What's in the Basement?

Departments on the lower level and highlights of each space

New Hospital - Basement Outline and Departments

The visual represents an approximate outline and location of the various departments in the lower level of the new hospital. For a larger view, click on the image.

For many, the basement tends to be a hidden and quiet part of a home or public building. But in West Park’s new hospital, the basement level will be an epicentre of activity and home base for several behind-the-scenes departments pertinent to nourishing patients with healthy meals, keeping the facility clean against infections, providing the necessary supplies to deliver care, and ensuring the safety and security of staff and patients.

“Support services tend to get overlooked when it comes to space planning in any new facilities. We made sure this isn’t the case at West Park,” says Diane Zdybal, Director of Support Services. “Staff will find a positive change in their new space. It will be more spacious and functional, making work easier and more efficient for everyone.”

On the construction site, workers are moving quickly to create the underground levels of the new hospital. Beneath the Inpatient Block, there will only be one basement level (B1), which will house several departments. Beneath the Outpatient Block, there will be three levels of underground parking (P1, P2 and P3).

Using the visual as an approximate guide, below is a list of departments on the lower level, space and equipment features, and some of the operational changes in the new hospital.


Maintaining its current square footage, Communications will continue to be co-located with Security in the new hospital because the department is often the primary contact in urgent and emergency situations. Communications is a multi-faceted department that provides support to the entire hospital including switchboard telephone service, paging and announcements, and alerting and responding to emergency and disaster situations.


Though not a department, elevators are an essential transportation service at West Park and its improvements in the new hospital is worth noting. To alleviate congestion and increase operational efficiency, there will be three different types of elevators:

  1. public elevators for mainly patients, visitors and staff; 

  2. service elevators for mainly support staff to transport food, equipment and supplies; and

  3. parking elevators to bring patients, visitors and staff from P1, P2 and P3 to the main lobby on the first floor only. On the first floor, there will be separate public elevator banks to bring people up to floors two to six.

EllisDon Facilities Management

Under the provincial government’s infrastructure model, West Park’s new hospital is classified as a Design, Build, Finance and Maintain (DBFM) project. This means the winning bidder, which is EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare, is responsible for designing, building and financing the new hospital. After construction is complete, the “maintenance” part of DBFM, comes into play where the facility will be maintained by EllisDon. 

EllisDon will have its own administrative office to fulfill their obligations in managing the new hospital facility for 30 years. This includes items such as electrical and ventilation services, elevators, heating and cooling equipment, electricity and lighting.

During this period, EllisDon must meet performance requirements so West Park can operate and remain in good working order. Upon expiry of the 30 year maintenance term, EllisDon must hand back the facility to West Park in good condition.

Environmental Services

Housekeeping staff will see their overall space approximately double in square footage, reflecting the increased demand for environmental services in the new facility due mainly to the larger footprint. 

The new space will:

  • improve departmental circulation, function and flow with designated staff and equipment entry and exit points to streamline traffic;

  • provide additional space for storage of linens, carts and large equipment within the department; and

  • incorporate a new internal waste management system with waste compactor bins on the loading docks, designated garbage cart washing space in the loading dock area and secure locations to sort and hold all types of hazardous waste.

    • Beyond the basement, there will also be space to support environmental services including:

      • spacious housekeeping closets on every floor throughout the entire hospital. This will enable staff to store housekeeping carts and equipment in decentralized areas, instead of travelling back-and-forth to the basement for supplies; and

      • upgraded garbage and linen chutes in the inpatient and outpatient blocks accompanied by a larger and more spacious chute room below.

        • Though there will be some storage capacity, an important change to note is that there will be no equivalent of a “Gage Cage,” West Park’s current massive storage area beneath the Gage Building, in the new facility. Therefore, West Park departments will have to do a major purge before the new hospital opens. 

          Food Services

          Food Services staff will see their space expand by about 40 per cent. The sizable space will improve circulation, function and flow in the kitchen, including adequate space to finalize tray assembly and finishing within the department.

          The new hospital will also have new and upgraded equipment including:

          • an entirely new food collection and disposal system encompassing a trough-conveying garburator to scrap high-volumes of food and a high-production, conveyor style dishwasher to clean patient trays and dishware; and

          • food tray delivery carts, also known as retherm carts, will connect to docking stations to provide consistent convection heating and cooling of patient food. With an ergonomic push handle and heavy duty castors for easy maneuverability, the carts are able to provide the perfect temperature on both the hot and cold side of the tray during transportation to the patient units.

            • General Stores 

              The General Stores department supports the entire hospital by managing the inventory and storage of supplies, equipment and materials. In the new hospital, the department area will approximately more than double.

              The new space will:

              • allow for additional secure storage for supplies and materials; 

              • be adjacent to the seven-dock loading bay for rapid access to material loading and off-loading; and

              • be equipped with Real Time Location System (RTLS) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to better track supplies and materials in all areas of the hospital.

                • Beyond the department, General Stores will also:

                  • have spacious clean supply rooms for storage of clean supply carts and materials in both inpatient and outpatient departments and areas; and

                  • stock additional dialysis supplies in a room located off of the service corridor in the basement so clinical staff can have rapid access to critical supplies during off-hours. One of the new services that will be offered in the new hospital is a six-station satellite hemodialysis unit managed by Humber River Hospital. This will improve the patient experience as inpatients will no longer have to make exhausting, time-consuming and costly visits offsite to receive the service.

                  • Medical Device Reprocessing Department (MDRD)

                    Currently known as Central Supply Reprocessing (CSR), the department is responsible for the decontamination and reprocessing of medical instruments and devices. The department will increase in space by about 40 per cent, allowing for improved workflow, functionality and storage.

                    The new space will:

                    • improve physical division of soiled, clean and sterile operations;

                    • accommodate additional sterilizers that are more efficient and environmentally sustainable, resulting in greater load capacity and significant water savings; and

                    • include larger and more spacious soiled utility rooms with dedicated space for soiled instrument drop-off and collection.

                      • Beyond the department, there will be also be new space and equipment features related to MDRD throughout the hospital to support infection control:

                        • macerators, which are machines that reduce solids to small pieces, will be located in the soiled utility room of every patient unit and in every airborne isolation room. The macerators will enable recyclable bedpans and human waste  to be disposed of quickly to limit the spread of infections and reduce the processing of metal bedpans; and

                        • equipment cleaning rooms will be located on every inpatient unit so that cleaning and disinfection of mobility aides and shared equipment can occur at the point-of-use.

                          • Purchasing

                            The Purchasing department is responsible for the procurement of materials and equipment, including the development of product specifications, product evaluation and reviewing tender proposals. 

                            Maintaining its adjacency to General Stores, Purchasing will increase its space by about 15 per cent. Purchasing staff can look forward to their own designated reception area and conference room to support formal meetings with staff and/or business partners.


                            Responsible for patient and staff safety 24/7, Security is strategically located between the Inpatient and Outpatient Blocks for quick access to the parking lot and elevators to the clinical areas. Almost tripling their existing space, the security team can look forward to new technologies and devices to enhance their work including: 

                            • new and improved monitoring systems, including a large closed-circuit television (CCTV) viewing area;

                            • handheld devices allowing notification of alerts and alarms for quick response by security; 

                            • secure hospital perimeter and building systems to enhance safety; 

                            • RTLS and RFID technology to ensure high-valued and mobile equipment and assets are secure; and

                            • improved building security systems including staff duress buttons for all employees and physicians.

                              • Staff Facilities

                                During breaks and meal times, staff can relax, refuel, recharge and reconnect in the spacious Staff Facilities on B1. Accessible 24/7, this staff only area will have the following:

                                • a nourishment alcove for meal preparation;

                                • a staff-only lounge space and comfortable furniture;

                                • computer carrels to access the HUB, Outlook e-mails, the new Learning Management System, etc.; and 

                                • showers, lockers and staff wellness spaces.

                                  • There will also be another large Staff Facilities area on the fifth floor next to the Staff Wellness Centre. Combining the square footage of both areas, Staff Facilities will double in space in the new hospital. In addition, there will be smaller staff facilities and lounges on each of the inpatient units and key areas throughout the new building.

                                    Underground Parking

                                    The new hospital will increase overall parking spaces on campus by almost 25 per cent. It will offer patients, staff and visitors a combination of surface and the much-anticipated underground parking, located beneath the Outpatient Block. 

                                    With almost 450 parking spaces, the three levels of underground parking will shield patients, staff and visitors from the elements and minimize the travel distance to their destinations. There will also be “plug-in ready” parking for electric vehicles.

                                    There will also be a patient vehicle transfer training area in the underground parking area that will provide patients with a covered and climate controlled zone for simulating vehicle transfers and to practice developing the necessary skills to perform the task independently or with aid.