Fate of Mount Tolmie Hospital awaits November decision

VIHA issued a request for proposals in November 2009 to seek proponents to replace existing residential beds at Oak Bay Lodge and Mount Tolmie Hospital. The hospital district has been working to secure a residential care bed replacement project to locate at its property at Mount View Heights Campus of Care on Carey Road.

It will likely be two to three years before Mount Tolmie residents will be moved to a new residence, says a spokesperson for the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

The long timeline hinges on provincial governmental approval of the agreement and construction of the new facilities, in addition to a one-year mandatory move notice, VIHA spokesperson Shannon Marshall said. Meanwhile, Baptist Housing, the primary proponent to assume management of a replacement for Mount Tolmie Hospital and Oak Bay Lodge, has begun to unveil plans for a new six-storey care facility to replace the latter.

“In the background of all of that, Baptist Housing is proceeding with their planning as if (the Oak Bay Lodge project) was a go-ahead and that’s understandable because they need to make sure they’ve got any zoning in place, so they can hit the ground running, basically,” Marshall added.

Yet the fate of the Mount Tolmie Hospital remains up in the air.

Baptist Housing continues negotiations with the Capital Regional Hospital District and VIHA to take over the Lodge and Mount Tolmie facilities, but the details of the agreement have yet to be approved by the provincial government.

Nevertheless, the housing provider has contracted Patrick Cotter Architects, Inc. to work on a design for the Lodge.

The proposed 320-bed facility, tentatively named Garry Oaks, would have space for dementia care and residential living, but not independent living, which is a feature of the current Oak Bay Lodge. Baptist Housing declined to comment on the VIHA-run Mount Tolmie site.

“The future use of the Mount Tolmie site hasn’t yet been determined,” Marshall said, “however, we will work closely in consultation with the regional district before we make any decisions about that.”

VIHA issued a request for proposals in November 2009 to seek proponents to replace existing residential beds at Oak Bay Lodge and Mount Tolmie Hospital. The hospital district has been working to secure a residential care bed replacement project to locate at its property at Mount View Heights Campus of Care on Carey Road.

Marshall anticipates VIHA will make an announcement on the province’s decision in early October.

nnorth@saanichnews.com

-with files from Ryan Flaherty

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