Plans for rebuild of Lakeshore Road are shown - lots of discussion to take place on this one: road to be raised a metre in some locations.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 2, 2015


Here is the official story:

“Ontario is investing up to $371.3 million to support the construction of a new seven-storey tower at Burlington’s Joseph Brant Hospital and to significantly renovate other areas of the hospital to give patients faster access to the right care.
Through this expansion, patients in Burlington will benefit from:

Space for 172 additional beds in the new tower

Additional beds in the Intensive Care Unit

A modern emergency department and a new main entrance

Expanded diagnostic imaging services, which will provide capacity for an additional 23,745 exams per year

Nine modern operating rooms and a post-anaesthetic care unit with capacity for an additional 1,770 inpatient and day surgery cases

An expanded cancer clinic that can serve an additional 2,876 patient visits

Expanded ambulatory care programs, such as: comprehensive women’s health, children’s health, seniors health/geriatric assessment, nutrition counselling, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart function, ophthalmology, neurology, general medicine, fracture clinic, orthopaedic assessment, stroke assessment, medical day care and sexual assault clinic

An expanded and modernized laboratory to help accurately assess patients faster

A renovated Special Care Nursery for babies who need additional specialized care such as intravenous therapy or respiratory support

Hospital rendering April 2-15

City hall is apparently leaning on the hospital administration to ensure that the Tim Horton coffee shop is on the south side of the building so that the public walking along the Lakeshore and the old railway track can slip in for a double-double and a maple donut. The original plan was to have the coffee shop on the north side. Suspect that discussion isn’t over yet.

Construction at Joseph Brant Hospital is now underway and is expected to be complete in the fall of 2018.”

But there is more to this story than what the provincial government’s media release said

The building is going to be much higher than expected.

It will be well built – Ellis-Don, the company heading up the construction project has consistently done very good work. Erik Vandewall, president of the hospital is as good as they get at getting hospitals built.

He will make sure things are on time and on budget.

The budget is going to be a problem.
The $371 million dollar project will get funds from three sources: the provincial government, which is using an innovative approach to getting its share of the cost.

The city of Burlington has had to burden its tax payers with a $60 million special tax levy that threatens to become permanent – but that’s another story.

The Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation has undertaken to raise an additional $60 million.

They recently announced that they had reached the 60% level – which is very good news.

BUT – there is $10 million of that publicly raised money that might be in doubt.

Last weekend the Globe & Mail published a report on a significant shortfall in the fund raising for the Royal Ontario Museum. Burlington’s Michael Lee Chin made a generous donation – it was a pledge actually that he has not been able to honour yet.

His gift to the Joseph Brant Hospital, announced in February by the hospital foundation said:

“Together, as a community, we raised an incredible $2 million from September – December 2014, in response to the Michael Lee-Chin & Family Community Matching Challenge. As a result the Lee-Chin Family added a matching million dollars.
In September of 2014 the Foundation announced: The Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation has announced that Michael Lee-Chin and his family have made a $10 million dollar donation at its 14th annual Crystal Ball Gala.

The donation is the largest ever made in the City of Burlington and the largest made to the Joseph Brant Hospital. This gift brings the total raised for Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation’s Our New Era campaign to $37M – more than 60% of campaign goal.

In light of the Globe & Mail story – we don’t know what Lee Chin has done or has not done in terms of meeting his pledge.
Meanwhile construction plans for a rebuild of Lakeshore Road are released.

Lakeshore rebuild - first part

The road will have three lanes plus a bike path on the south side and will be between a metre and 3/4 of a metre higher than it is now. It will extend in phase one to just about the water treatment plant.

The road is going to be raised between a metre and three quarters of a metre higher when the work is completed in 2018. There will be no work done on the road rebuild while hospital construction is taking place.

The Lakeshore Road re-build will not be complete. Scott Hamilton, Manager of Design Construction for the city said the final design of the Lakeshore extension cannot be completed until we know what is going to happen to the houses in the Beachway.

The new road will be three lanes wide with a bike path as well. Some of the houses are quite close to the existing road.
While the Region has said the situation with the property on the Beachway will be bought on a willing seller/willing buyer basis – the truth is that there is only one buyer and the sellers are being squeezed out.

The real estate agents for the Region are meeting with home owner on a one-to-one basis to – as they say – point out the options the home owners have.

The city will be holding a public meeting on Tuesday to display their thinking of a park design – with and without the homes that are in place now.

It could be a very noisy building.

In the meantime Eric J. Vandewall President & CEO of the hospital has to determine just where the money to pay the bills is going to come from.

The city has been quietly collecting tax money to pay for its $60 million share. City Director of Finance Joan Ford advises that there is a tight agreement between the hospital and the city as to when city funds get handed over.

One can assume that a similar agreement exists between the hospital and the hospital foundation.

Vandewall must wonder – is the $10 million plus that Lee Chin pledged going to be available?

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2 comments to Plans for rebuild of Lakeshore Road are shown – lots of discussion to take place on this one: road to be raised a metre in some locations.

  • WarningU2

    Great article but I don’t understand what the houses far away from the hospital, have to do with road construction related to the hospital. Can you better explain in future articles. To me the houses are a separate issue, and is being tied to the hospital reconstruction as a hostage.

  • Shannon Gillies

    I’d be a lot more worried about the provincial government holding up its end of the bargain than I would be about Michael Lee-Chin holding up his.

    The province is taking an “innovate approach” to footing its share of the cost? Not sure what that involves exactly, but if it works I hope they’ll also take an “innovative approach” to tackling Ontario’s exorbitant debt which could climb to $325 billion in the next three years.

    Let’s not forget the shameful stunt Deb Matthews pulled in April 2012 with her robocalls and whirlwind visit through Halton in a nasty attempt to scare us all into voting Liberal if we wanted funding for our new hospitals to be secure.