Update on the Heart Institute Expansion

October 2013

An artist's rendition of the Main Entrance of the UOHI
The expansion of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute includes a substantial redesign of the main entrance and lobby. The addition of central registration, expanded seating and escalators leading to the first and sub-levels will improve visitor access and relieve crowding. Groundbreaking for the project is expected in the fall of 2014.

Since the initial proposal was developed in 2004, the road to expansion for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute has been a long one. The Province of Ontario announcement in August 2011 of funding to expand and update facilities at the Heart Institute had been greatly anticipated. Since the fanfare of that milestone, much work devoted to planning and design has gone on behind the scenes. Teams of Heart Institute staff have spent long hours, in conjunction with the architects and engineers, refining technical requirements, floor plans and other specifics.

The challenge has been to design a state-of-the-art facility that will meet the demands of delivering outstanding cardiovascular care to a growing and changing patient population for the foreseeable future. The facility must not only provide greater capacity and efficiencies, it must also support the advanced and rapidly changing technologies required to care for patients who are often older and sicker, and have more complex medical needs than in the past.

The core of the plan will see all life support services—operating rooms, electrophysiology labs, catheterization labs and intensive care—situated in the new building. This will provide expanded and improved facilities for the sickest, most acute patients, as well as more direct access for movement between the Heart Institute and facilities of The Ottawa Hospital.

Within the existing building, the sub-level will be completely renovated to house a centralized and expanded diagnostic imaging centre that can accommodate the busy traffic flow and the planned acquisition of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In addition, the main lobby will be expanded and redesigned to accommodate a central registration area and escalators. In parallel, The Ottawa Hospital has proposed the construction of a new parking garage on the site of the existing parking lot across the street from the Heart Institute.

In the coming months, the Heart Institute Foundation will launch a major fundraising campaign called “Bringing the Future Closer.” The campaign will target funds to support the capital expansion, purchase new equipment for the expanded facility, and support innovative clinical and research programs.

Project Phases
  • Fall 2014: Break ground
  • Mid-2015: New building construction
  • Fall 2017: New building completion
  • 2018–2020: Renovations of existing building