covered over but are being exposed to allow natural light in again. Wrought iron gargoyles support second level walkways around the circumference of the rotunda.

A group of cells in the prison basement, and the gallows, will be retained in their original state for historical purposes.

The new hospital building will be a 10-storey facility designed for LEED certification, with lots of natural light, an in-ground therapy pool and extensive public areas. Patients will be those living with complex chronic diseases such as advanced diabetes, brain injury, MS and HIV/AIDS.

The design team for the Bridgepoint Hospital project is Plenary Group, HDR Architects/Diamond Schmitt (architects), +VG Architects and The Ventin Group (heritage),  Halsall & Associates (structural and LEED), Smith & Andersen (mechanical), A.M. Candaras Associates (civil), Read Voorhees (traffic), Leber Rubes (code), J.E. Coulter (acoustical), MBTW Group (landscape). PCL Constructors and Johnson Controls are also involved.