Ottawa Hospital Offload Medicine Transition Unit

Temporary 40-bed Unit Aims to Decrease Emergency Department and Patient Wait Times

Working with clients Infrastructure Ontario and The Ottawa Hospital, our team helped erect a temporary Offload Medicine Transition Unit in just three months. The 10,800 sq. ft. structure supports 40 patients, operating as an extension of the hospital’s Civic Campus.


Infrastructure Ontario / The Ottawa Hospital


Ottawa, Ontario

The Civic Campus is one of two The Ottawa Hospital locations available to admit and treat patients via the emergency department. Located in the city’s west end, the Civic Campus has faced a rising influx of emergency department patients for more than two years.

In 2019, the hospital reported more than 300 level zero instances where all available ambulances were out responding to calls or waiting to transfer patients into the care of hospital staff.

To expand the campus’ capacity, decrease patient wait times and improve ambulance responsiveness, Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) joined forces in fall 2020 to erect a temporary Offload Medicine Transition Unit (OMTU). The 10,800 sq. ft. 40-bed Sprung structure will serve as a fully-operational facility to support the Civic Campus’ emergency department, taking on overflow of patients requiring care.

The tent-like structure can accommodate 40 patients and connects to the main hospital via an above-ground tunnel. It includes four staff stations with seating and desktops for up to 12 employees, a staff lounge, washroom facilities, showers, a negative pressure isolation room, and its own ambulance intake area for patient offloading. Built to withstand the four seasons of the Canadian climate, the OMTU is equipped with mechanical systems to allow negative air pressure, oxygen/suction at each headwall, a nurse call system, local paging and emergency power, replicating many of the required conditions of a hospital.

Working under a Master Services Agreement (MSA), Colliers Project Leaders is always ready to take on projects for IO and its partners. Engaged for this high-priority project under the agreement, our team reacted quickly to provide project management, construction solutions and furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) services from inception through to closeout.

Building and equipping a fully functional hospital extension in just three months is no simple task. Our team began by procuring a design consultant, contractors and all FF&E for the project. Similar to the approach we took completing a similar temporary structure for IO and the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVRHC) in Barrie, our team assisted with stakeholder engagement– including hospital staff and authorities having jurisdiction– early in the process and maintained frequent communications throughout the project. Holding the project team accountable for deliverables with constant communication and monitoring, we were able to meet the project timelines. In addition, with supply availability impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, we leveraged the material and equipment lists from the RVRHC project to ensure we could place all equipment orders as early as possible.

Thanks to the dedication of the entire project team, the OMTU was completed on December 31, 2020 and started accepting patients days later. In just three months, the team planned, constructed and delivered a fully operational space to help alleviate capacity challenges at the Civic Campus and improve the quality of care available to patients in the Ottawa-Carleton region.

Ottawa Hospital OMTU bed
Ottawa Hospital OMTU hallway