Hospitals say no, region continues research into safe consumption sites
Published Friday, January 4, 2019 7:36PM EST Last Updated Tuesday, January 8, 2019 1:04PM EST
A report from the Region of Waterloo has provided updates on the proposed supervised consumption and treatment sites.
Among these is the fact that the region’s hospitals will not host the services.
According to Patrick Gaskin, CEO of Cambridge Memorial Hospital, a lack of space due to ongoing construction meant that the hospital would not be able to accommodate the services.
In its report, the Region of Waterloo said sites that were considered would need an approximate size of 2,000 square feet to accommodate other services.
Space constraints were also cited as reasons by Ron Gagnon and Marco Terlevic, CEOs of Grand River Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital, respectively.
Location was another concern for GRH and St. Mary’s—according to 911 calls, the most impacted areas of drug overdose were in Central Kitchener and South Galt.
As such, the region continued to research the remaining four propose sites it outlined in August.
Those sites are:
150 Duke Street West, Kitchener
- A 6,500 square foot building in Central Kitchener
- Capital cost of $438,000
- Annual cost of $802,000
- Could be ready in one year
115 Water Street North, Kitchener
- A two-storey, 3,666 square foot house
- Capital cost of $231,000
- Annual cost of $776,000
- Would include transitional housing
- Expected to be operational in summer 2019
105 Victoria Street North, Kitchener
- Vacant lot adjacent to paramedic building
- Proposed building would be three storeys, 2,300 square feet
- Capital cost of $1,186,000
- Annual cost of $711,000
- Would take about 18 months to build
150 Main Street, Cambridge
- A 1,637 square foot multi-tenant regional building
- Already provides anonymity to its service users
- Capital cost of $320,000
- Annual cost of $729,00
- Would take 10 to 12 months to renovate
- Could be used while renovations are underway
In August, the region also identified 149 Ainslie Street North, Cambridge as a possible site.
That site was ruled out over design challenges based on its layout.
A series of neighbourhood and public consultations will follow in late January and early February, followed by an online survey.
The region will apply for a federal exemption for these sites and will be responsible and accountable for them.
There will be no federal funding for any sites that become active.