The New St. Paul's
What is the new St. Paul's?
The new St. Paul’s is an exciting project to renew St. Paul’s Hospital by building a new acute care hospital and a fully integrated campus from the ground up.
Doors on the new $1.9 billion St. Paul’s are expected to open in 2026. It is the largest hospital redevelopment project in the province’s history
The first phase of the St. Paul’s redevelopment project is building a new hospital. Phase two will include a clinical and research centre.
Future development phases may include an Indigenous Wellness Centre; a Centre for Healthy Aging; a hotel to accommodate family stays; mixed-use commercial and residential rental development, as well as a health innovation park with industry partners. Future phases will be fully funded by Providence Health Care.
By combining critical, emergency, surgical and acute hospital-based care with community and primary care, the new St. Paul’s will enable smoother transitions for patients at home, in the community or in the hospital — wherever their needs are best met.
The new hospital and health campus will also integrate with services off campus to help coordinate care for patients who would benefit from ongoing monitoring, health services or other supports delivered closer to home.
This will allow them to receive the right care at the right time and in the right place. With greater access to care in the community or from home via programs like telehealth.
What is the vision of the project?
The redevelopment of St. Paul’s is much more than just a hospital rebuild. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the future of health care for British Columbians.
The vision for the new St. Paul’s and health campus is to lead in the delivery of B.C.’s new model for health care by providing our patients with the highest quality, integrated, innovative and patient-centred care, where and when they need it most.
The new St. Paul’s will be a catalyst to realize the Ministry of Health’s vision for a new model of health care in B.C. that puts patients at the centre, integrates services across the continuum of care and shifts non-acute care from hospitals, bringing it closer to people in their communities.
What are the benefits?
Benefits of this integrated model of care are expected to include:
- Reduced wait times
- Better quality care
- Better health outcomes
- Better experience for patients and families
- Improved value for health-care dollars
What are the proposed features of the new St. Paul's?
The new St. Paul’s and health campus will continue its 125-year tradition of helping the most vulnerable people in our communities: those with HIV/AIDS, those suffering from mental health, substance use and other complex urban health issues, the elderly and people with chronic illness, and critically ill British Columbians with heart, lung and kidney conditions.
It will have 548 beds; which includes a net new 115 beds. The site will be home of several leading provincial programs and referral centres, including for heart and lung care, renal, eating disorders, and specialty surgeries and transplants.
It will offer a diverse and long list of general and specialized care, including: chronic disease management services; emergency and critical care; mental health and addictions’ beds and programs; ambulatory services and outpatient clinics; end-of-life care; Indigenous health; maternity; colorectal and gastrointestinal services; and community care and community outreach programs.
Designing the new hospital and health campus around improved patient experience and provider wellness our patients and providers will benefit from spaces that not only flow but are well laid out and incorporate healing design.
Elements that will improve experiences and optimize wellness include:
- Access to natural light & views
- Single patient rooms with space for family and support persons to stay overnight. Minimize infections and maximize privacy
- Seniors-friendly campus layout
- New technologies and state-of-the-art spaces, including digital way-finding to allow easy navigation around the campus, automated patient check-ins and online patient scheduling
- Outdoor and other spaces for wellness & rejuvenation
- Sacred spaces (All Nations Sacred Space, meditation spaces, chapel)
- Public art. Incorporating Indigenous perspectives into campus design.
Future of Current St. Paul's
Has a decision been made yet about what will happen to the Burrard Street site?
The current St. Paul’s Hospital land at 1081 Burrard Street will be sold with funds going towards the project.
What services will remain in the West End after the new St. Paul's relocates?
Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care are working collaboratively with people in the West End/Downtown so they continue to have access to health care services. This will be done through existing services, while expanding, enhancing and improving access to primary, home and community services.
VCH is working closely with Providence Health Care and the Vancouver Division of Family Practice to expand, enhance and improve access to these services over the next several years, with a particular focus on services for the frail elderly, the chronically ill and those struggling with mental health and substance use. Recent additions to the West End primary care network include the opening of a new Urgent Care Centre at 1290 Hornby Street and the expansion of the Three Bridges Community Health Centre at 1128 Hornby Street.
Station Street Site
Where is the new site located?
The new St. Paul’s will be built on an undeveloped site (offers a degree of planning freedom rarely seen) at 1002 Station Street in Vancouver’s False Creek Flats. It’s bordered by Station Street, Prior Street, Trillium Park and National Avenue.
The Station Street site is the ideal location for the new integrated health campus because it is:
- One of the largest undeveloped sites in Vancouver (18.4-acre site, roughly the size of 15 football fields), with enough space to accommodate the new buildings on the health campus still have room for future expansion as health care needs evolve
- A relatively short distance from the current St. Paul’s location on Burrard Street (about three kilometres away)
- Centrally located and highly accessible by major roads, public transit (SkyTrain and bus routes), bike routes and intercity bus and train
- Close to an area with increasing patient needs Planning process
The new St. Paul’s and health campus sits at the gateway to False Creek Flats, an area the city has specifically designated as a hub for health care, R&D, technology and education.
The City of Vancouver expects the number of jobs in the area will grow from 8,000 to 30,000 over the next 30 years. With that will come housing, arts and culture, and green spaces…the very definition of a transformation.
Isn't the new site an infill area that used to be False Creek? How will you ensure the stability and safety of the buildings?
Consistent with all lands within the False Creek Flats area, all buildings on the Station Street site are required to meet the City of Vancouver flood construction level (FCL = 4.6 m) requirements.
The main floor will be located above the mandated datum level and all critical functions are placed at this level or higher. Tanked or waterproof foundations will be utilized for levels below the FCL, for example, parking. Typically, the logistics, parking and energy plant associated with an acute care hospital would be located underground. However, to ensure operation of the hospital in the case of flood, many elements required for core hospital function will be located above-grade based on best practices and lessons learned from the impacts of recent disasters such as Hurricane Sandy (New York, 2012) on local hospitals functioning post flood.
The required site preparation includes:
- Remediation/excavation of contaminated soil, soil stabilization and dewatering, both off site (under new roads) and on-site;
- Regrading to meet Flood Construction Level as determined by the City of Vancouver (i.e. raising the site grate by one metre);
- Relocation of existing storm services, and “hardening” of off-site services adjacent to the site;
- Construction of new roads (Malkin Avenue, Gore Street, National Avenue and Jackson Street).
Buildings on the site will also meet the most current seismic codes and earthquake-readiness standards in the world. Geotechnical and structural engineers working with Providence to conduct exploration and analysis are confident that the structural solutions developed will successfully integrate resiliency considerations to the site. The design will include rigorous application of engineers’ recommendations for site preparation, foundation and slab design, and seismic design. Some considerations for the site include:
- The core hospital will be located on the portion of the site that has the best geotechnical conditions to mitigate the impact of a seismic event. The current structural design takes advantage of the existing sloping, hard-soil conditions, using stepped underground parking to found the hospital on a solid base. The seismic demand at this site is similar to many others within Vancouver, as the buildings will be founded on glacial till.
- As part of the indicative design process the structural engineers are exploring state-of-the-art seismic systems which go beyond building code requirements and achieve resiliency and post-earthquake functionality for critical hospital operations after a major seismic event. Included in this exploration is base isolation, which is a method that has been successfully applied to limit the downtime in restoring functionality following an earthquake. The goal is to protect building contents and components, as well as limit injuries to occupants from falling debris.
The planned road network will also provide for alternate routes to the emergency department, ensuring access in the event that any given street is impassable.
Learn more by reading our Disaster Preparedness Fact Sheet.
Is soil remediation required at the Station Street site?
Strict environmental safety standards and codes must be met prior to any development, which may include soil remediation. Providence and the City of Vancouver will ensure that all such requirements are addressed. An environmental and archaeological assessment is part of the planning process.
The soils are known to consist of bedrock and till overlain by silt/clay and various organics and dredged fill. Piled foundations extending to till/bedrock as well as tanked raft foundations bearing on till/bedrock are typical soil remediation techniques for sites of this profile. Structural engineers working with Providence are confident they can develop structural solutions that will successfully meet the challenges associated with this site.
The proposed structural design is highly efficient and makes use of the existing sloping, hard soil conditions, using stepped underground parking to found the hospital on a solid base.
When the hospital moves, who's going to meet the needs of people in the downtown core area if there is some kind of disaster?
The hospital facility and operations will be coordinated with the latest municipal, provincial and national emergency management response plans. A hospital and health care campus at Station Street will be better able to cope with potential serious emergencies than the existing St. Paul’s. There will be purpose-built space to stage large emergency response, triaging and crowd management activities inside and outside of the hospital and health campus facilities.
How are you ensuring that the new St. Paul's is functional, accessible and prepared in the event of a major disaster?
The new St. Paul’s, along with other local hospitals and emergency responders, will be an important part of any disaster response. Our planning team is working closely with engineers, the City of Vancouver and BC Emergency Health Services to ensure that the new campus will continue to be functional, accessible and prepared during a disaster.
- Planning: The new St. Paul’s will continue to be a part of the coordinated municipal, provincial and national emergency management response plans.
- Capacity: The new campus will have an increased ability to respond to potential major disasters with more room inside and outside of the hospital to stage an emergency response, manage a large influx of patients and triage cases.
- Design: The new hospital and other campus facilities will be designed to withstand earthquakes and tsunamis/floods, in accordance with City of Vancouver Building Code and post-disaster building requirements.
- Access: The road network around the new St. Paul’s will include alternate routes to the emergency department in the event that any given street is impassable.
Learn more by reading our Disaster Preparedness Fact Sheet.
What about the potential impacts for neighbouring communities?
In spring/summer of 2016, the City of Vancouver commissioned a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) to understand the concerns and aspirations of neighbouring communities related to the new St. Paul’s. The process included an online questionnaire, group workshops, small focus group sessions and one-on-one interviews with local businesses, residents and community stakeholders place who live and work near the proposed site. Providence also provided the City with the detailed input gathered through our spring 2016 community forums. This information will be used by the City to inform the City’s Policy Statement for the Station Street site, including recommendations to minimize impacts and maximize benefits for the surrounding community. In November 2018 the City of Vancouver held a Public Open House as part of the City-led rezoning process for the Station Street site. Open House visitors provided written suggestions, concerns and questions – feedback that the City will utilize in developing its final report and recommendations to City Council by end of next summer.
Community and Stakeholder Engagement
How has the project involved patients, care providers, community groups and the public in its planning?
- Providence is committed to engaging with patients and their families, Indigenous groups, community organizations, care providers and with our key planning partners (VCH and the City of Vancouver).
- Providence is actively engaging and seeking feedback from patients, communities, cultural groups, care providers, Indigenous peoples and groups, and other key stakeholders to help us shape the new St. Paul’s.
- Last year, we held eight community forums, conducted an online survey and met with dozens of community stakeholders on the redevelopment project. Participants in the meetings, forums and survey included direct service provider organizations, community advocates, special interest groups, front-line care providers, Indigenous individuals and organizations, business owners, elected officials and local residents, including from Vancouver’s West End/Downtown and Downtown Eastside/Strathcona/False Creek communities.
- Engaging with frontline care providers, researchers, support staff and our partner organizations, is also an important part of our planning. To date, more than 100 meetings have been held with internal stakeholders to ensure that their expertise and advice is considered in every aspect our planning from start to finish.
Have you consulted with the host First Nations and other Indigenous groups?
Providence is committed to providing culturally safe, respectful and responsive health care that meets the diverse needs of those we serve.
With a commitment to reconciliation, St. Paul’s strives to be the Indigenous hospital of choice. It was the first hospital in BC to offer an All Nations Sacred Space, where patients can practice traditional healing and purification ceremonies. And St. Paul’s is the first hospital in Western Canada to appoint a First Nations Health Authority Chair in Heart Health and Wellness. The new St. Paul’s and health campus will take further steps to incorporate Indigenous principles to provide culturally appropriate care.
Since August 2015, Providence has:
- Hosted a community feast and talking circle on the redevelopment project
- Extended invitations to the three host First Nations to meet with the project team and attend community forums on the project
- Provided information and updates on the redevelopment to representatives of the First Nations Health Authority and Vancouver Coastal Health’s First Nations Health Directors
- Held meetings on the project with Indigenous heath care/social service providers
Will the new St. Paul’s incorporate First Nations culture in the campus design, program delivery or ways of treating illness?
Providence is committed to providing culturally safe, respectful and responsive health care that meets the diverse needs of those we serve. Working with Indigenous patients, communities and organizations to develop new and better ways to address health and access issues will continue to be a focus for us in our planning for the new St. Paul’s.
The new St. Paul’s will:
- Have an Aboriginal health team
- Have an Indigenous nurse practice leader
- Have a dedicated Indigenous patient navigator to assist with advocacy, translation and access to care and spiritual services
- Support access to traditional healing practices and medicine
- Include an All Nations Sacred Space
- Incorporate First Nations design elements into the hospital and elsewhere on the campus
- Future additions to the hospital may include an Indigenous/First Nations Health & Wellness Centre.