Plans for old Donwood Institute site unveiled

Artists renderings of site plans
NEW LOOK: Renderings show plans for the interior and exterior of the old Donwood Institute recently leased to Edgewood Health Network.

The long-unused site of the Donwood Institute now has a new tenant.

Edgewood Health Network has agreed to a 10-year lease of the property at 175 Brentcliffe Rd., which it will renovate before using as an inpatient clinic caring for adults with mental health and addiction issues.

The plans were unveiled to more than 100 members of the Leaside community Oct. 5 at a meeting at the William Lea Room in Leaside Memorial Gardens.

The capacity for the facility, which is being leased by owner CAMH and is expected to open in approximately one year’s time, will be 80 to 85 patients. While some concerns were raised over traffic in the immediate area, Edgewood CEO Chris Dawson said that both visitation and turnover are infrequent at an inpatient clinic.

He added they plan to work with the community to develop local programming and partnerships at the North Leaside property.

“We hope that you view us as neighbours,” Dawson said. “We’re going to treat you like the kind of neighbours we’d like be treated as.”

The site is to be under construction for the next year, with Dawson saying “90 percent” of the work being the retrofitting of the inside of the building. There will also be an upgrade to the exterior of the building, as well as renewed paving and landscaping on the property.

There were no issues with the development of the property, which Councillor Jon Burnside said the lessee can do “as of right.”

“What they plan to do with the property now is what they’re allowed to do with the property,” he said.

No additional development will occur on the property, which is subject to a covenant that would require the federal government’s approval for any new building.