Brad Coulter apparently never forgot the special care he received in the nursery of Joseph Brant Hospital.
The first baby ever born there in 1961 is now 56, living in Cambridge and working as a millright in the pharmaceutical industry.
The hospital, which was officially opened on Feb. 1, 1961, is getting ready to open its brand new seven-storey tower in August.
The new entrance will be on what is now Lakeshore Road facing Lake Ontario and patients with rooms on the west side will have an excellent view of the Lake and, on clear days, will be able to see an image of the skyline of Toronto.
Nine new operating rooms and a new post anaesthetic care unit are key components of the seven-storey patient tower. Also located there are a new emergency department, 172 acute inpatient beds, an expanded diagnostic imaging department, intensive care unit, cancer clinic and modernized laboratory.
Ambulance bays will be located on what is now Lakeshore Road, facing the lake. That means that drivers are going to have to be extra careful at the already busy intersection of North Shore Boulevard and Lakeshore Road, because the vehicles often will be turning there with their lights flashing.
The tower will be connected by an overhead foot bridge to the Halton-McMaster Family Health Centre, which has teaching classrooms for McMaster residents as part of the McMaster University Department of Family Medicine, administration offices for the hospital and hospital foundation and parking for 820 vehicles.
Total cost of the project could be close to $500 million.
The City of Burlington is making a $60 million contribution and the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation is carrying out a $60-million Capital Campaign, the largest in the hospital’s history.
Part of Lakeshore Road, which runs parallel to Lake Ontario, was widened and re-paved last year. Watermains and storm sewers also were installed.
Meanwhile, the museum right next door to the hospital, is looking forward to a $10.4 million addition of its own. The current building, which is a replica of the house Joseph Brant once lived in, will be raised higher onto a hill. The front entrance will be below facing the intersection of North Shore Boulevard and Lakeshore Road.
Both the hospital and Joseph Brant Museum are located on part of the land granted by King George III, to Joseph Brant, a member of the nearby Grand River tribe of the Mohawk nation and a prominent political figure in the early history of the region, to thank him for his services to the Crown during the Seven Years War and American Revolution.
Construction began in 1937, with the official opening of the Museum to the public on May 22, 1942, in a downpour of rain. Joseph Brant is buried in the cemetery of St. Luke’s Church on Ontario St.
The museum also will be renovated and repositioned to overlook the Lake Ontario beachfront. Elevators will bring visitors from the new part underneath.
The expansion will add 14,000 square feet to the current museum’s 5,000 square feet.
The museum has 25,000 artifacts and receives about 18,000 visitors a year.
The ground floor of the museum will include washrooms, program administration, space for public programming/exhibits, a director’s office, IT room, lobby and lunchroom. The second floor willbecome a mechanical servicing floor, not accessible to the public, while the third floor will remain as primarily an attic space. An elevator will also be installed to improve accessibility to all three floors.
The expansion has been in the planning stages since 1978.
It will triple the museum’s usable space.
The museum was closed in 2016 to allow for the improvements on Lakeshore Road