Update on Golden Plough Lodge

The biggest current County project is the rebuild of the Golden Plough Long Term Care Home with a budget of $80 million.  Approval was initiated in 2016 with design starting in 2018.  Completion is expected in the summer of 2022 with demolition of the old building to happen in 2023.  Construction should start this summer.  At 200,000 sq. ft., the new building will be double the size of the current lodge and will include 6000 sq. ft. devoted to an archive/museum facility which will relocate from their current space at the Library.  As well as all this, there will be changes to Courthouse road – ownership of the road will transfer from the Town to the County and this will cause problems for the adjacent Church on the Hill.  Well that’s what the Church’s pastor Rev. Dr. Ewen Butler said.

Glenn Dees and Jennifer Moore
Jennifer Moore – right

The update on the Plough by County CAO Jennifer Moore (file photo from the 2019 update at right) and the presentation from the Pastor happened at Monday’s Committee of the Whole Council meeting.  Jennifer was joined by Gerry Pilon, principal of the project’s architect/builder and although the meeting was virtual, a good amount of information was provided.  See the link below for the full presentation but here is a summary.

The reason for the rebuild is that the current building has reached its end-of-life and renovating to meet current requirements would be more expensive, even if it were possible.  Also, it would be too expensive to re-purpose the building for (e.g.) low-cost housing.

Floor Plan
Floor Plan

The Archives are included because the County has expanded its mandate for archives to include the entire County (not just Cobourg) and has outgrown the space at the Library.  The new facility will include “display and exhibition space to showcase a diverse range of County stories”.

The new building will have 180 beds compared to 151 currently.  Each unit will have a window to open space – some into interior courtyards. There are 3 floors each with similar layouts. The drawing at right shows the ground floor (click to enlarge).

The rooms are small – about 270 sq. ft. per person; some are basic where 2 share a larger room and one bathroom; some are semi-private with separate bedrooms but a shared bathroom and some are private – small but you get your own bathroom. See the plans below. I understand that basic rooms may be subsidized if your income is low enough but the others are not eligible for this. The current basic rate is $1,891/mth, semi-private $2,280/mth and private $2,701/mth but of course this includes food and housekeeping and there is medical care on the premises (but phone and upgraded cable are extra). The maximum subsidy – presumably if you have zero income – equals the rate charged for a basic room.

The dispute with the Church is still being “negotiated” – it seems the problem is that currently, entrance and exit vehicles can go via either leg of the Courthouse road crescent but the proposal is to only have entrance/exit via the west steeper leg.  The change is needed to accommodate the larger GPL parking lot.  Rev Butler asked that the Town “advocate on their behalf”.

Below are drawings extracted from the presentation showing the Site plan, the plans for individual units and a drawing of the finished building looking at the front entrance. Click any image to enlarge and start slide show.


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3 years ago

Yes, all should be private rooms for disease control and safety for dementia residences. No need for 3 room types 2 would do. Perhaps size could be the difference in pricing. This way all could have their own bathroom and privacy.

4 years ago

No need for an archive room to be created on site
They should look at this area as a future disease/virus isolation area for accurences that will surely flare up from time to time. These plans were done well before Covid 19.

Last edited 4 years ago by Informed
4 years ago

…speaking of GPL, this just in from the latest update memo from management at GPL to family members of residents there:
“I am happy to share that all continues to remain well at the Golden Plough Lodge. We received the last of our staff swabbing results and all are negative. Good news for everyone!…the practice of proactive resident swabbing and enhanced infection control processes remain in place…”
These are commendable results, considering the horrific reports of appalling conditions in some LTC facilities elsewhere in the province. Congratulations to Clare and the staff at GPL for such diligent and successful managing of challenging conditions during these difficult times.

Reply to  JimT
4 years ago

Not what we heard I understand several staff are / were/ on leave at home off duty for a reason ??
hope they weren’t just using the system .

Mrs. J.
4 years ago

Taking into account the recent governmental “promises” to revamp the types of long-term, and nursing-home facilities, due to the findings that the Covid virus can spread far too easily in shared rooms and bathrooms, I wonder if the currently approved floor-plan of the new Golden Plough, will meet the perhaps TOTALLY different expectations of these upcoming revamping measures. (For example, “some” suggestions have been to only have private rooms and nothing shared.)
It certainly would be a huge waste of money, if the “new” G.P. building has to be altered again.
Just saying and wondering…..

4 years ago

Your wright they are insane The old building should be for affordable senior housing or lesser care . There are lots of apartment buildings in this town way older than the Plough and Their life ended long ago but people are still expected to live in them . and with the money the county spends on maintenance annually its better than most buildings around here ‘, and the Hoax about contaminants and asbestos is just self serving they brought that under control long ago Besides no one has died in there from recent contact from any contaminant but there have been deaths due to the lack of food and shelter .
The rates they are intending to charge we may as well leave it to the Private sector not the Tax payers By the time its built the Rack / Room rates will have increased dramatically as will the construction overrun costs
Then to top it off the Design was back in 2016 and with the stiff new regulations to Long term care facilities coming in after this Covid 19 nonsense The whole thing might be regulated out of existence before it s
And what about the new Private facility that wants to come and build in This Town at the end of Depalma Dr. bringing another 130 + Jobs Paccini was pushing for this for a while now but I understand something some one is holding them up . It wouldn’t cost the Tax Payers a red cent and we could insist on some geared to income units be part of it

Reply to  perplexed
4 years ago

I agree with perplexed when he refers to the design as “outdated”. COVID 19 has shown the need for individual rooms and bathroom facilities to best control spread of disease amongst a vulnerable population. If this change is regulated requirement within a few years, would this mean renovating a “new” facility?

Reply to  perplexed
4 years ago

Then to top it off the Design was back in 2016 and with the stiff new regulations to Long term care facilities coming in after this Covid 19 nonsense The whole thing might be regulated out of existence before it is finished

Perhaps the fear that it will require a redesign explains the rush to demolish the current building and begin construction. Then we can demolish the replacement and…

Long Day's Journey into Night
4 years ago

Can any sane citizen reader explain the reason for a $6 million Archives? I really haven’t witnessed a line-up or confined conditions at the Library….

Reply to  Long Day's Journey into Night
4 years ago

Can any sane citizen reader explain the reason for an $80 million replacement for a Long Term Care facility that is working just fine as is and would seem to have years of productive use ahead of it, but is scheduled to be demolished instead, itself at great cost for demolition and removal?

Reply to  JimT
4 years ago

Upgrading the current GPL to meet current standards would inconvenience operations and be a huge expenditure. The important question is, does the current architectural plan meet standards after Covid-19? This new facility is to meet the needs of people far into the future and the current structure is quite aged. We are grateful for the care that our family has received there in the past and that care will continue into the future but the infrastructure, the rooms, the kitchens and the entire structure will suit us for many decades to come.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  AlmaB
4 years ago

The new version of GPL will cost $100M or over $1000 for every man, woman and child in Northumberland. What do you consider “a huge expenditure“?

Canuck Patriot
Reply to  Long Day's Journey into Night
4 years ago

I have to agree. I would much rather see more patient rooms than a $6 Million archive. How many people visit the current one? Is there an opportunity to expand beyond three floors to five?

Fact Checker
Reply to  Canuck Patriot
4 years ago

I agree. The archives could be housed in one of Northam’s unused spaces and the refurb cost wouldn’t be anything like $6M. The mothballed arena is another potential site.

Last edited 4 years ago by Fact Checker