Ed’s House – Official Opening

On Thursday, September 3, Northumberland’s Hospice (Ed’s House) was officially opened by Minister of Health and Deputy Premier Christine Elliott.  There were about 70 people gathered outside the new building on Ontario Street to witness the event.  As well as capital to build the facility, operating costs are ongoing and the Province has committed to pay this for the six new beds – Christine said that the Government is expanding palliative care. As well as the Minister, many who had helped make it happen were also there – see list below.  Hamilton Mayor Bill Cane commented that this was “an amazing collaborative effort”. All speakers at the event thanked the team who made it happen: Fundraising was better than goal at $10.3M, construction was on budget and on time and after 2 weeks of staff training, new residents will be accepted the week of September 22.  Below are photos of the facility and the ribbon cutting event.

What’s in the Facility?

Ed's House
Ed’s House

As well as 6 rooms and 4 unfinished rooms pending future funding, there are also rooms providing for management of other Hospice activities in the County.  It’s not just an active Hospice but also a hub for all the County’s Hospice work provided by about 100 volunteers.  The Hospice will have 15 staff including clinical and admin.  Some of the work at Ed’s House will be done by volunteers – e.g. cooking, yard work, sitting with residents, entertainment and helping with therapy.

When designing the building, the building committee looked at other Ontario Hospices to learn from their mistakes and successes.  As a result the building has these features (and more):

  • Six resident rooms initially with four additional rooms not yet finished or equipped.
  • Rooms have a TV, a window that can be opened, movable seats and more, a bathroom but no shower/bath.
  • Provision for close family members who might stay overnight
  • A dining room and a meeting room
  • A “café” – so you can make coffee for yourself (intended for family members) – also a kitchen.
  • A bathroom where assistance can be provided as needed (see photo)
  • A spiritual room (not a chapel) – this can be configured for different needs.  Smoking is allowed here to accommodate indigenous traditions.  This required special ventilation.
  • Outdoor spaces and decks
  • Single floor for residents with basement space for staff
  • Low maintenance blinds – inside the windows
  • Volunteer areas
  • Staff rooms and offices
  • Staff kitchen and Training and education space in the basement
  • A total of 19,000 sq ft.
  • A backup power generator

What’s a Hospice?

It’s where you can die in the best possible way. It’s an alternative to palliative care in a hospital or at home.

To qualify as a resident:

  • The client has a life-limiting illness with a Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) of 30% or less (e.g. totally bed bound), OR prognosis of 3 weeks or less.
  • The client does not wish to be resuscitated and has completed a DNR confirmation form
  • The client or Substitute Decision Maker (SDM) consents to admission and has knowledge of the residential hospice centre guidelines where the focus is on comfort care
  • The client is currently under the care of a physician who has a system in place to provide continuous coverage.

Ed’s House Northumberland Hospice Care Centre was designed by Barry Bryan Associates (BBA) (Whitby) and built by Dalren Limited (Cobourg). Fundtraising and building was managed by Community Care with several dedicated committees – see “Ed’s House Milestones” below.

Once Ed’s House is open, the only visitors allowed will be close family of residents.

Below are some photos of the opening event plus inside the facility.  More information available below photos.

Dignitaries and Team who made it happen
(and were there and acknowledged)

MPP David Piccini
Mayor of Hamilton Bill Cane
Mayor of Cobourg John Henderson
Mayor of Port Hope and Warden, Bob Sanderson
Mayor of Alnwick/Haldimand Gail Latchford
Chief of  Alderville First Nations Dave Mowat
Community Care Northumberland (CCN) Chair Stephen Beauchamp
CCN CEO Trish Baird
Campaign Director Lynda Kay
Building committee chair Stewart Richardson
County representatives including CAO Jennifer Moore

For a complete list of the team, see “Ed’s House Milestones” below under Links.

Major Donors
Ed and Diane Lorenz (see photo of meeting with Minister and MPP) – donated $1.5M
Kym and Brian Read – donated $1M


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Keith Oliver
3 years ago

I for one would like more information about palliative care. I have no problem with facilities like Ed’s House especially since they reduce the burden on our local hospitals and most likely provide a better quality of the specialized service they offer.

I’ve held power-of-attourney for three women through to their deaths, including my mother, and for two of them, who might have met the terms of admission to Ed’s House, the last month’s were not pretty.

With a “do not resuscitate” agreement a condition of admission, does that apply to forced or introvenious feeding if a patient can no longer swallow yet remains hungry, or drifts in an out of consciousness?

What happens if a patient becomes delusional, keeps trying to get out of bed, perhaps not successfully, but keeps trying?

Also, given the present 10 beds, how many patients does this worth while project anticipate it will serve each year?

I understand, and have seen, how different each individual can be as they approach the end of their life. Given that fact I understand the first two questions, along with several others I can think of, may be difficult to answer.

My sincere congratulations to all involved!

Reply to  Keith Oliver
3 years ago

what you are asking is something to discuss with your health team , not a open forum
because there probably million of different options of care

3 years ago

Good Sign! not many posts? every one living for immortality

3 years ago

Great to see that much philanthropy from local citizens

3 years ago

A very special service for people to face life’s end with compassion and dignity.

3 years ago

Nice that is open

Last edited 3 years ago by Mark
Reply to  Mark
3 years ago

A wonderful addition to Northumberland.