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St. Michael’s to get front door

Toronto, March 12, 2013

By Leslie Shepherd

St. Michael's will finally get a front door as part of the St. Michael's 3.0 renewal project - one that is open and welcoming to the community.

Together with a new light-filled lobby, improved wayfinding and a "main street" on the first floor running the length of the hospital, it will help transform our public face.

The new entrance will be on Victoria Street and will lead people into an open space where they can either take an escalator to the first floor or one of the new elevators to access all floors.

The goal is to create a space that reflects the caliber of the hospital and the quality of patient care from the minute people step in the building, said Heather Fletcher, interim director of Food Services and Patient Transport who chairs the Retail and Public Spaces Working Group.

"The new entrance will be a very transparent space, very welcoming, with big glass windows," said Kelly Henderson, a project manager for the Planning Department and member of the working group. "The goal is to be connected to the community."

Fletcher said there will also be seating and other elements "that suggest this is a place for people and people are welcome in that space."

One way of creating that homey, welcoming feeling will be to use warm finishings, such as wood or other natural products, Henderson said.

Fletcher said the new lobby will have a good visual connection to the floor above, where the 'main street' and a few retail outlets will run through the hospital to the existing Cardinal Carter elevators. From the new lobby, people will also be able to see the 10-story atrium and have a good visual connection to the existing Queen Street Lobby.

The existing Queen Street entrance will remain, repurposed for Wheel-Trans pickup and drop-off and patient waiting space.

One more special feature of the new entrance area: it will be the new home of the St. Michael’s angel.

About St. Michael’s Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 23 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, and care of the homeless are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.