Ottawa Hospital Foundation launches $500 million fundraiser for new Civic Campus
The Ottawa Hospital Foundation is launching an ambitious fundraising campaign, seeking $500 million to help build the new Civic Campus and improve health care in the city.
The foundation says the fundraiser, known as the "Campaign to Create Tomorrow", is the largest fundraising campaign in Ottawa history.
"With the launch of the largest fundraising campaign in Ottawa's history, each of us can be part of a moment that future citizens of our community will someday look back on and realize, together, we revolutionized health care for generations to come," said Tim Kluke, president and CEO of the Ottawa Hospital Foundation. "Our donors and volunteers have enthusiastically embraced this special moment in time, as this campaign supports one of the most important community legacy projects of our lifetime."
The fundraiser will help cover some of the costs for the new campus project, as well as other initiatives at the Ottawa Hospital, including:
- pushing health-care research and discoveries to the very top tier in the world;
- ushering in the most advanced digital technology, including the largest data analytics platform in the country; and
- further strengthening critical services from complex lifesaving surgeries to expertise in neurosurgery to remaining one of the largest and best-equipped regional cancer treatment centres.
The new Civic Campus near Dow's Lake is projected to cost $2.8 billion, with the Ministry of Health funding $2.1 billion of that. The remaining costs are expected to be covered through fundraising and other revenue streams.
The fundraiser kicked off with a $25 million donation from the shareholders of the Minto Group, touted as the single larged health-care donation in Ottawa's history. Executive Chairman Roger Greenberg was made the chair of the "Campaign to Create Tomorrow" and said he, his five siblings, and his cousin were proud to be part of the campaign.
"It is an incredible opportunity we've been given to help so many through our philanthropy," Greenberg said. "We, along with the generosity of so many others, will completely transform how our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren living in the Greater Ottawa area will be cared for. No one else will do this for us. It's our turn. It's our time."
Greenberg told CTV News his family has a strong connection with the Ottawa Hospital.
"Our parents were born there, all of my siblings and I were born there, two of my three children were born there. We have a strong, long-term family connection with the Civic," he said. "I think health care is a number one cause. If you don't have your health, you don't have anything."
Greenberg said he believes the people of Ottawa will come through to help fund the new hospital and the fundraiser is already well on its way.
"It's an extraordinary amount of money but I think we have a community that's caring, that appreciates the need to share in their good fortune. We're going to get gifts from $5,000 all the way up to millions of dollars," he said. "We've already raised $216 million in what I call the quiet stage of the campaign and I'm convinced there are lots and lots of donors that we've not reached out to yet and we'll reach our goal."
One of the biggest advantages the new campus would have, Greenberg said, is the ability to provide each patient their own room.
"Right now, most of the beds at the Civic are double, triple or quadruple beds and it's just not a great way to help people recover when they've had major surgeries and especially with the pandemic, we've seen the importance of being able to isolate people from others so as not to increase infection," he said.
The new 50-acre campus has been the subject of intense scrutiny since its location was announced, with some neighbouring residents opposed to the site plan, which includes a four-storey parking garage.
Finding a new home for the nearly century-old Civic has been controversial. In 2015, the newly-elected federal Liberal government decided to revisit the plan by the former Conservative government to build the new site on Experimental Farm land directly across from the old one on Carling Avenue. The NCC had recommended building the new campus at Tunney's Pasture, but the Ottawa Hospital Board unanimously rejected that idea.
The site plan for the new campus near Dow's Lake was unveiled in May 2021 and has been approved by city council.
Construction on the massive project is slated to begin in 2024.