6. The Hospital For Sick Children Opens Its New Doors In 1993

Article in “Alumnae News“, Spring 1993

The years of planning, fundraising, construction, waiting and everything else that goes along with a new building culminated in the spectacular opening of the new patient care centre, the Atrium.

The Atrium 1993

The seventh home of the hospital took nearly 7 years to build at a cost of  $232 million – but it is completely paid for!Today HSC is the largest children’s hospital in North America.  It employs more than 400 staff and enjoys an international reputation for nursing, treatment, research and patient care.

The Atrium has a capacity for 574 beds, but only 450 will be used initially. Each year nearly 20,000 children are admitted to the hospital and over 260,000 visit the clinics.The atrium design was chosen because it is a less expensive and more functional use of space; the natural light provides a cheerful atmosphere and helps promote the healing process; and more patient rooms could be built because the windows overlook the atrium.  Previously rooms only looked out of the exterior of the building.

Every child’s room has a day bed for a parent to remain comfortably overnight, a full private washroom, storage space for both the child’s and parent’s clothing, a private T.V. and a private phone.  Every room looks outside or into the Atrium.  Single rooms were chosen: to provide privacy for the child and family; to allow families to remain as a unit; to maintain as normal a family routine as possible; to enable parents to be involved with their child’s care; and help with infection control. Children who are repeatedly admitted or hospitalized for long periods of time have an opportunity to select pictures for their wall from a binder.  This art is by contemporary artists of Canadian children’s books.

Everything is new and it is difficult to capture it all.  There are 14 new operating rooms, a new imaging department, 12 bone marrow transplant rooms, a new Emergency Department and four playrooms on most floors.

A few interesting “did you know” facts have been disclosed: there is enough telephone cable to reach Kapuskasing; there are more private washrooms (approximately 400) than Buckingham Palace; and there is enough hydro power to light up a town of  2000 homes.

Sick Kids – we’re proud of you!