New Horizon Health has opened its first Toronto hospital, with about 100 people expected to be moved into the facility.
The hospital’s board announced Tuesday the move.
The facility was designed by architects Arup and Mokhtar Zafar and is about 300 square metres, roughly one-third of the size of an average hotel.
New Horizon’s CEO, Paul LeBlanc, said in a statement the hospital is designed to offer a wide range of services including mental health, chronic illness, acute care, nursing and rehabilitation.
The building has been constructed in a “low-carbon” manner, with a large, open, glass-walled glass-enclosed structure.
“The building is a microcosm of the city’s changing landscape,” LeBlancer said in the statement.
“It offers a safe and comfortable environment for people with mental health issues to live, work and play, while at the same time offering high-quality patient care and an efficient system of care.”
The facility will be used for outpatient care and will be a “key component” in the city of Toronto’s “long-term strategic plan for mental health.”
New Horizon was founded in 2010 by the former CEO of New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital, Dr. Daniel Rios, who left the hospital after less than three years.
In an interview with The Canadian Press, Rios said the hospital was built on the principle that the patient needs to feel comfortable, and that the building was built for that.
“In order to make sure that everyone is happy, it’s important to make it comfortable and it has to feel as if you’re in the room with them,” Rios told the newspaper.
“We didn’t do it for financial gain.
We didn’t have a profit motive.”
Rios left the New York hospital in 2015.
He said he has not been paid since his departure.
He told the CBC that he’s been considering leaving New Horizon and that he has received offers to become a private practice physician in New York.
The news of the hospital’s opening comes as the Toronto Region Board of Health is holding a public hearing in hopes of securing more funding for mental-health services.
The province has pledged $1.2 billion in funding for community mental health over the next five years.
It has also announced $1 billion in additional funding over the same period for mental illnesses.
The provincial government has committed to spending $300 million over the coming years to create and expand mental-services programs across the province.
“This is the right time for our region to invest in new funding to support a more inclusive and inclusive care system for those who are struggling to recover from mental illness,” Health Minister Jane Philpott said in May.
Toronto has had a high rate of suicide, mental-illness and substance abuse among its population in recent years, and there have been at least three suicides in the past month.
New Horizons was set to open in April 2018.
It is one of two hospitals in the GTA with a total of 50 beds.
Toronto is also considering adding about 200 new beds to its existing hospital, which would make it the second-largest hospital in the country.