The site selection process for a new Bracebridge hospital is heating up.
On Tuesday, members of Muskoka Algonquin Health Care (MAHC) and Urban Strategies Inc., will be in front of the Bracebridge General Committee to discuss site selection to replace the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital.
MAHC is currently working through Stage 1.3 of the Ministry of Health’s Capital Planning Process to build two new hospitals in Muskoka. In Huntsville the plan involves a new build on existing lands and in Bracebridge, it involves a new build on new land.
Together with Urban Strategies Inc. and Stantec, MAHC have embarked on a process to identify potential properties in Bracebridge and on Tuesday they’ll provide the committee with an update.
The delegation intends to introduce the Bracebridge General Committee to an overview of the Stage 1.3 site selection process and work completed to date, and solicit input on location and site considerations that should factor into the decision-making process.
MAHC has solicited a variety of input from stakeholders and members of the public. Based on the information they’ve gathered, they’ve compiled a number of priorities.
- Proximity to Highway 11
- Access to public transit to support low to moderate-income residents
- Avoiding travel through congested District roads
- Accessible location for residents in Gravenhurst and populations around lakes
To be considered for further evaluation, a property must meet these criteria:
• Minimum developable area of 40 acres (or combined with adjacent property to form 40 acres)
• Located within Bracebridge’s Urban Centre Boundary;
• Access to a provincial highway or district road;
• Usable shape, proportions and topography;
• Access to municipal services;
• Land available for purchase (an owner willing to sell)
There are three sites identified for further consideration.
The first is a 45-acre Fowler Construction property with frontage along Highway 11 (but no access currently). The idea is to create access from Pine Street, and potentially access from Depot Drive.
The second site is known locally as the Muskoka Royale property. The property consists of 201 acres with frontage along Ecclestone Drive and Muskoka Beach Road.
The third property is on Highway 118 and consists of 79 acres with frontage along 118 W. The site is bisected by Beaver Creek and has potential access from Salmon Avenue and the subdivision to the south.
The next step in the process is a series of community open houses between January 16 and 25, held both in-person and virtually.
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