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HSN Capital Redevelopment

Health Sciences North is Northeastern Ontario’s regional referral and academic health sciences centre.

We serve a diverse patient population over a large geographical area.

Northerners know that HSN was built too small.

We have some of the worst overcrowding and hospital occupancy rates in Ontario and it’s only getting worse.

This Capital Master Plan was created to meet the needs of our communities and better serve our patients including the most vulnerable patient populations such as seniors, children and those struggling with mental health and addictions challenges.

  • Health Sciences North is Northeastern Ontario’s regional referral centre and academic health sciences centre
  • 17th largest hospital corporation in Ontario in revenues
  • 2nd largest hospital designated under Ontario’s French Language Services Act
  • The only research hospital in Northern Ontario
  • 4,000 employees, 600 highly skilled medical staff and scientists, 2,100 learners, 700 volunteers

  • 569,890 people across 300,000 sq km
  • 30% in rural communities, 23% Francophone, 11% Indigenous
  • Older, less educated, higher rates of unemployment and chronic disease
  • Higher rates of hospitalization and less uptake of preventative health screening
  • Higher injury rates and teen birth rates
  • Higher smoking, obesity and heavy drinking rates
  • Patients from outside of Sudbury makeup 25-30% of all of our patients, 50% of Cancer Centre visits, 60% of cardiac patients

  • HSN has 14 sites across Sudbury.
  • Staff at 17 other locations in Northeastern Ontario.

  • Being more than 100% capacity has become our reality.
  • In January 2020, the CBC reported that HSN was among the top 6 hospitals with the highest number of days over 100% occupancy.
  • Ontario Health (North) data indicates there are no hospital beds available overall in the sub-region.
  • According to Ontario Health, HSN was the Ontario hospital with >100 acute beds with the highest occupancy percentage.
  • Today’s Reality – - A 14 Site Hospital
    • It was built for 441 beds.
    • Only 214 private rooms.
    • The hospital was not designed with an academic mission in mind.
  • In September 2021, we had a peak in daily census of 581 admitted patients, in a hospital built for 412 beds.

  • Aging population
  • Under-served kids and youth population
  • Unmet mental health and addictions care needs
  • Growing Indigenous population

Aging population

People aged 70 and older increasing by 35% by 2030 alone, and by another 20% between 2030 and 2038.


Under-served kids and youth population

  • Because of disjointed care, long wait times, and un-“kid-friendly” environments, parents and families may choose to go to SickKids or CHEO for a more streamlined approach (~5,000 patients/year).
  • Our current Pediatric Ambulatory Care Unit is only 1,200 square feet and can only support 5,000 patient visits per year.

Fragmented Approach to Mental Health and Addictions Care

  • The Mental Health and Addictions Program offers services across Sudbury, Manitoulin and Northeastern Ontario.
  • We are the only schedule 1 facility within Sudbury-Manitoulin District and are challenged to fulfill our tertiary care mandate to due lack of space.
  • In Sudbury specifically mental health and addictions care is offered across five separate sites.
  • Fragmented approach to care for our most vulnerable patients - distance between sites and age of buildings make it difficult to provide safe care for patients.

Aging Facilities for Mental Health and Addictions Care

  • Inpatient Psychiatry – Ramsey Lake
    • 28 beds and 12 Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit beds
    • Site lacks therapeutic space
    • Insufficient bathrooms for the amount of patients

The Growing Crisis in Mental Health and Addictions Care

  • 2015-2019 - 30% increase in MHA ED presentations, no increase in resources to support this.
  • No designated space in ED to triage and assess mental health presentations.
  • From 2015-2019 there was a 67% increase in MHA admissions at HSN.
  • 2015-2019 - 30% increase in MHA ED presentations (vs 17% province), no increase in resources to support this.
  • No designated space in ED to triage and assess mental health presentations. Safety risk for patients and staff with increased violence, exacerbated by HSN ED length of stay higher than provincial average.
  • Service gaps leading to increased admission rates.
  • From 2015-2019 there was a 67% increase in MHA admissions at HSN vs 21% for province. MHA admission rate was 37% at HSN vs 19% for province.

  • The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Calls to Action #22 and #23) calls for recognition of value of Aboriginal healing practices, an increase in number of Aboriginal professionals working in healthcare, retention of Aboriginal health care providers in Aboriginal communities, cultural competency training for all health care professionals.
  • We have a growing Indigenous population
  • Higher birthrates than the rest of Ontario
  • More chronic illness, including diabetes, renal disease and social needs impacting discharge transitions
  • Capital Master Plan informed by engagement with 31 Indigenous regional partners
  • Need for Indigenous patients to feel more “at home” in the ED, NEO Kids and Mental Health and Addictions areas in particular.

  • 2017-2018: approval of 25 surge beds.
  • January 2018: $500,000 Stage 1 planning grant.
  • September 2019: endorsement from Ontario Health (North) of proposed capital redevelopment.
  • March 2020: funding approval for 30 hospital beds at Clarion Hotel operated by St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre (SJCCC).
  • August 2020: $3.4 million from Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services to relocate Children’s Treatment Centre to Southridge Mall.
  • August 2020: funding approval from Ministry of Health to renovate the current space of the Children’s Treatment Centre to open 52 beds.
  • October 2020: increase from 30 to 60 hospital beds at Clarion Hotel.
  • October 2020: increase of 28 funded hospital beds at Ramsey Lake Health Centre.
  • January 2021: opening of 40 hospital beds at Daffodil Lodge for 20-bed Addictions Medicine Unit and 20-bed Reactivation Care Unit, suspension of residential services for cancer patients from outside Sudbury.
  • April 2021: second increase of 28 funded hospital beds at Ramsey Lake Health Centre.
  • December 2021: approval from Ministry of Long-Term Care to re-introduce 24-bed Convalescent Care Program at Extendicare York.
  • December 2021: Ministry approval to HSN to fund 16 hospital beds at The Amberwood Suites staffed by the retirement home, bringing the total of additional hospital beds funded in Greater Sudbury since 2017-2018 to 198 (including one critical care bed).
  • April 2022: Ministry approval to award multi-million contract to begin the renovations to create 52 beds in previous Children’s Treatment Centre.

In July 2019, the HSN Board requested to the Ministry of Health a $5 million planning grant to move to Stage 2 of the five-stage capital planning and approval process for Phase 1 of our capital redevelopment.


  • In 1996, the Ministry of Health approved a 600-bed hospital for Sudbury
  • In 2005, the Ministry of Health ordered a scaled-back version of the hospital construction, reducing the approved capacity by 31%.
  • A one-site hospital now with 14 sites, including Memorial Hospital that was supposed to close 25 years ago.
  • 5 sub-standard sites for mental health and addictions, including two 72-80 year old facilities, in the opioid capital and the largest Northern Ontario city.
  • Ontario hospital with the highest occupancy percentage. 585 admitted patients in September 2021 for a hospital designed for 412. Does not include 60 patients receiving care in a downtown hotel.
  • HSN had to suspend the use of Daffodil Lodge for cancer patients who travel from far away (Hearst is 6.5 hours away, Hornepayne is 7.75 hours away)