IMG 0471

WAHA Field Hospital

Following Ontario's March 2020 state of emergency declaration in response to COVID-19, our team partnered with Infrastructure Ontario, the Weeneebayko Area Health Authority (WAHA) and Northern College to convert space at the college’s Moosonee Campus for a pop-up rapid response hospital unit.


Weeneebayko Area Health Authority and Infrastructure Ontario


Moosonee, ON

Project Scale


Coming together to support our front line.

The conversion of the 2,664 sq. ft. space involved accommodation for a total of 20 beds, including six reserved for acute care. The hospital unit was needed to provide frontline workers with the capacity to increase testing and care for patients infected with the virus, as well as to ease demand on existing hospitals and health centres in the region.

A strict two-week schedule was established to complete the conversion. To achieve this, clear communication and collaboration among all stakeholders was critical. In addition, as Moosonee is a remote town accessible only by plane or train, there was little room for error, delays or changes to the overall scope of work.

Colliers Project Leaders was engaged to lead the Project Management and Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment (FF&E) efforts for this project. Emphasis was placed on gathering feedback from all stakeholders and in-house experts to ensure deliverables were prioritized effectively. The team held progress meetings daily to coordinate tasks and quickly resolve issues in real-time. They proactively outlined plan B solutions to address everything from staffing challenges to transportation requirements and materials delivery. Our team’s familiarity with planning approvals and permitting procedures in Moosonee, as well as building codes specific to healthcare facilities, helped to secure approvals quickly and maintain schedules.

Limitations with transportation and staffing, as well as growing health and safety concerns, required careful monitoring and coordination as work progressed. With only one week left to complete the hospital unit design and get all materials and equipment delivered, the team leveraged L360 Architecture and John R. Hamalainen Engineering Ltd. in nearby Timmins to provide a detailed and code-compliant design and to help coordinate train and delivery schedules. They also worked with Northern College to engage local contractors for tasks that were disrupted by travel and contractor availability to ensure cost-effective, safe and schedule-friendly solutions.

The collaboration and effort of all parties resulted in the successful completion of the rapid hospital response unit as planned on May 1, 2020.