Former Hospital Site FAQ

Background

The Former Hospital Site Project is about the town working with our community partners to create a vibrant new community centre, park, and potential future housing to meet the needs of Oakville residents. The Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) has also brought forward the concept of a community health hub.

The former site of the Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH) was part of the town's overall South Central Public Lands Study (SCPLS) which reviewed a number of key sites owned by the town in south central Oakville (e.g. surplus school sites, Oakville Arena) and made recommendations about their future use, including recreation uses.

An overall concept for the redevelopment of the hospital lands was endorsed in principle by Council on April 8, 2013. This concept recognized that a final plan could not be completed until the town took ownership of the site and completed all the required environmental, heritage, building condition and detailed land use studies.

The town took possession of the site in April, 2016.

The town is committed to engaging with residents and other stakeholders throughout the redevelopment process. 

The former hospital site consists of lands on the south side of Macdonald Road between Reynolds Street and Allan Street. The property includes the existing hospital building and the Wyndham Manor Long Term Care Centre.

Studies

Since taking possession in April, 2016, the town has worked to understand the site. Many in-depth studies of the buildings and the land have been completed. The town has studied all aspects of the demolition, including:

  • Designated Substances Survey
  • Noise Strategy
  • Vibration Strategy
  • Dust Strategy
  • Environmental Site Assessments
  • Parking Study

Learn more about the Former Hospital Site demolition and remediation.

The town has also commissioned a number of studies to prepare to develop a new community centre and park; these study topics include:

  • Bird habitat
  • Parking garage
  • Former high school
  • Former Brantwood School site

Learn more about the Former Hospital Site Community Centre and neighbourhood park.

The South Central Public Lands Study provided the town with an overall concept for the redevelopment of the former hospital site, including a new community centre, park, potential housing and medical uses. This concept was approved in principle by Council in (2013) but recognized that a final plan could not be completed until the town took ownership of the site and completed the required environmental, heritage, building condition and detailed land use studies.

Demolition and remediation

Demolition is scheduled to take place summer, 2017. The community will be engaged in discussions about demolition and site remediation plan(s) in early 2017. For more information visit the Former Hospital Site project timeline page.

The well-being of residents and visitors to Oakville is very important to the town. Therefore, the town is committed to minimizing the impacts of demolition on and around the former hospital site. Studies are underway to examine methods to mitigate disturbances due to dust, noise and traffic due to demolition construction. Questions and concerns may be directed to formerhospitalsite@oakville.ca and responses will be posted on this site for all residents.

Will you ensure that only the quietest equipment is used? Will fans be silenced, and compressors, pumps, etc. enclosed? How will this be enforced?

The project specifications require that the contractor’s operations comply with the town’s by-laws and the MOECC standards relating to noise from construction activities. The contractor will provide a list of his equipment for the town’s demolition consultant to review for compliance. Fans, compressors and pumps produce lower noise levels than the major demolition equipment and will be placed around the site so as to minimize their cumulative impact on the overall sound level. If silencers or enclosures are required to achieve compliance, they will be installed by the contractor. As noted above, the town’s consultant will periodically take sound measurements to ensure compliance.

Do you have a requirement for the type of backup alarms used on site for trucks and heavy equipment? Will you mandate the use of the quieter broadband alarms?

The demolition contractor will be required to use broadband reverse alarms on all large trucks and heavy equipment. With respect to sound levels, our project specifications require that the contractor’s back up alarms comply with the town’s by-laws as well as the most current Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) and Ministry of Labour (MOL) standards. In addition, our planned truck route provides a one-way route through the site, which will reduce the amount of travel in reverse.

What is the anticipated noise level in excess of the existing ambient noise level?

The current ambient sound level experienced in the neighbourhood is equivalent to low city traffic noise (50 dBA – 60 dBA). At times, depending on the activity, the sound levels expected during demolition may be similar to highway traffic (70 dBA – 80 dBA) but this will decrease the further away you are from the source.

Without using any mitigation measures, the expected sound levels modelled by the consultant are below the MOECC guidelines for construction noise. The general contractor will develop a noise management plan to meet best management practices. The town’s consultant will periodically take sound measurements to ensure compliance. See the Noise Strategy fact sheet for details

Will you keep vehicles from assembling and idling on nearby streets prior to 7 a.m.?

The contractor will not be allowed to idle on the street prior to 7 a.m.

This fall, in an effort to preserve our tree canopy, staff from the town’s Parks and Open Space department has removed and replanted approximately eight trees (4 inches to 7 inches in diameter) within the fenced in area of the former hospital lands and replanting them in various town parks. This is to prepare for demolition activities in 2017. They also removed some landscaping rocks from the site to be used elsewhere. New trees will be planted on the grounds following the construction of the new community centre.

Please review the former hospital site tree removal map (pdf) that indicates which trees at the former hospital site have been removed and replanted.

The town is committed to safe, equitable and adequate parking in all communities. New parking restrictions have been implemented in the area around the former hospital site; this allows for parking on both sides of the street, where space permits. This option distributes on-street parking more equitably throughout the neighbourhood and is consistent with on-street parking in other parts of Oakville.

Future parking restrictions may apply during the demolition and redevelopment phases at the former hospital site. Any changes will be discussed with, and communicated to, the community.

To demolish and redevelop the former hospital site, trucks will require access to the facility. As the planning continues, the town is committed to informing residents about access plans and any potential changes to traffic patterns or volume. Maps will be posted to the project website.

The town is committed to working to protect the habitat of chimney swifts, a threatened bird species, during the redevelopment of the former hospital site. Each summer, a colony of about 150 of the birds occupy the four triple-flue chimneys of the former Oakville Trafalgar High School (OTHS). Under the Endangered Species Act, the town will be required to maintain or replace existing chimney swift habitat as part of the redevelopment of the former hospital site. Staff provided a memo to Council on November 23, 2016 about the importance of maintaining and replacing the habitat of chimney swifts.

For safety reasons, there will be no pedestrian access, or unauthorized entry, to the former hospital site.  The hoarding (large fencing) around the site will remain to secure the site.

Unfortunately we cannot allow members of the public to access the site to remove building materials/plants/shrubs.

The town has removed all the trees on the site that can be saved and transplanted them.  The remaining trees cannot be moved due to their size or they are rooted within asphalt or other hard surface or they are interspersed as a clump and transplanting a single species is not feasible.  With respect to small trees, shrubs and perennials these will stay in place where possible but it will be dependent on the contractors work plan and site mobilization.  The existing driveways and parking areas along with patio stones / boulders  will remain in place to help control dust during the demolition and afterwards until the site is developed.

The town’s Purchasing by-law is explicit in how to deal with surplus assets and allows only for donation to a non-profit agency, recycling, sale through auction or trade-in (or salvage) as part of a tender.  We  are setting aside 1,000 bricks from the maternity ward to give to the Oakville Hospital Foundation to use for their fundraising.

The town has retained a consultant who is experienced in the demolition of hospitals in an urban setting. Mechanical demolition results in the least noise and vibration, and is the recommended and most commonly used demolition method in urban areas today. Mechanical demolition involves the use of various specialized, mechanized tools and equipment, including backhoes/excavators, concrete crushers, loaders and excavator-mounted attachments such as shears and hoe ram hammers. 

We will not be blasting or using a wrecking ball. Blasting is not considered appropriate or safe for a dense neighborhood due to concerns about flying debris and dust, and is generally recommended for non-urban areas. We must also be very sensitive to the effects of vibration due to the number of century homes in the area, and blasting results in the most vibration.

The most common construction hoarding or fencing is 2.4 meters high (8 feet). The consultant has determined that a 3m high (just under 10 feet) solid wood fence will mitigate the noise levels at the perimeter, and that going higher than 3m at the perimeter will not significantly affect sound levels.  The noise levels measured at the perimeter of the site must comply with the MOECC regulations. The barrier around the concrete crushing operation will be five meters (5m) high (about 16½ feet), because the closer a barrier is to the source, the more effective it is.

Community centre and neighbourhood park

The new community centre is currently scheduled to open in fall 2020. Please refer to the Former Hospital Site Project timeline page for more information.

Members of the public were invited to participate in one of two consultation sessions on December 1, 2016 to provide input into the new community centre proposed for the site. As part of the town’s Parks, Recreation and Library Facilities Master Plan, the proposed amenities of the community centre include an indoor pool (to replace Centennial Pool), gymnasium, youth space, active living space, multi-purpose space and community rooms. The meeting focused on confirming these amenities prior to the start of design in 2017.

The town is committed to developing a neighbourhood park, including greenspace, on the site of the former hospital. The community will be engaged in discussions about park amenities and size during the public consultation process related to the new community centre in 2017.

Potential residential development

The town first needs to determine the appropriate location for the new community centre and park to determine what lands remain for other uses.

The Livable Oakville Plan (2009) identifies the former hospital site as a Potential Residential Redevelopment Area. Options for the future use of the site were evaluated through the South Central Public Lands Study (2012-2013). At the conclusion of that study in April 2013, an overall redevelopment concept was endorsed in principle by Council. The concept included a new community centre and park on the southern portion of the site, and a mix of potential residential and medical uses on the northern portion (e.g., detached dwellings, townhouses and four-storey apartments).

Once the land needs for the town facilities on the site are finalized, consultation will resume regarding potential residential opportunities on any residual lands and an evaluation of the overall concept from 2013.

Any plan for potential housing will go through a rigorous planning process, including opportunities for public input.

The financing strategy for the former hospital site was developed in 2014. At that time, the Project was funded from the town’s capital reserve and the development charges reserve was dedicated to funding the community centre (to the extent possible).

A municipal capital reserve is a type of account that is used to pay for long-term investment projects or other large, future expenses.

Development charges are fees collected from developers to help pay for the cost of infrastructure required to provide municipal services to new development, such as roads, transit, water and sewer infrastructure, and community centres.

The redevelopment of the hospital site - including the demolition of the hospital and the construction of a new community centre - was classified as a “Community Enhancement.”

The funding strategy, approved by Council, indicates that “…in the later years capital reserves have been used as the primary source of interim funding for the Community Enhancement projects.  The sale of surplus residual land is intended to replenish funding utilized from the reserve.”  The funding strategy has not changed since 2014; therefore, if the site is determined to be appropriate for residential housing, the town would sell the residual lands (i.e., those lands not used for a community centre or park).  The revenue from the sale would then go back to replenish the capital reserve.  This strategy is one way to ensure sufficient funding for other large, long term projects across the town in the future.

Health care

The Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) has indicated its interest in creating a community health hub that would meet the needs of the community. LHIN is conducting a health assessment of the area in partnership with the Region, Chief Medical Officer and the town. The results of the study will inform their strategic directions with respect to health and wellness programming locally.

The Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) is a not-for-profit organization responsible for planning, integrating and funding local health services in and around Oakville. You can learn more by visiting the Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network website

LHIN is conducting a health assessment of the area in partnership with the Region, Chief Medical Officer and the town. The results of the study will inform their strategic directions with respect to health and wellness programming locally.

The following work has already been completed:

  • A Memorandum of Understanding has been established between the Town of Oakville and the Mississauga Halton LHIN to guide collaborative planning.
  • A joint planning committee has been established with representatives from the Town of Oakville, the Region of Halton and the LHIN.
  • A third party has been engaged to complete the health needs study.
  • The scope of the health needs study was informed through consultation and feedback from a variety of sources including local committees and includes:
    • Assessment of current and future demand of primary health care services, using a health equity approach;
    • An analysis of key primary health care utilization indicators;
    • Engagement of key stakeholders, including our partners, residents and primary care providers; and
    • A report that summarizes the options for health care and wellness services.
  • With the services of the Kerr Street Seniors Centre moving to its new location at the Trafalgar Park site, the town and the LHIN are exploring the possibility of the LHIN leasing the vacated space to provide additional services for seniors.

Community engagement

The town has hosted three open houses about the former hospital site, and a specific consultation session about the future community centre.  Summaries of each session are included below:

Open House – December 1, 2016

The town hosted an open house on Thursday, December 1, 2016 to discuss progress made on the five-year redevelopment plans (2015 to 2020). Approximately 140 residents attended the session at Town Hall. Representatives from the Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) were also present to answer questions and receive feedback.

At the open house, the town shared the following information:

  • Updated schedule, as of December 1, 2016;
  • Display panels, fact sheets and Frequently Asked Questions.

Comments from the open house were recorded, and have been taken into consideration for future planning; questions have been incorporated into this version of the FAQs.

Public Consultation (Community Centre) – December 1, 2016

A new community centre is proposed for the former hospital site.  Town staff invited members of the public to discuss proposed amenities at two public consultation sessions on December 1, 2016.

Comments from the session were recorded, and have been taken into consideration for future planning; questions have been incorporated into this version of the FAQs.

Open House – June 22, 2016

On-street parking restrictions were added to the area around the former hospital site in 2011 to discourage hospital-related traffic and parking in neighbourhood. Once the hospital relocated, the town reviewed the “no parking” areas to determine if they were still appropriate. At the open house, staff updated residents on the project and asked for input on the alternative solutions presented.

Open House – November 25, 2016

The town shared information about the work we were planning to undertake over the next five years as part of the Former Hospital Site Project. The project is rolling out in three phases:

  • Phase 1: Securing the Site – December 2015 - April 2016 (Complete; the town now owns the site)
  • Phase 2: Understanding the Site – 2016-2017 (Underway; the town is completing numerous preparatory studies and working to understand the community’s perspective on future uses)
  • Phase 3: Reinventing the Site – 2017-2020

The town is committed to engaging residents and stakeholders at all stages during the planning, demolition and redevelopment of the former hospital site. Please refer to the  Former Hospital Site project timeline for more information about opportunities to become engaged in the process.

Contact

The town will update this set of Frequently Asked Questions as the project progresses. You can also sign up for the town's e-newsletter email list.

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