The Whitby Mental Health Centre (WMHC) occupies 32 hectares on the shores of Lake Ontario. The site’s long-standing facilities were replaced with an award-winning hospital complex completed in 1996. In response to further anticipated growth, WMHC set out a limited master plan defining the potential future health needs within the catchment of the hospital. SvN was commissioned by the Ontario Realty Corporation (ORC) – the agency charged with managing the Province’s real estate portfolio – to create complementary master site plan concepts that would meet these future program needs within the boundaries of the existing land holding. Ultimately, the plan outlines an affordable and phased framework for growth over the next 50 years that remains flexible to change.
Over the course of the study process, SvN crafted a number of alternative Master Plans. Each responded to the programmatic needs of WMHC and to the unique conditions of the site, including setbacks from the Lynde Marsh wetlands to the west and public access to the lake front, waterfront trail and recreational areas. The Plan includes healthy indoor and outdoor environments that complement each other, promoting permeability in the site in general but also providing zones for privacy for hospital functions where required. The building pattern itself maintains important views from the existing WMHC buildings to the Lake and vice versa, as well as access to fresh air and sunlight. An improved, landscaped entrance and street frontage is provided in a manner that complements adjacent emerging residential developments.
The final Preferred Master Plan meets long-term hospital expansion needs in a well-defined and inclusive health care community. Importantly, each option and the final Preferred Master Plan accommodate the full range of uses required on the Site, including both WMHC functions and complementary non-WMHC uses.