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Heart Institute to open 145,000-square-foot expansion

Three years after breaking ground, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute is set to open a 145,000-square-foot facility that it calls the “latest and most sophisticated in Canada.”

Official opening of the tower will take place next week, although renovations to older parts of the Heart Institute will continue for several years.

The new building includes an additional 27-bed critical-care unit, five operating rooms, one hybrid operating room, labs and space for expansion. It is part of a $230-million renovation that comes just as The Ottawa Hospital is making plans to move the aging Civic hospital, which shares the same campus and some staff, off the site.

Delay in the long-planned heart institute expansion means it overlapped with plans to build a $2-billion Civic super hospital.

The Heart Institute will eventually move to the site of the new Civic — at the east end of the Experimental Farm near Dow’s Lake — but not for decades, according to officials. The new Civic is expected to open as early as 2027.

Heart institute officials have said it badly needed the larger state-of-the-art cardiac operating rooms and labs the expansion makes available, and the additional intensive care facilities for patients after surgery.

The current building, officials say, has been operating beyond capacity for years.

The heart institute will hold an open house and opening ceremony next Friday, March 23, between 3 and 8 p.m. at the new facility, 40 Ruskin St.

Published By: Elizabeth Payne, Ottawa Citizen, March 14, 2018