I am thrilled to share that the provincial government has approved the funding to build a new long-term care home at Providence Health Care’s St. Vincent’s Heather site on the former site of St. Vincent’s Hospital.
The announcement made earlier today by Hon. Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, at Providence’s Honoria Conway (adjacent to where the new care home will be constructed), brings us a step closer to achieving our vision for the future of seniors care.
As Providence, our goal is transformational change in the long-term care sector. We are committed to radically improving the environment and experience of residents by replacing traditional care homes with genuine communities.
St. Vincent’s Heather (SVH) will offer vital long-term care for seniors, replacing outdated multi-occupancy spaces at our current long-term care homes. The new home at SVH will operate under PHC’s ‘Home for Us’ philosophy, which seeks to replace the traditional task-based, institutional style of care with a social-relational approach of care based on current best practice thinking.
The new 240-bed SVH will open in 2028 and will be a 13-storey building, including 20 ‘households’ accommodating 12 residents each in single-bed rooms, each with its own washroom. There will be two ‘households’ per floor designed with the social and recreational spaces found in a typical home, such as a terrace to access the outdoors directly from the home, common kitchen where residents may participate in food preparation as a ‘family’, and dining and living areas.
The development will also have other amenities for residents, families and the community, including a community garden, 37-space childcare centre, Catholic Chapel, community hall, library, theatre, café, grocery store, creative and exercise/therapy space, and a sacred space for worship, reflection and spiritual practice including Indigenous ceremonial practices.
I want to thank our Indigenous Wellness and Reconciliation team for working so closely with Providence’s SVH Capital Project’s team, and having those conversations to ensure SVH living spaces and services are culturally safe, an element of the building design, model of care and staff training. We want residents to feel safe in our homes, and to ensure they look like a home rather than an institution that caused harm to Indigenous Peoples, who still experience the multigenerational trauma due to colonization and residential schools of the past. The development will include culturally safe living spaces and services for Indigenous Elders, such as the sacred space for smudging ceremonies with access to traditional medicine gardens for spiritual ceremonies.
Mark Blandford, President & CEO, Providence Living and Vice President, Seniors Care, Providence Health Care, speaking to media on how the SVH development will help us overcome the shortcomings of our current aging infrastructure.
The remaining land at the SVH campus will be developed by our sister organization, Providence Living, into a full-service seniors care village that will support healthy aging and choice in a similar fashion to the Providence Living seniors’ village currently under construction in Comox.
Building on the site where St. Vincent’s hospital stood for 65 years, Providence Health Care is furthering the legacy of care and long-standing tradition of providing for the health care needs of the community. In partnership with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver, Providence is contributing the land to build the care home. The project is currently in the rezoning stage with the City of Vancouver with construction expected to start in fall 2025.
President & CEO