Ottawa Hospital gets Experimental Farm land for new Civic campus
A new landmark deal could have the Ottawa Hospital moving its Civic campus right across the street.
“I'm very pleased to announce that 60 acres of land will be leased to the Ottawa Hospital,” says John Baird, Minister responsible for the National Capital Commission.
The 60-acres of land are currently held by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and are part of the Central Experimental Farm.
Ottawa Hospital President Dr. Jack Kitts says 14 different locations had been considered but being so close to its current location only makes sense.
“This is the best location for the citizens of Ottawa to all have the best access to it,” says Dr. Kitts.
The price doesn’t hurt either. Baird announced the land will be leased to the Ottawa Hospital for a dollar per year.
The century-old building on the Civic campus has undergone many rounds of repairs and renovations. Dr. Kitts saying it was approaching an age when it no longer made sense.
“This one is significantly older so the best value is to build anew. So we would build on the green field, the land that was just transferred to us and this would cease to exist,” he says.
Dr. Kitts vision of the hospital doesn’t necessarily mean it will be bigger. The state-of-the-art teaching facility will offer each patient an individual room and bathroom to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. He says he also sees the hospital being more focused on only the sickest, most complex cases.
Eric Jones of Friends of the Central Experimental Farm says his organization was surprised by the announcement. Jones say there is more to the value of the land than just real estate. The group will be speaking with community partners about the issue, next week.
A new hospital could cost upwards of $3 billion and takes more than a decade to build.
Baird was clear that while the land transfer is a first step, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to get the appropriate funding in place.
With a report from CTV’s John Hua