Looking back, 2017 can be remembered as the year the Windsor-Essex Hospitals System became a reality, instead of just a vision. At the beginning of the year, the discussion was about “IF” the project would move forward, now it’s just a matter of “WHEN”.

Below are some highlights from the past year and a look at what’s next, in 2018.



1) Financial Commitment

As part of the 2017 Ontario Budget, the government approved construction of a new acute care hospital. Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj described the announcement as “Christmas in April for healthcare in Windsor-Essex.”

WATCH: Post budget town hall meeting-April 28, 2017

2) Health Minister says, “Let’s get it built!”

In a visit to Windsor in Dec. Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, cemented the move forward by announcing the project was moving to stage 2 of the 5-stage planning process.  “Let’s get it built!” he said to an eager crowed at the Ouellette Campus.

Speaking to reporters after the announcement, Hoskins described the community engagement process for the project as “exemplary” and expressed his confidence in the site selection process used in the selection of the new hospital site.

LISTEN: Hoskins speaks to reporters at the WRH Ouellette Campus

FROM THE ARCHIVES: WE are Moving Forward

3) Infrastructure Ontario on board

In November, Infrastructure Ontario (IO) was appointed to lead the procurement process for construction of the new hospital. A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is scheduled to be issued in 2021, subject to changes.  This will be followed by a Request for Proposal (RFP).

There is still plenty of work ahead, but this gives some deadlines to work toward, and a team of experienced experts to make it happen.

4) Exploring new partnerships

Earlier this year, Windsor Regional Hospital and the Windsor Public Library announced plans to explore the possibility of combining their services to offer a unique library experience for community members, hospital staff, patients and families, at the new acute care hospital site when it opens.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: WRH & WPL announce innovative partnership 

5) Sharing our story

Throughout the process, the Program and Services Steering Committee has strived to be as open, accountable and transparent as possible and include the community at every step.

This year, members of the Steering Committee have been invited to share their planning experiences on several occasions, with other Ontario hospitals that are working on major redevelopment projects.

Co-Chairs of the Program and Services Steering Committee speaking about community engagement at the Canadian Institute – Healthcare Infrastructure Conference, in Toronto, ON.

cheers to 2018


1) Getting ready to build!

Windsor Regional Hospital is working with planning consultants to make sure that site of the new acute care hospital is properly zoned, when it’s time to build.  After months of studying the area and consulting with stakeholders, a request for an amendment to the city’s Official Plan and Zoning By-laws is expected to be made to the City of Windsor, early in the new year.

WATCH: Planning Consultants from MHBC Planning provide an overview of the process, a history of the area and an early draft of the plan at a public consultation on July 25, 2017

2) Developing a phased in approach

The complete plan is impossible to undertake all at once will require a sequenced approach. As part of the planning, the Steering Committee has agreed with MOHLTC to examine the use existing infrastructure on an interim basis. (Read more)

3) Stage 2 

Planning the Windsor-Essex Hospitals System is a 5-stage process.  We have completed stage 1 and are moving forward.

Timeline chart

Stages 2 and 3 will take about 3 years to complete and this is really where the “rubber hits the road” and plans start to take shape. This will cost about 10 times what the project has cost so far, and require about 10 times the amount of work.


This is a very detailed description of how the new system will operate. It is essentially designing the hospital with words.  This document will be in next steps to develop the building design.

The Functional Program will:

  • Include a detailed description of how programs and services will function;• Look at staffing, space and equipment requirements;
  • Focus on workflow planning for patients, staff and materials; and
  • Require considerable input from users.


Community engagement and involvement will continue be at the heart of this project going forward and everyone is encouraged to add a voice to the discussion. Sign up to the Windsor-Essex Hospitals System email list for updates on the project and future opportunities to get involved.