The Ottawa Hospital is asking the city of Ottawa to contribute $150 million for the development of its new state-of-the-art Civic Campus.

A report for the city’s finance and economic development committee meeting on May 3 says the Ottawa Hospital has requested a "one-time municipal local share contribution" of up to $150 million to support the new $2.8-billion hospital development near Dow's Lake.

Staff are proposing the establishment of a "financial framework and guiding principles framework" to provide staff with a "high-level roadmap" to explore options to support the Ottawa Hospital project and report back to council during the next term.

The four guiding principles" to support the work and recommendations are:

  • Minimal to no financial burden to the taxpayers of Ottawa
  • No redirection of existing and committed operating or capital budget dollars to the municipal local share
  • The exploration of one time or unique financial options that are time specific and context precise
  • Supports the city’s climate change goals and community sustainability.

The report says the "minimal to no burden to the taxpayers" means not increasing property taxes and ensuring the city maintains tax increases as approved by council.

Staff say there are multiple "unique-to-Ottawa opportunities" to be explored to support the hospital, including the parking garage lease renewal at the Ottawa Hospital General Campus, development opportunities at the existing Civic Campus and the treatment of development charges for "off-site capital" projects.

"Other opportunities for exploration include special one-time contributions and potential partnership opportunities," the report says.

One opportunity being explored is a "special area development charge" that would allow the city to complete the off-site work, funded 90 per cent through development charges.

Since amalgamation, the city has never contributed cash for the local share of hospital construction.

The price tag for the new Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus is $2.8 billion. Earlier this week, the Ottawa Hospital Foundation launched a $500-million fundraising campaign to support the project..

The Ontario government will cover 90 per cent of the cost of the new Civic Campus, with the Ottawa Hospital Foundation and the hospital required to pay for the remaining costs of the new hospital.

Staff say other Ontario municipalities have made voluntary contributions to the local cost shares of new community hospitals. The County of Essex contributed $100 million to the new Windsor-Essex Hospital System through a dedicated reserve funded from annual tax contribution. Halton Region contributed $94 million in road and sewer work for the new Milton District Hospital.

The city of Ottawa's $150 million contribution would not be required until substantial completion of the new hospital in 2028.