Bridgepoint Health is located on the Don River, and is visible in the distance
For two years I worked in the corporate communications and community relations department at Bridgepoint Health, a complex chronic disease rehabilitation hospital that has been serving the Riverdale community of Toronto for 150 years. It was my first job out of school and it taught me a lot about how unfair life can be.
I believe strongly in the mission and vision of the hospital, but had less faith in the executives who ran it. There was a never-ending rotating door of employees, and I knew that loyalty wasn’t enough to sustain long-term employment. I saw a lot of good people walk out with severances, and a lot of bad people stay and spread their toxicity, eventually evaporating any remaining morale.
But I digress. For those of you unfamiliar, chronic disease is something that is not curable, but that a person can live with for a long time. Examples include, HIV, diabetes, arthritis, etc. The word complex is added because many people are now living with two or more of these type of diseases, complicating treatment. Bridgepoint focuses a lot on prevention, as does the Canadian health care system. The life expectancy of Canadians is 83 years.
During my employment, Bridgepoint was heavily promoting redevelopment; ten years ago it was granted multi-million dollar public funding to build a new hospital, as the existing one was no longer meeting the needs of the changing patient population. Bridgepoint used to be known as Riverdale Hospital because that is the name of the community where it’s located, and for years, it only served that area. Unfortunately, because of its palliative care unit, Riverdale Hospital was known in Toronto as a place where people went to die, which gave it a bad reputation, obviously. Back in the 90s former conservative premier Mike Harris proposed closing the hospital but his efforts failed, and eventually Riverdale Hospital rebranded itself as Bridgepoint Health and extended its service beyond its community.
The redevelopment of the hospital was proposed back in the 80s, but politics and a campaign to stop the destruction of the current building, delayed the project for over 20 years.
These photographs that I took this morning show that the exterior is now complete, and by this time next year it will be fully operational. It’s been a long time coming, and finally the people of Toronto will have a state-of-the-art hospital to meet their changing health care needs.
For more information please visit Bridgepoint Health‘s website.
People dislike the rebranded name, and still refer to it as Riverdale Hosptial
It’s an impressive sight and I’m pleased with how it’s turned out
Standing proud, as it watches over Riverdale Park
The sun rises over the new hospital