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Bridgepoint Active Healthcare - Don Jail Administrative Building


Stantec Architecture / KPMB Architects are the Planning, Design and Compliance Architects for Bridgepoint Active Healthcare responsible for the project specific outline specifications (PSOS) and the Design Exemplar.

HDR Architecture / Diamond Schmitt Architects are the architects to the Design, Build, Finance and Maintain consortium responsible for the design as constructed and are the Architects of Record.

The 150-year old historic Don Jail was redeveloped into a modern-day hospital administration and education space. The exterior remained intact, with the interior completely renovated while preserving its historical significance. There are several focal features including the main rotunda, two levels of catwalks, glass floor, and skylight at the entrance. The jail cells now serve as private offices. Smith + Andersen also provided services for Bridgepoint Active Healthcare.

S + A Services Included:


The main hospital central heating and cooling plant distribution systems were extended through the bridge and into the historic building to satisfy its demands. Upper level mechanical rooms housing central air handling units were created to provide systems in compliance with current heating, ventilation and air conditioning healthcare standards. A significant challenge presented itself in fitting the mechanical distribution within the existing building's 150-year old floor-to-floor heights (appropriate at a time when perimeter heating was the only mechanical system employed), and so a solution to minimize the depth of the ductwork distribution was developed where terminal devices were provided at the zone level to produce heightened air change rates while only the cooling air required was delivered through the central air handling units.


Utility (Normal), emergency (Vital, Delayed Vital and Conditional) and UPS power were extended from the main hospital to the Don Jail through an underground concrete encased duct bank which was inserted below the existing building footings. New branch distribution panels were installed in strategic locations to make use of existing and new vertical pathways (existing stairs and new elevator shaft). Significant attention was paid to ensure electrical infrastructure was routed and installed in a manner that minimized or eliminated the aesthetic impact and maintained the heritage look of all spaces. The use of optical based open area fire detection systems allowed for accurate fire and smoke detection in the historical open atrium.


The Don Jail was redeveloped into administrative office space in support of the hospital. Being a heritage site, the jail posed numerous challenges in creating pathways and spaces for communications cabling infrastructures, with 12" thick walls and large central atrium. The horizontal cabling infrastructure within the jail consists of Category 6 cabling that supports the voice and data networks, as well as BAS. The jail is connected to a Network Operating Centre (NOC) within the main hospital with a redundant high bandwidth, highly available fibre optic backbone. The NOC is complete with redundant cooling and redundant power services and was designed to house all system servers and critical equipment. The design of the data networks was complete with great consideration given to flexibility, adaptability, and the impact of future emerging technologies and services.


Integrated systems critical to providing safety and security to the staff and visitors (as well as facilitating the protection of assets) were designed as part of this project. The services included the complete design of leading edge turnkey systems including; real-time locating systems (RTLS), access control, closed-circuit television (CCTV), intrusion detection, intercom, sound masking, and paging throughout the facility. Extensive and careful planning was employed to ensure the security systems infrastructure was routed and installed to minimized the aesthetic impact and maintained the heritage look of all spaces. Locating security devices was done strategically to minimize quantity of devices and aesthetic impact while achieving the required coverage.


The renovated historical Don Jail's new lighting installation resolved a significant design challenge associated with how to brighten the contemporary dark mood of an old jail space and enhance the historical features of the architecture, while minimizing cost.
The challenge was to provide the proper illumination levels with the minimal interference at the structural and architectural heritage elements. Tiny halogen lamps float on wires beneath the preserved catwalks, while not touching the ornamental "dragons", providing ambient lighting and highlighting the catwalk supports and structure. Wallpaper from the historic building was integrated into custom wall-mounted luminaires, backlit by linear light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The skylight is back lit with Ceramic Metal Halide lamps and the skylight glass received a blue film to simulate the daylight effect after hours. The exterior lighting uses a combination of LED luminaires with flood and spot distributions and are mounted in concrete pedestals away from the building façade.


Toronto, Ontario

Gross Floor Area

  • 83,400 sq ft

Completion Year



2014 CEO - Award of Merit - Building Engineering and Science

2013 Toronto Construction Association "Best of the Best" Award - Large Project Category

2013 PUG Awards - Paul Oberman Award - Adaptive Reuse and Heritage Restoration

2014 PUG Awards - People's Choice Award - Best Commercial + Institutional Building in Toronto

2014 IES Illumination - Award of Merit - Toronto Section

2014 IES Illumination - International Award of Merit

2015 American Institute of Architects and Academy of Architecture for Healthcare Design Awards - Built (more than $25 million construction cost)

2016 William Greer Architectural Conservation and Craftsmanship - Award of Excellence