Despite public claims, PCs & Osler will not confirm if Brampton’s Peel Memorial expansion will create a second hospital the city desperately needs
Ellis Don

Despite public claims, PCs & Osler will not confirm if Brampton’s Peel Memorial expansion will create a second hospital the city desperately needs

“As Osler continues to work with government partners on further development of the new Peel Memorial Hospital, the designation will be determined.”

That was a response from the William Osler Health System, which manages Peel Memorial, as a preventative wellness facility, not a full-service hospital. Its officials were asked if the $250 million Brampton taxpayers and donors have been asked to contribute, will result in the creation of an actual hospital with a formal designation under the province’s official classification system.

Although the response claims the Phase 2 expansion of Memorial will lead to the “further development of the new Peel Memorial Hospital”, what type of hospital it will be and when it will eventually get an official designation remains unclear.

One thing that is clear, from information requested by The Pointer, is Brampton is not getting a full-service acute-care general hospital that can handle treatments for heart attacks, broken bones, respiratory failure, emergency diabetic episodes, severe burns, strokes, complications during pregnancy, seizures and other medical needs that require immediate, intensive care. It will not have an ICU, no maternity ward, no acute cancer treatment, or trauma unit, no surgical operatories and none of the other features of a “General Hospital”. 

“This is not going to be a full-service hospital. They keep throwing, ‘second hospital,’ but it's not,” Chris Bejnar, who has advocated for Brampton’s fair share of healthcare resources for years and co-founded Citizens For a Better Brampton, told The Pointer following a Planning and Development committee meeting last month that shared details of the Peel Memorial Phase 2 expansion proposal. “Here we are gonna have this new structure built, and it's still gonna be inadequate to what our community requires.” 

He highlighted the absence of acute care beds in the proposal for a so-called second hospital Brampton “so desperately” needs. Of the 250 beds outlined in the plan there was no mention of Peel Memorial operating as an acute-care facility. This is a far cry from the emergency declaration by City Council during the last term of office, when elected officials demanded the PC government send tax dollars back to residents in the form of a full-service hospital with at least 850 beds—which still would not get Brampton to the provincial per capita-average.

In a statement, William Osler Health System told The Pointer it “continues to advance plans to transform Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness (Peel Memorial) into Brampton’s new hospital.”

But the list of features presented at the meeting did not include units and wards associated with a comprehensive, full-service acute care hospital. Memorial’s Phase 2 expansion will include:

  • Complex Geriatric Behavioural Care Unit (GABU)
  • Medically Assisted Withdrawal Management Unit and Post Acute Concurrent Disorders Unit
  • Rehabilitation, Functional Enhancement Service and Complex Continuing Care (CCC) Inpatient Units
  • Seniors Health Cognitive Rehabilitation Unit
  • Outpatient Rehabilitation Services
  • Seniors Health Ambulatory and Outreach Services
  • Environmental Services Facilities
  • Food Services
  • Materials Management
  • Morgue
  • Public Areas
  • Displaced Functions
  • In-centre Haemodialysis Unit
  • Emergency Department

While Osler could not provide an actual designation for the specific type of “hospital” Memorial will eventually become once its redevelopment from an integrated preventative medicine facility is complete, the Ministry of Health provided some clarity.

“Chronic Care Centre and Rehab inpatient beds that are to be consolidated at the Peel Memorial site will drive the designation for Group G (chronic care < 200 beds) and Group E (general rehabilitation),” a ministry spokesperson said, while there will be “no need to redesignate the ambulatory programs that were already addressed in Peel Phase 1 designation in 2017.”

Under the ministry’s hospital designation system, Memorial is currently an “M” facility, meaning it can perform CT scans, and a “V” facility which means it only has ambulatory care and can only perform outpatient procedures without the ability to admit patients because it has no inpatient beds, so those who require any acute care would have to be transported to a full-service hospital by ambulance.

Hospitals with A, B or C designations are “general” full-service healthcare centres, with at least 100 beds, mostly for acute care.

The G designation, which Memorial will eventually get means it will be for “chronic patients having fewer than 200 beds”; and its E classification will see it used as a general rehabilitation facility for long-term care and recovery.

The presentation to council members last month included a description by a third-party spokesperson for Osler who called the Peel Memorial Phase 2 expansion’s various features “functional program components of an acute care service strategy,” meant to deliver an “increased capacity of acute and post-acute services, consisting of various inpatient programs and services, outpatient services and support services.”

But what he did not detail is the absence of actual acute care features at Peel Memorial; the Phase 2 expansion, with its chronic care patients and rehabilitation, according to the plan, will allow more acute care capacity at Brampton Civic, which will continue to be the only full-service hospital in Brampton. There will not be a second general hospital, despite Osler’s and the Province’s claims of delivering one to the city.

When The Pointer asked Osler to clarify the description provided at the public meeting last month spokesperson Catalina Guran said the Phase 2 Peel Memorial expansion will “enable Osler to expand acute care capacity at Brampton Civic Hospital – an essential next step for increased hospital capacity for the community.”

Osler was also asked about the cost of the project. 

“Typical of all large infrastructure projects, broader economic and market conditions will be reflected in the final cost of the new Peel Memorial project. With the project still in the planning stages, costs remain estimates until procurement is finalized and contracts have been awarded to build the new hospital.”

Guran said the City of Brampton has committed $125 million toward the required $250 million local share portion of hospital redevelopment costs, but did not say how much of that local share has been met by the City. 

Asked about Osler’s obligation to raise the remaining $125 million, the spokesperson said “community support is also critical to ensure hospitals can continue to meet current and future health care needs.”

Its fundraising efforts “comprise several channels, including community events, direct mail, planned gifts, personal fundraising, gifts from grateful patients and through signature Foundation events.” Osler did not answer when asked how much of its $125 million local share amount has been raised for the expansion of Peel Memorial. 

“[T]he next phase of Peel Memorial will help create more space for very sick patients at Brampton Civic Hospital.”


In 2020, Brampton City Council unanimously passed a motion declaring a Health Care Emergency in the city.

(The Pointer Files)

Brampton residents have for years demanded the provincial government provide adequate funding to meet the healthcare needs of the population, who have faced dangerously insufficient care and even loss of life due to the substandard and overburdened infrastructure. A long-promised second hospital cannot come sooner for Bramptonians who have suffered through ongoing issues with the lack of appropriate care in the city—including “hallway healthcare” or being transferred to facilities outside of Brampton to receive treatment—with community members protesting for better care as far back as 2007.

At the start of 2020, the City of Brampton declared a healthcare emergency, at the time expressing a need for an additional 850 beds at Peel Memorial through its Phase 2 development to “ensure hospital bed count is equivalent to the provincial average per capita.” Former councillor Jeff Bowman spoke out at a council meeting in 2021 when he and other coucillors were presented with a last-minute report detailing the plans for Brampton’s so-called second hospital, which they found out would only have 250 beds instead of the 850 they demanded. The lack of any acute care beds was another slap in the face, they said.

But the plan is now moving forward without any pushback from councillors or the mayor currently sitting at City Hall, as illustrated by the meeting on October 23 where council members carried a motion to help the Peel Memorial Phase 2 expansion continue without any of the needed features and less than a quarter of the beds required to get the per capita count to the provincial average.


William Osler is moving ahead with its Phase 2 expansion plans for Peel Memorial after rezoning approval from council last month.

(The Pointer Files)


Brampton Civic (and the city’s healthcare system at large) has often been overwhelmed by the needs of community members in the rapidly growing municipality, which is being asked by the PC government to bring online at least 113,000 more residential units in eight years, adding a population that itself will require a large full-service hospital. By 2031, the target date for Doug Ford’s housing plan, Brampton will need at least three large full-service hospitals, but likely will only have one. 

Just over a month ago, William Osler released an alarming statement to Brampton community members when parents of infants six months or younger with health concerns were asked to seek care at other emergency departments because the Urgent Care Centre at Peel Memorial (which is not an Emergency Department) was “experiencing high patient volumes and wait times to see a physician.” 

The move to get an actual full-service general hospital built has been dangerously slow. 

A recent zoning amendment application involves the development of a new wing to the existing Peel Memorial campus located at 20 Lynch street with 13 storeys (12 storeys and a service level). It also includes additional underground parking (241 spots) and above ground parking (120 spots) as part of the Phase 2 expansion.

The City was originally told by the previous Liberal government that Brampton would get a second full-service hospital in 2017. The Memorial expansion, which is still in the planning phase and likely won’t be completed for at least another five years, will not deliver what the city has long been promised.


According to the City, Brampton has a little more than one third the number of hospital beds per capita compared to the provincial average (96 versus 220 per 100,000 residents).

(The Pointer Files)


Bejnar expressed his disappointment with council members who approved the zoning amendment at the planning meeting without asking any questions or challenging why taxpayers are paying $125 million for a facility that fails to deliver what they badly need. “They should’ve said… ‘Look, this is completely inadequate, come back to us when you’re ready to present something meaningful.’ I was floored that no one had a question.” 

All council members, he said, should have been present in person at the meeting. “You should have all councillors attending that planning meeting. Aren’t they committing [$125] million… of our tax dollars for this project?” Mayor Patrick Brown, who has standing on the Planning and Development Committee, did not attend, while all other members were present but half attended virtually. 

“We need acute beds, where's the ICU, where's the MRI, where’s the labs?” Bejnar asked. “You need labs in the facility so you can quickly get results…A full service hospital has maternity, ICU, an MRI, labs, all that…on site. This is not a full-service hospital.” 

The Ministry of Health told The Pointer it is “investing $20 million towards the planning costs of the Peel Memorial Hospital Phase 2 capital project.”

“Future investments into the Peel Memorial Hospital Phase 2 project will be determined as the project progresses through the required capital planning stages.” The ministry said “the provincial portion of eligible construction costs of the new facility is 90 [percent].”

It did not explain that the majority of the $250 million the PC government is forcing Brampton to provide is for certain equipment and interior features inside the facility, costs that some local healthcare managers and their municipal partners have not been required to pay when hospital expansions have been greenlit by the province.

The spokesperson also said the ministry cannot “dictate when construction will begin and be completed for the Peel Memorial Hospital Phase 2 project.” Infrastructure Ontario “oversees the project milestones and procurement schedule of all Major P3 projects.” 

Osler has repeatedly delayed the design phase and it remains unclear when the PC government will approve funding for construction of Peel Memorial’s Phase 2 expansion. The Pointer has asked both Osler and the province when the money will be committed, and is still waiting for an answer.  



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