A leap towards new hospital for Halton Hills comes with $45 million land donation
Published November 3, 2023 at 12:51 pm
The prospects for a new hospital in Halton Hills took a giant leap forward today (Nov. 3) with the news that a large parcel of land has been donated for the future use of local healthcare needs.
Valued at $45 million, the 104 acres of property is located on Trafalgar Rd., south of Halton Healthcare’s Georgetown Hospital.
The donation comes by way of the Walker Wood family in memory of Neil Cameron Walker Wood who died in 2021.
The family made the property their home for 40 years and was the base and farm for Walker Wood, a prominent Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist.
“This is a remarkably generous gift from the Walker Wood family,” says Melissa Farrell, President and CEO of Halton Healthcare. “It creates exciting new possibilities to meet the growing healthcare needs of our communities and for the future redevelopment of Georgetown Hospital. We will engage with all our partners to determine how best to use these lands to deliver the greatest public benefit.”
The calls for a replacement, expansion or upgrade for the aging Georgetown Hospital has been growing as the population continues to soar in the northern parts of Halton Region.
Built in 1961, the impact of growth on the existing Georgetown Hospital has been significant turning it from a once local facility to one that now attracts patients from across Halton as well as Peel Region and other towns and cities.
While a new hospital or an expansion of existing facilities has been the goal of the community and local health officials, the process can be slow as approvals and construction costs must come from the Provincial government.
Still, a new or expanded facility for Georgetown has been a priority for MPP Ted Arnott of Wellington-Halton Hills who has been advocating for increased healthcare in the area for several years.
As well, the sizeable land donation means Halton Healthcare can now look at several options for the site other than hospital facilities.
Sandra Taylor, executive director of the Georgetown Hospital Foundation, said the donation is the largest gift ever received by Halton Healthcare and promises many possibilities for the community.
“We are moved by this altruistic donation and proud that this land will have a lasting impact on healthcare in this community,” Taylor said.
As for the Woods, they said the donation is an opportunity to give back to a country that allowed the family to be successful and the community that they lived in for 40 years.
“The farm has been the centre of our family during that time, a beautiful space where we have created many wonderful memories,” said Susan Wood in making the donation. “We are delighted that Halton Healthcare will honour my husband’s legacy to advance healthcare for the people in this community for years to come.”
Neil Cameron Walker Wood started his career in the lumber business before becoming an investment mortgage broker acquiring The Fidelity Trust Company which he built into a National Financial Institution with branches across Canada. Eventually, he became involved in renovating and preserving historical properties in Ontario. He also established the Walker Wood Foundation to provide scholarships to students in financial need pursuing post-secondary education.
Neil Cameron Walker Wood
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