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#1door4care - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the campaign?

We want the Ontario government to know how strongly Eastern Ontario supports a new building that will house a hub of services providing the best care for some of its most vulnerable children — those with complex conditions, mental health challenges and special needs.

  • Bringing these services together under one roof means better access, better care, shorter waits.
  • We are currently spending millions of dollars on rent going to commercial landlords — money that could be redirected toward lowering wait-times and providing more care in spaces suited for that care.
  • Different locations mean that individual medical needs are treated separately and out of context
  • Cramped, out-of-date, unsuitable spaces create barriers to delivering the best care we can for children and youth
  • We have no space to support, connect and create community for parents and families sharing significant life challenges

Why this, why now?

Our request for this integrated treatment centre is not new – we’ve been in the planning stages for nearly a decade. It’s time to get shovels in the ground. To do that, we need a financial commitment from the Government of Ontario.

What are the benefits of the new building?

  • Reducing wait times and combining visits to reduce the stress and burden on families
  • Customizing space for children with special needs to optimize their mobility and safety
  • Providing bright, welcoming spaces that foster healing for children and youth with mental illness
  • Increasing service capacity
  • Consolidating and connecting clinical services under one roof
  • Improving comfort, convenience, privacy, safety and accessibility through intelligent, purpose-built design
  • Providing significant cost savings from fewer leasing agreements and reduced rental costs — money that can be redirected to frontline care.

What sites are going to be moved into the building?

This building will bring together most CHEO services funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services in a hub next to the main hospital building, where most services are funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. While different programs may be under different funding silos, families’ lives aren’t organized that way. Bringing services together is about making life easier and services better for those families. The hub will include:

  • Mental Health Services
  • Autism Program of Eastern Ontario
  • Rehabilitation Services including Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Language Pathology and Social Work
  • Blind-Low Vision Program
  • Respite Services for Children and Youth with Autism
  • Seating and Mobility
  • Creating this hub will also allow community organizations to be on site, offering additional support to kids and families.

What sites are not going to be moved into the building?

The Kanata, Renfrew and Cornwall sites, as well as the Social Pediatric Hub in Vanier will not move.

There is a push to provide more services in the community. Doesn’t this go against that?

We are committed to extending our reach and care in the community through programs like the Vanier Social Pediatric Hub, which runs out of the Vanier Community Service Centre, and Project Echo, which provides training in mental health care to primary care providers. We are also hoping to be part of the new Orleans Health Hub.

If families have to drive all the way to CHEO to receive support, how will CHEO accommodate families travelling from out-of-town?

This change means that people will have fewer locations to travel to and can consolidate appointments, ideally resulting in fewer trips.
We are not closing any service locations that are more than a 10-minute drive from the main CHEO campus.

Will I have to pay for parking now?

A top priority for this building is fully accessible, family-friendly parking. We will work closely with parents and the Ministry to ensure that parking is not an additional barrier to accessing services.

Will CHEO acknowledge that the building is to be built on un-ceded First Nation’s territory?


If this has been in the works for 10 years, why haven’t families with complex care needs been consulted yet?

Family consultation took place in the earlier phases of planning. The building received functional program approval from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services in 2015 and planning has been on hold pending the final provincial government go-ahead.

Once we have a provincial commitment, families will be fully involved in the more detailed planning.

The recent amalgamation of CHEO and OCTC provides a great opportunity to bring together services benefitting families who make significant use of those previously separate programs.

When I add my name to the website, what am I adding my name to?

A list of like-minded people who think this building should be built. You will get occasional email updates about CHEO’s progress in improving the care for families in Eastern Ontario.

What is happening with the Children’s Treatment Centre school? Is it going to increase in numbers, will it go up to a higher grade level?

OCTC Preschool is a half day licensed program for children two to five years of age and will continue to provide a learning environment from a specialized early childhood education program in a small group setting with integrated OT, PT and speech language pathology services. We hope to expand this program.

OCTC School will continue to provide full day educational instruction in both English and French for 30 students for junior and senior Kindergarten, with the goal of expanding this to grade 3 with a primary diagnosis of physical disability, and associated complex communication, developmental, and/or learning disability.

If I want to be an advocate for this what can I do?

  • Donate to the CHEO Foundation
  • Reach out to your local MPP expressing support for the building
  • Share with your networks
  • Participate by using the hashtag on your favorite social media platform, #1door4care

If CHEO doesn’t do this, what is the risk to patients?

Some lease agreements are not slated for renewal, rent costs will continue to increase, services will continue to be fragmented and dispersed across Ottawa, and the brunt of burden will remain on the shoulders of parents who already have too much to deal with.
We will not be able to create efficiencies that will result in more care in better spaces.

If you have more questions, please write to us

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