Largest redevelopment phase in CAMH history now complete

NewsLargest redevelopment phase in CAMH history now complete
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25 Nov 2020

With the opening of the Crisis & Critical Care Building and the McCain Complex Care & Recovery Building, the third of four phases of the most ambitious redevelopment in CAMH history is now officially complete.

“These new buildings will revolutionize mental health care by offering dignified spaces for CAMH patients to heal and recover, and provide a safe and generative space for CAMH staff to work,” said CAMH CEO Dr. Catherine Zahn. “They reflect a bold vision and are also a powerful symbol of CAMH’s move away from institutionalization towards community integration for the people we serve.”

The two new buildings, with 600,000 square feet of space, will feature 235 inpatient beds. Other major enhancements to the CAMH Queen Street campus include:

  • A new state of the art Emergency Department. The Gerald Sheff and Shanitha Kacham Emergency Department is the only one in Ontario devoted exclusively to mental health treatment 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  With ED visits to CAMH having increased by more than 70 per cent in the past decade, the need for a modern ED more equipped to meet the rising demand for urgent mental health care was critical. Twice the size of the previous ED on College Street, it will reduce current wait times in Ontario and provide improved intake, assessment and triage procedures for patients.
  • Enhanced therapeutic recovery and healing environment inside and outside the new buildings.  A  new Tour de Bleu Therapeutic Neighbourhood provides a variety of structured and evidence-based recovery programming for patients, including a chef school culinary certificate program run by George Brown College.  The Therapeutic Art Project, integrated into the design of both new buildings, features the work of visual artists with lived experience of mental illness.  The new TD Commons features a lush diversity of trees, shrubs and plants and beautifully lit walking paths for patients and their visiting loved ones to access as part of their recovery. It also acts as a meeting ground where the CAMH community intersects with the surrounding West Queen West neighbourhood.
  • Consolidation of education and clinical care to one location. One of the major benefits of locating the CAMH education spaces adjacent to our clinical care services is that it will foster collaborative opportunities for knowledge exchange, discovery and learning that will improve care and advance knowledge.

“The McCain Complex Care and Recovery Building and the Crisis and Critical Care Building will transform mental health care by providing patients and families access to an emergency department devoted to mental health and spaces that promote community integration in a connected and coordinated system of care,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Investing in innovative projects like these two new buildings are an important part of our government’s plan to build a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions system that works for all Ontarians. Congratulations CAMH and everyone who has come together to make this project a reality.”

CAMH Peer Support Worker (and former CAMH patient) Sara Traore was one of the many clinicians and lived experience voices consulted on the creation of the therapeutic indoor and outdoor spaces.

“The space you are in and how you feel about that space matters,” said Traore. If you are an inpatient you have probably had a lot of trauma past and present in your life. Your environment is everything. If that’s the space where you are going to be coming to terms with your illness and receiving care, a surrounding that you feel at peace in and welcomed in is really key and will help prevent relapse.”

For more news and stories about the buildings and how they are transforming care, please visit

Media Contact
Hayley Chazan 

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital and a world leading research centre in this field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental illness and addiction. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please visit or follow @CAMHnews on Twitter.

CAMH’s Project Partners

“Infrastructure Ontario is honoured to once again partner with CAMH in support of its vision for the mental health care of the future. Delivered through the P3 model, these two new buildings provide an empowering, dignified and safe environment that will transform care in our community, while advancing globally significant research and education.”

–          Michael Lindsay, President, Project Delivery, Infrastructure Ontario

“The CAMH Phase 1C project demonstrates how public and private partners can bring together great design, effective risk transfer and true collaboration to deliver incredibly complex projects. Plenary is honoured to have delivered these essential new facilities that will support mental health research and education, and improve services and support for care providers and those living with mental illness and addictions.”

–          Brian Budden, President and CEO, Plenary

“We’re thrilled to mark completion of the largest phase of CAMH’s campus redevelopment that will advance the future of mental health and addictions treatment. I’d like to commend our partners and over 450 tradespeople whose commitment to safety enabled us to complete two facilities on an active hospital campus during a global pandemic, with over 1.5 million hours worked without a lost time injury.”

–          Bruce Sonnenberg, Vice President and District Manager, PCL Constructors Canada Inc.

“We’re happy to see CAMH’s two new buildings open so that patients can start receiving expert care in these modern, welcoming healthcare spaces. In the midst of the current mental health crisis in our society, we’re proud to be part of the solution that connects people struggling with mental health with a safe place for care and education. Our design for Phase 1C reflects the CAMH vision for community integration and normalizing of mental health care across all ages and cultures.”

–          Ronald Mar, Principle and Architecture Lead, Stantec

“ENGIE has been working alongside CAMH, Plenary, PCL and Infrastructure Ontario for the better part of the last four years. This partnership has proven to be successful, as the collaboration between all parties has resulted in two state-of-the-art buildings that we have the privilege to operate for the next 30 years.”

–          Brian Tingay, Site General Manager, ENGIE.

Stephanie Williamson

Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs

Contact via email

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