Built in a suburban development in the early 90’s, the original Markham-Stouffville Hospital (MSH) was set far back from roads and was isolated from pedestrians and neighbourhood activity. In recent years, the area has become more urban and densely populated. The vision for the new master plan for the hospital creates a true Wellness Community that supports the hospital and neighbourhood through expansion featuring a library, a large community centre with a swimming pool, additional medical office buildings, and an ambulance station. The redeveloped MSH would also be adjacent to a long-term care facility, a residence for severely disabled adults, and a district energy plant.
With a direct indoor bridge to the community centre and library, the hospital is a public hub for promoting wellness through outreach programs. MSH uses the community centre’s gyms and pool for therapy, and the community library also houses the medical library. A strong circulation spine links the new wing, the existing hospital, and the community centre. The new hospital wing aligns with the new orthogonal, urban street grid and allows for both further expansion and complete regeneration over a 100-year life cycle. The hospital and other facilities all access a Wellness Green—public parkland for use by the hospital and community at large. Through this unique combination and consolidation of facilities, MSH has become the heart of this area’s growth and intensification, and a model of a community’s comprehensive approach to health and wellness.
Renovations to the existing facility optimized care station functionality, and throughout the expanded and renovated MSH, the design also strengthens connections to nature. Accessible courtyards, a green roof visible from the interior, and the Mental Health Unit’s access to a secure, outdoor therapeutic garden are among the design aspects that promote healing through access to light and views.