University of Toronto, SHN get $75 million donation for improved healthcare

A $75 million gift has been given to the Scarborough Health Network and the University of Toronto to revolutionize and transform healthcare services in East Toronto, amid a healthcare crisis in the province. Tina Yazdani reports.

By Lucas Casaletto

Scarborough Health Network (SHN) and the University of Toronto are receiving a significant $75 million donation from Orlando Corporation as a gift to revolutionize and transform healthcare services.

SHN confirmed the donation on Wednesday, which it says will strengthen health training and clinical care and go towards capital redevelopment, mental health needs and urgent priorities.

The financial contribution will also aid in the construction of what SHN calls a state-of-the-art building for the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health at the U of T Scarborough campus.

SHN will receive $50 million, with U of T granted the remaining $25 million, courtesy of Orlando Corporation — Canada’s largest privately-owned industrial real estate developer.

RELATED: Scarborough Health Network launches $100M hospital fundraising campaign

Alicia Vandermeer, president and CEO of SHN Foundation, says it’s the largest donation in its history.

“We are incredibly grateful to Orlando Corporation for hearing the message of our Love, Scarborough campaign and
investing in equitable health care for our diverse community,” Vandermeer said.

“Their gift will support our most urgent needs across the network, allowing us to offer more care with fewer barriers.”

scarborough health network

The Scarborough Hospital. Photo: SHN.

In a news release, SHN says $25 million will support the new Birchmount Hospital. The redevelopment will double its current patient bed capacity and create a new patient tower for critical care.

Once completed, Birchmount Hospital is planned to have over 450 beds available. In June, the SHN Foundation announced it received a $20-million donation to fund upgrades at three hospitals.

U of T will use the funds to support the construction of an academy of medicine and integrated health at U of T Scarborough.

“On behalf of the University of Toronto, I would like to express our profound gratitude to Orlando Corporation for this outstanding act of philanthropy,” said U of T President Meric Gertler.

“Your leadership will make a major difference in the lives of people and communities in Scarborough and the Eastern GTA, strengthening health care and improving the quality of life for generations to come.”

In an April pre-election announcement, the Ford government announced it would spend more than $1 billion on several expansion and redevelopment projects across the SHN.

With files from Nick Westoll of CityNews

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