KIDS
CAN'T
WAIT

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Your Lansdowne
Children's Centre
Is On The Edge...

We Need Your Help.

Join our efforts to build a NEW Lansdowne Children's Centre.

The population in our region is BOOMING.

We are thrilled to welcome so many new families into Brantford, Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk. As demand for our services and supports GROWS, so does our need to GROW in response.

It is time to build a NEW Lansdowne Children's Centre.

 

We need to address building and capacity concerns including:

  • Inadequate parking and access for our families and staff;

  • Inability to expand and update the building infrastructure;

  • Limited access to assessment and treatment facilities;

  • Crowded workspaces for our staff and support workers;

  • Inadequate group meeting spaces and play areas.

Learn more about our action plan to address the resulting accessibility and safety risks, and our rapidly increasing

waiting lists for treatment and support services.

Together we can impact change in the lives of many families in our community in pursuit of our mission, to support infants, children and youth with physical, developmental or communication needs, and their families, and our vision, realizing the optimal potential for infants, children and youth..

 

We need your help to advocate for all our Lansdowne kids because the Kids Can't Wait.

 
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Our Story

In March 2020, a report prepared by Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc. and RPG - the seventh planning study and submission since 2010 - was submitted to the provincial ministry.

This recent report further validated earlier findings shared in former submissions and once again highlighted a growing problem related to space and infrastructure at 39 Mount Pleasant St, in Brantford, recognized as the Lansdowne Children's Centre.

Lansdowne Children’s Centre currently operates out of a 57 year old,

26,600 cgsf single-storey building.

 

From this location Lansdowne serves infants, children and youth, and their families, from Brantford, Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk counties, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations Territory. The geographic span of our catchment area exceeds 4,000 square kilometers.

WHAT IS CGSF? 

Component gross square feet, represents the actual footprint of a specific department or functional area.

At the time of the last expansion in 1998,  the 2.4 acre land-locked site on Mt. Pleasant Street was filled, maximizing available  infrastructure and space to accommodate service for 900 children. The parking lot at the lower level of the property was designed to manage approximately 75 mid-size vehicles..

 

As of March 31, 2020, more than 3,000 children, and their families, annually seek care and support at Lansdowne Children’s Centre - a 300%+ increase in service delivery achieved through creative solutions and compromise. The calculated parking requirement is 170 spaces, nearly 100 more than currently available.

 

We have no more room to compromise.
The current wait list for services at Lansdowne Children’s Centre exceeds 2,000 children,

nearly double the volume since pre-pandemic 2019.

The space challenges result in a significant shortfall when taking into account right-sizing the current programs to meet the best practice and accessibility needs of each individual service program.

Crowding frequently requires decanting spillover services into the leased 25 Bell Lane, Brantford ‘Kids Country Inn’ [licensed for provision of overnight medically fragile/technologically dependent respite].

Programs such as the Recreation portion of the Centre Wide Therapy Service program, Aquatics and Respite are all provided off site, increasing the burden of travel for families and embedding inefficiencies into the daily operations of the Lansdowne.

In an effort to improve local access to service and to re-direct some foot traffic from the Brantford site, Lansdowne has increased it's presence in Haldimand and Norfolk through operation of four additional dedicated service-delivery sites. While most rural residents are expected to be served in their local community, it is also our expectation that access to specialized services and equipment may still be needed at the Brantford site.

It is not a cost-effective solution to rent more offsite space: this fractures access to the transdisciplinary model of care and integrated scope of services while eroding shared economies the hub format offers.

The analysis in 2020 reported that the current Lansdowne space-needs are 68,217 cgsf - a shortage of nearly 50,000 cgsf - compared to what the facility currently provides.

Lansdowne has employed a number of creative strategies for providing service in the face of this deficit of space. Spaces previously designated for storage were retooled for meeting space and/or work spaces. Clinician work spaces have been integrated into space that previously was exclusive to assessment and treatment areas.

Unfortunately these compromises are not sustainable, and space uses, including staff and clinical treatment spaces, now overlap in ways that could be considered detrimental to the operations of program delivery.


Despite this, Lansdowne Children’s Centre has met 98.4% of the required standards in the latest accreditation survey undertaken in November 2019.

 

That same survey highlighted lack of space as a significant issue as well as base building infrastructure, for example hand wash sinks, required to support the increasingly complex client base.


Our successful accreditation has been achieved despite

the state of the current facility. This is a testament to the

innovation and professionalism of the staff at Lansdowne.

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Help Us Build a NEW Children's Treatment Centre

Unique to our 2020 ministry submission is a solution proposal centered around the development of a new facility to be constructed at a new location in the city of Brantford.

When built, the new Lansdowne Children’s Centre facility will address a current shortfall in service provision in Brant County and beyond, and will be able to accommodate future growth in visits and acuity in a way that is impossible at today's existing site.

 

The proposed solution considerations include:

  • Ensuring that current services are delivered in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) standards.

  • Enhancing group format services [as appropriate], improving on the current configuration that prevents or limits such activities.

  • Consolidating services from Kids Country Inn and other auxiliary locations to reduce family travel and optimize program efficiency.

  • Meet provincial care standards by providing spaces not currently available due to building limitations (large motor group activities needing gym/pool, sufficient and specific assessment spaces, etc.)

  • Providing added-value to our community by introducing new facilities for public use and rental, such as meeting spaces and recreational spaces.


The proposed design’s qualitative benefits around family

engagement and child comfort will enhance treatment,

staff recruitment and retention, and community profile.

Principles used in the design, construction and building systems, will improve on the efficiencies possible around materials, passive energy use, etc. that cannot possibly be addressed in continued operations in a too-small 57-year old cinder block building that cannot be built up or out.

Given an appropriate building solution, there is no limit to what the clients, their families and the staff of Lansdowne could achieve.

Dream Board | Architect Concept Art

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Spacious, open concept areas for connectivity, with access to daylight.

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Outdoor recreation areas designed with enhanced sensory environments.

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Spaces that are calming and comfortable.

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Dedicated treatment and assessment areas, designed for program delivery.

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Universally accessible washrooms.

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Spaces for individual and group play.

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Enhanced sensory environments for client therapy and recreation.

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Accessible recreation areas including an indoor swimming pool.

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Spaces to meet and work.

A New Lansdowne, A Community Effort 

The preparation for the new-build Lansdowne proposal included a full day visioning workshop to establish a direction for the redevelopment of Lansdowne Children's Centre. Hosted in December 2019 with Montgomery Sisam Architects, over 100 Lansdowne staff and community members, including the Mayors of Brant County, the City of Brantford and other City staff, came and offered their opinions on the test plans and the visioning boards. Each participant was also provided with three Red Dots that they could place on any portion of a given panel to anonymously indicate a preference.

Of the Visioning Boards presented, the most dialogue centered around the Sensory Environment of the building as well as the different Open Office solutions for staff workspace. Feedback was universal in stating that the building should be as non-institutional as possible and that the environment should be engaging to the full age range of the clients who will use the building.

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