Momentous: Building the Hospital of the Future

Construction on the new Women’s College Hospital is well underway. As it rises at the pinnacle of Toronto’s Discovery District, a new future is taking shape – a future where clinical care, research and education are fully integrated; where patients are treated in comprehensive, interprofessional clinics for people with complex chronic conditions; where new models of care are created and shared with the world.“Being an ambulatory care hospital means providing a completely different model of care,” says Heather McPherson, vice-president, patient care and ambulatory innovation at Women’s College Hospital. “So we needed to design a building that could accommodate that type of care and the innovations required to provide it.”It’s also a future that’s uncompromisingly patient-centred.“They want someone to look them in the eyes and treat them as an individual, not just another patient,” says Susan Black, architect of the new hospital. “They want someone to genuinely care about them as a person right from the moment they step into the hospital.”

We took what we learned, and incorporated it into the plans for the new Women’s College Hospital. So we are building not just another hospital, but a whole new kind of hospital: a hospital focused and designed around an ambulatory model of care that actually helps keep people out of hospital. It will be a hospital that advances the health of women and improves access to health care for all. It will be a hospital that provides the type of leading-edge care and unparalleled caring that has been our hallmark for 100 years.

That’s why Black designed the new Women’s College as an L-shape, like open arms, with a glass pavilion between the two arms.

When people enter, they will find themselves in a bright, welcoming environment.

The focal point of the pavilion will be an iconic pink-coloured glass cube that will serve as Women’s College’s conference centre: a place to share ideas, discuss new research and educate the physicians of the future; a place that will spark groundbreaking innovations and will provide real solutions for our health-care system. Visible from blocks away, and lit at night, the pink cube will be a beacon for the bright future of health care.

Improving our health system means more than addressing wait times and ensuring care for under-served populations. It also means building a truly patient-centred hospital. It means creating an environment where people feel welcome, calm and empowered. It means being innovative from the ground up. At Women’s College Hospital, it means completely revolutionizing health care.

Susan Black
Principal and Director
Perkins Eastman Black

With special thanks to:

Bilfinger Berger Project Investments
The Walsh Group
Bondfield Construction
Black & McDonald
Perkins Eastman Black
IBI Architects


Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

“The most significant part of our plan focuses on ensuring patients are receiving care in the most appropriate setting, wherever possible at home instead of in the hospital or long-term care.”