(The ground-breaking ceremony for the announcement of the new Extendicare Stittsville long-term care home took place on October 29, 2021. Those included in the ceremony were: (l-r) Dr. Michael Guerriere, Chief Executive Officer of Extendicare; Glen Gower, Councillor for Ward 6 Stittsville; Mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson; Hon. Rod Phillips, Ontario Minister of Long-Term Care; Goldie Ghamari, MPP for Carleton; Ann Cioppa, a resident of Extendicare West End Villa; Clayton Donnelly, Administrator of Extendicare West End Villa; and, Jeremy Roberts, MPP for Ottawa West-Nepean. All photos: Stittsville Central)
On October 29, the groundbreaking ceremony for the new state-of-the-art Extendicare long-term care home took place in Stittsville. Scheduled for anticipated completion in December 2023, the $76.3 million home, located at 2150 Wellings Private, will open its doors in spring 2024. Residents of Extendicare West End Villa will be moving to the new home as the Villa will be demolished. This is the first of five Ottawa Extendicare long-term homes being replaced over a seven- year time period.
Chief Executive Officer of Extendicare, Dr. Michael Guerriere told the audience, “West End Villa, Starwood Medex, New Orchard Lodge and Laurier Manor are slated for demolition and will be replaced with new spaces and some with new locations”. Extendicare currently operates approximately 700 beds in Ottawa. The for-profit chain will operate over 1,000 beds in Ottawa after the rebuilds.
“Extendicare has been operating in the Ottawa area for 50 years. The very first Extendicare long-care home operated in Canada was opened in Ottawa in 1969 – with this project, we are building for the next 50,” added Dr. Michael Guerriere.
The new Stittsville home will provide 256 new and upgraded beds with many design improvements, such as semi-private and private rooms – ward rooms are excluded, larger resident common areas, central air conditioning and additional features such as HVAC systems for infection prevention and control. Each resident will have 608 square feet in which to live. The Stittsville Extendicare will include:
- “Neighbourhoods” of eight self-contained, 32-resident home areas with dedicated dining rooms, more activity space, and lounging areas;
- A country kitchen & cafe, physiotherapy room, chapel, beauty salon & barber shop and resident access to a secure outdoor courtyard for family connections;
- Significant parking available for families and friends;
- Clinical offerings include restorative care, palliative care, as well as additional space for families supporting residents through end-of-life care
Minister of Long-Term Care, Rod Phillips, stated at the ground-breaking, “It is a privilege to be here to break ground on 256 modern long-term beds here in Stittsville. This is part of a broader package of reforms brought forward on behalf of our government to fix long-term care. After decades of neglect and underfunding, our government is fixing Ontario’s long-term care sector and building modern, safe, comfortable homes for our seniors”.
The Minister added, “what we said in the legislation I introduced (October 28th) is that we expect the mission of long-term care homes to be quality of care and quality of life. How it gets structured, we’re very open to what kind of partners want to come forward. We’re going to work with the best operators.”
“The groundbreaking today is just the starting point for building modern, quality living spaces for the senior population. This new facility will greatly benefit Stittsville and surrounding communities. My riding of Carleton has an aging population that is growing rapidly and it is encouraging to see that our government is investing in building homes such as this one and updating existing homes so our loved ones have a safe and comfortable space to call home”, shared Goldie Ghamari, Carleton MPP.
A resident at West End Villa since 2017, Ann Cioppa gave a heartwarming speech on the new Extendicare Stittsville home and what it will mean for the residents. Her main concern for the new home was to ensure it is wheelchair accessible, especially the kitchen area, and is so happy that the country kitchen will be accessible for all. The current rooms at West End are very small, especially when being shared. The new home will give each resident 600 feet in their own room.
“I must say this to all of you, you cannot imagine how much we appreciate what you are doing. We are not able to contribute money or physical upkeep – thank God for housekeeping! The new building will be absolutely amazing for us. We’ll miss the old building and I’ll miss the garden, but will work in the garden at Stittsville. Thank you all for coming – we really appreciate the staff – my staff are out of this world. I say to you not goodbye or au revoir, but until we meet again,” Ann Cioppa told the crowd.
The government has a plan to fix long-term care and to ensure Ontario’s seniors get the quality of care they need and deserve both now and in the future. The plan is built on three pillars: staffing and care; accountability, enforcement, and transparency; and building modern, safe, comfortable homes for seniors.
As part of this plan, the province is also providing up to $270 million this year to long-term care homes to increase staffing levels by 4,050 new long-term care staff across the province, leading to more direct care for residents. This is part of the province’s $4.9 billion commitment to hire more than 27,000 long-term care staff over four years and ensure that residents receive on average four hours of direct care per day by 2024-25.