Skip to content
News & Updates from Niagara Health

Share This Page

Niagara Health System’s New Health-Care Complex Reaches New Heights

Posted Sep 24th, 2010

Hon. Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Infrastructure
“The progress on this project is indicative of our government's commitment to delivering the health-care resources and infrastructure this community needs and deserves.”

Debbie Sevenpifer, President and CEO, Niagara Health System
“The new health-care complex will have a profound and long-lasting impact on the advancement of medical care for the people of Niagara as well as on the abilities of our health-care practitioners to serve patients and families for generations to come.”

Betty-Lou Souter, Chair, NHS Board of Trustees
“We are thankful to those who helped us reach this milestone as well as those who continue to support and inspire us along the way.

Hon. Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care 
“Once this new facility is complete more patients will have access to high-quality cancer care here in their own community, which is a key priority for our government.”

Jim Bradley, MPP St. Catharines 
“This new hospital is going to make such a difference in the lives of people living in St. Catharines. I am thrilled to see the project reach this milestone and take another step toward completion.”

Mike Marasco, Plenary Health CEO
“Reaching this stage of construction in little over one year is a testament to what can be achieved through planning, hard work and a shared vision.”


ST. CATHARINES, ON: The concrete that has been steadily flowing over the past year to create the structure of the new health-care complex and Walker Family Cancer Centre came to an end this morning.

With construction approximately 33 per cent complete, the completion of the concrete structure signifies that the highest point of the building has now been reached. 

St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley joined hospital and foundation officials, health-care partners and construction workers this morning to recognize this important construction milestone.

The building team led by PCL Constructors Canada started construction on the new health-care complex in May 2009. Significant progress on the building exterior was achieved over the summer months that included the placement of pre-cast concrete panels, erection of structural steel components and sealed aluminum-framed glass to allow natural light into the building (known as curtain wall).

Construction will be finished by the end of 2012, with doors opening to patients in 2013. The structure is expected to be weather tight by early next year.

There are approximately 450 workers on site daily, and 85 per cent of skilled trades are from the local community. Although the concrete-related trades have begun to demobilize on site, the workforce is expected to rise to more than 800 workers as emphasis is placed on the interior of the facility, including placement of masonry walls, mechanical piping and duct work. 

The new health-care complex will be approximately 970,000 square feet and will be built on a 32-acre section of the 40-acre site in St. Catharines. It will be environmentally friendly and designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.  Environmental features include energy efficient lighting, cooling and heating, which will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The 375-bed replacement facility for the aging St. Catharines General and Ontario Street sites of the Niagara Health System (NHS) will offer acute and critical inpatient services, surgical, emergency and ambulatory services under one roof for the residents of St. Catharines, Thorold, Niagara-on-the Lake and the area. The facility will feature 80 per cent single patient rooms, the most available in a community hospital in Ontario.

Infrastructure Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care are working with the Niagara Health System to build the new health-care complex, which will remain publicly owned, publicly controlled and publicly accountable. 


The Niagara Health System (NHS) is Ontario’s largest multi-site hospital amalgamation comprised of seven sites serving 434,000 residents across the 12 municipalities making up the Regional Municipality of Niagara.

The NHS project will result in a new, state-of-the-art health-care complex that will bring new regional programs and services to Niagara. The new hospital will replace two aging community hospitals in St. Catharines (St. Catharines General and Ontario Street Sites).

Construction of the new health-care complex is now 33 per cent complete. The concrete structure is in place and the final building permits have been issued, allowing for the design documents to be finalized. As construction enters this next phase, approximately 800 workers are expected to be on-site daily and construction-related activities have begun to ramp up, including:

  • Installation of the exterior building envelope elements, including work on the curtain wall—an element of the outer structure composed of glass to allow natural light into the building
  • Erection of structural steel
  • Mechanical and electrical work on all floors
  • Work on interiors

Construction statistics to date:

Loads of dirt moved 12,000 truck loads (120,000m3)
Loads of concrete to site 5,700 loads = 51,000m3 (enough to pave a five foot wide, six inch thick sidewalk from NHS to Peterborough – 227km long)
Tons of reinforced steel  to date 5,500 tons = 12 million pounds (equivalent to 1.2 million 10-pound bags of potatoes)
Miles of electrical conduit 280 miles of conduit installed on the project--in concrete and surface mounted (enough conduit to run end to end from NHS to Sudbury)
Mechanical sleeves in concrete 4000+ (pipe sleeve inserts in concrete)
Precast produced 60,000 sq. ft.
Tons of structural steel in fabrication 1,700 tons
Man hours to date 500,000 hours
Workers on site daily 450
Percentage of skilled trades from the local community 85 per cent
Forming of the concrete structure 1,600,000 ft2 (equivalent to nearly 50,000 sheets of plywood used)

Visit or for more information and to view web camera and progress photos.

For more information contact:

Christine Clark
Niagara Health System 
905-378-4647 ext. 43111

Mike Marasco
Plenary Health

Mandy Downes
Infrastructure Ontario

Niagara Health System