Construction of new Retirement Suites now underway in Waterloo
When the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, officially marked the opening of The Village at University Gates and the Schlegel Centre of Excellence for Research and Innovation in the fall of 2015, he called it “a monument to learning and caring for others.”
“It’s a monument to innovation and excellence,” his Excellency said, “and it’s a monument to a smart and caring community and a smart and caring Canada.”
Well that monument continues to grow. On March 17, Schlegel Villages president and CEO Jamie Schlegel announced that construction of the next phase of his father Ron’s vision for a full continuum of seniors living and care that incorporates state-of-the-art research and education capacity is underway.
Currently, University Gates is home to 192 long-term care residents and a devoted team of caregivers. Just down Main Street is the home of the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA), while Conestoga College’s Living Classrooms for future practical nurses and personal support workers is a short elevator ride below. When construction of this next phase is complete, Main Street will extend to a 10-storey retirement home with around 240 suites offering the full continuum of care to its future residents. The signature Ruby Restaurant will welcome guests from the village and beyond, as its sister restaurants at Tansley Woods in Burlington and Wentworth Heights in Hamilton have already done countless times, and The Riverstone Spa will have a prominent place along Main Street.
“This will be a true community hub,” says University Gates general Manager Chris-Anne Preston, noting that all the experience and learning from past village expansions will inform every aspect of this new build. “I'm excited to see Ron’s dream continue to come to life at University Gates and I'm excited for us to continue to grow as a community,” she says. “Residents, families and team members are excited about more space, new neighbours and the opportunity for spouses to come and live in the retirement suites closer to their loved ones in long-term care.
“We’re looking forward to new friends and relationships as this vibrant community continues to grow.”
Schlegel Villages chief operating officer Paul Brown says that each additional phase that's added to any of the Villages provides a greater opportunity to spread the organization’s mission to more people.
“In this case, adding the retirement home and additional Main Street amenity spaces provides University Gates the many benefits of the full Village continuum of care and social model of living.”
He says the fact that this announcement comes so soon after opening the long-term care village “speaks to the strength of the team and the vibrant Community that's been established so quickly.”
A big part of that team are the researchers and students at the RIA and Conestoga College, and Paul points out that this expansion creates even more opportunity for collaboration within the village.
“Adding the Retirement living component to our Village continuum will only increase the amount of research and learning opportunities for residents to contribute to,” Paul says.