Select floors of the Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower have opened to support the COVID-19 response

Article by Selma Al-Samarrai for Unity Health Toronto

Unity Health Toronto’s teams have accelerated the work to open select floors of the Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower (PGT) this week in order to enhance our critical care capacity and COVID-19 readiness. The intensive care units on the 4th and 7th floors will open first and be dedicated to COVID-19 critical care patients.

This accelerated opening, led by the Operational Readiness and Planning teams, was made possible by the immense amount of work from many Unity Health Toronto teams, Ellis Don and multiple contractors and consultants on site.With the 4th and 7th floors opening on April 15, St. Michael’s Hospital now has 33 net new beds to support the immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are so appreciative of our partners in Ellis Don, the NORR Architects, and all of the contractors and consultants that worked on the Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower. It is a major milestone in our project that we were able to successfully accelerate the opening of this state-of-the-art facility. This can only be done with a lot of coordination and collaboration between our teams and the construction team,” said Tom Parker, Interim Director of Redevelopment.The opening of the PGT will help address immediate COVID-19 critical care needs for Unity Health Toronto and will help with system capacity for the province.“With the current pressures on the Hospital as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the opening of critical care beds will bring a much needed relief to our Healthcare System and to the City of Toronto,” said Dr. Tim Rutledge, President and CEO of Unity Health Toronto.

“I personally want to thank all of the many teams that have been working to enable this acceleration. The opening of the Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower will allow us to care for more critically ill patients in single patient rooms that were specifically designed with infection control measures in mind.”The numerous teams that have come together to enable this safe and efficient acceleration of the tower’s operational readiness and transition include: the Operational Readiness team that has led the acceleration, the Planning and Redevelopment team, the various critical care teams, Environmental Services, Infection Prevention and Control, Information Technology and Telephony, Patient Transport, Clinical Equipment, Clinical Engineering, Clinical Informatics, Fire Safety, Engineering and Facilities, Security, Procurement, Supply Chain, Capital Sourcing, Third Party Logistics, Finance, Respiratory Therapy, Pharmacy, Communications and Human Resources.“When we got the official green light for the tower’s occupancy, we knew we had our work cut out for us,” said Margaret Moy Lum-Kwong, Senior Director of Operational Readiness.“It has been incredible to see the way dozens of teams at St. Michael’s have come together so quickly to support each other, work together and reach this one important goal within a very tight timeline. The acceleration was only made possible by this immense team work in our organization, particularly with the critical care teams. It really does take a village!”There are still multiple enhanced features and technologies that will be coming online in the weeks to come as the remaining floors are finished.The tower’s lobby and entrance will remain closed, and entry into the units on the 4th and 7th floors will be limited to horizontal access only via the adjacent hospital wing, Cardinal Carter South.

The Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower is part of the larger St. Michael’s 3.0 redevelopment project. The tower was made possible by Peter Gilgan, the founder and CEO of Mattamy Homes, who made a historic $30 million donation to St. Michael’s, and by Element Fleet Management, who contributed an additional $15 million. A massive thank you to Peter Gilgan, Element Fleet Management, and the many other donors whose generous contributions made the Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower a reality for Unity Health Toronto’s staff and patients.About St. Michael's Hospital
St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.About Unity Health Toronto
Unity Health Toronto, comprised of Providence Healthcare, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and St. Michael’s Hospital, works to advance the health of everyone in our urban communities and beyond. Our health network serves patients, residents and clients across the full spectrum of care, spanning primary care, secondary community care, tertiary and quaternary care services to post-acute through rehabilitation, palliative care and long-term care, while investing in world-class research and education. For more information, visit