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

The former site of the Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH) was part of the town's overall South Central Public Lands Study (SCPLS) 2013, 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 former hospital site consists of lands on the south side of Macdonald Road between Reynolds Street and Allan Street. The property includes the former hospital building and the Wyndham Manor Long Term Care Centre.

Visit the Former Hospital Site Project page to find all the background information and regular project updates

Studies

After taking possession in April, 2016, the town worked to understand the site. Many in-depth studies of the buildings and the land were completed.

The town 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 also commissioned a number of studies to prepare for the new community centre and park; these included:

  • Bird habitat
  • Parking garage
  • Former high school

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 the new community centre, park and potential housing. 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 started in summer 2017. The community was engaged in discussions about demolition and site remediation plan(s) in early 2017.

Learn more about the Former Hospital Site demolition and remediation.

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 were conducted to find ways to mitigate disturbances due to dust, noise and traffic associated with demolition construction. The contractor’s operations comply with the town’s noise and nuisance by-laws and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) and Ministry of Labour (MOL) standards.

Review the Demolition Facts Sheets on the Demolition and Remediation page to learn more.

The contractor provided 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 are 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. The town’s consultant will periodically take sound measurements to ensure compliance.

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 has a noise management plan to meet best management practices. The town’s consultant will periodically take sound measurements to ensure compliance.

The demolition contractor is 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 MOECC and 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.

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

As we move forward with the redevelopment of the overall site, the town recognizes the importance of trees to our community. While our tree plan requires the removal of trees early in the process to accommodate demolition and construction, tree replacement plans on and around the site identify more trees being planted than are being removed — all in an effort to increase the overall canopy cover on these lands. The design of the park and community centre includes almost 100 trees being planted. More trees will be planted as part of the seniors’ development and residential projects.

New parking restrictions have been implemented in the area around the former hospital site allowing 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. The town has put in place a traffic plan, and is committed to keeping residents informed about access plans and any potential changes to traffic patterns or volume.

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 neighbourhood 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.

The 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, double gym, a therapeutic warm-water pool, fitness centre and an indoor walking track.

Review the community centre and neighbourhood park page for more details

The town is developing a neighbourhood park on the site. At the end of 2017 / early 2018, residents provided feedback on design options for the park at an open house and through an online survey. A park block has been assigned a size of 0.3 to 0.5 hectares. Amenities may include a children’s playground, seating areas, horticultural beds, walkways and shade structure. Other potential amenities could include ½ basketball court or small spray pad in combination with a playground.

Potential residential development

Yes. As part of the South Central Public Lands Study, Town Council endorsed a master plan for the former hospital lands which will see a residential district in the north with townhouses and detached housing, and a seniors-oriented housing district in the south.

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.

Community engagement

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

February 8, 2018 - Town staff held an open house to provide an update on the community centre and neighbourhood park design concepts.

November 28, 2017 – An open house was held about the preliminary conceptual designs for the community centre and potential uses for the park.

October 11, 2017 – Council received proposed official plan and zoning amendments for the two sites. The statutory public meeting to discuss the amendments was held as part of this Planning and Development Council meeting.

September 28, 2017 – An open house was held to share information about what’s been done so far, and next steps.

September 28, 2017 – Public consultation sessions took place about the preliminary conceptual designs for the community centre and potential uses for the park.

June 27, 2017 – Council approved the Master Plan.

June 1, 2017 – A public meeting and workshop was held to share the Master Plan and gather feedback on land use options.

March 8, 2017 – A public consultation session took place to determine what amenities will be included in the community centre.

March 1, 2017 – An open house was held to present the demolition strategy for the former hospital and Helen Lawson buildings.

December 1, 2016 –  An open house was held to discuss progress made on the five-year redevelopment plans (2015 to 2020). Comments from the open house were recorded, and have been taken into consideration for future planning.

December 1, 2016 – Two public consultations were held to discuss proposed amenities for the new community centre at two public consultation sessions on December 1, 2016.

June 22, 2016 – An open house was held to discuss on-street parking restrictions that were added to the area around the former hospital site.

November 25, 2016 – An open house was held to share information about what would be happening with the former hospital site over the following five years after the OTMH (Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital) moved to its new location.

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.

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