Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital is admired for its clean, modern design. One aspect that’s often overlooked is the beauty of its outdoor spaces. The architects took full advantage of the natural landscape around the hospital, carving out terraces and pathways that are open to patients and families as well as the community. This time of year the grounds are lush, green, full of life—and worth exploring.
The beauty of nature
By following the pathways near the hospital’s main entrance, visitors can surround themselves with greenery. There are dozens of varieties of plants, many of them native species. Oak trees, juniper bushes, ornamental grasses, hostas and purple cone flowers are just a few of the plants you’ll find here.
Neil, a Hennick Bridgepoint patient who is a retired landscape architect, says the garden spaces around Hennick Bridgepoint exude a sense of health and wellness. “You can tell that the people who designed the gardens put a lot of thought and care into integrating the outdoor space into the surrounding park and green space.”
Neil spends as much time outside as he can. On Canada Day he and his wife Ellen followed the ramped pathways down to Riverdale Park where they enjoyed community celebrations. “It was such a wonderful experience that we weren’t expecting,” says Neil.
In fact, Hennick Bridgepoint was purpose-built for rehabilitation and complex care patients. Neil says the outdoor spaces provide an opportunity to “challenge himself” and to continue making progress towards his rehabilitation goals. “That’s what rehab is all about,” he says.
The beauty of art
The plant life is not the only draw to Hennick Bridgepoint’s exterior spaces. There are also outdoor art installations.
The Max Tanenbaum Sculpture Garden is a large and colourful installation depicting human figures formed out of metal by the late William Lishman, a Canadian artist and inventor. You’ll find the sculptures on the west side of the building just outside the doors of the food hall on the main floor of the hospital building.
Sculptures by Sorel Etrog were bequeathed to Sinai Health by the late Israeli-Canadian artist. You can see these large installations on the east side of the building near Bridgepoint Drive.
The labyrinth terrace on the north side of the building has a winding circular path built into the stone. Labyrinths have been used for centuries across many cultures for meditation and reflection. This labyrinth is designed so that anyone, whether walking, using a wheelchair, or other mobility aid, can follow the path into the centre and back out.
A sense of community
One of the aims in designing Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital and its outdoor spaces was to help patients feel a sense of connection to the community during their time in the hospital. The gardens around Hennick Bridgepoint help achieve this by providing a space that welcomes patients, families and members of the community to relax and enjoy the outdoors.