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Project Overview & Timeline

The new centre for children and youth living with health complexity will be the first of its kind in Canada.


Children and youth living with health complexity need a range of services and supports so they can be looked after in their own communities and avoid unnecessary hospital visits. The new centre proposed for the health-care site at Slocan Street and 21 Avenue in Vancouver will:

  • use a team-based approach to care 
  • help families find the services they need
  • train families, caregivers, and community care providers to support a child in their home community 
  • use research and the latest methods to improve the quality of life and health outcomes for children and youth living with health complexity and for their families.


PHSA submitted a business plan for the new centre to the Ministry of Health in November 2021, and the plan was approved in early 2022. The capital cost of the project is $221.8 million, including a $20 million contribution from the BC Children's Hospital Foundation.

Project schedule:

  • Project approved: spring 2022
  • Rezoning: 2022-2023
  • Demolition: fall 2023
  • Construction start: summer 2025
  • Construction finish: fall 2027
  • Facility opens: winter 2028
Please note that all dates are approximate and subject to change.


Ongoing services

These services for children continue to be offered at the Slocan site:

  • Nursing Support Services (NSS)
    This network of registered nurses assists children and youth living with health complexity in their homes and communities all over BC. NSS will be an important part of the new centre and its model of care. NSS is a BC Children's Hospital program. 
  • Children’s Hearing and Speech Centre of BC
    This service continues to operate from the site with an entrance on Kaslo Street. The Children's Hearing and Speech Centre of BC is an independent organization that leases land from PHSA, and is not part of the redevelopment of the site.
History of the site

There have been health-care services at this location for over one hundred years. The new centre will continue that tradition.

The lands south of Burrard Inlet, where the Slocan site is located, were used by the Musqueam, Squamish Nation, and Tsleil-Waututh Nation. The area had abundant natural resources that were available year round, including Western red cedar and Douglas fir, along with berries and medicinal plants. Deer, elk, bear, and small fur-bearing mammals inhabited the area. 

The site was likely used for hunting and for gathering food, medicine, and resources (e.g., cedar bark, berries, and various roots and shoots). The trees would have been logged for construction materials for planks or masks. 

It is unknown when the site was taken by settlers, but it was likely cleared of trees a few years prior to 1911. 


In 1911, the City of Vancouver purchased the site from a landowner to build an isolation hospital. The hospital opened in November 1912 and was used to care for people with smallpox. It was made up of three main buildings: an administrative building and two wings on either side, one for men and one for women. The hospital was in operation until the late 1920s when smallpox was brought under control with vaccination.


The buildings were next used to treat school-aged children who had been exposed to TB. After some renovations, the doors of the Vancouver Preventorium opened in November of 1931. The facility included 25 beds, a school, a playroom, a library, and landscaped grounds.

1958PhotoPrincessMargaret.jpgTuberculosis and polio were major health issues of this time. Kids from across the province, including many First Nations communities, came to the Preventorium for expert care. 
In 1958, a new wing with 70 more beds was built on the south side of the site, on 21st Avenue. The new Mrs. F.B. Begg Memorial Unit was officially opened by Princess Margaret, and for a short time, the site was renamed the Princess Margaret Children's Village in her honour. 
1960s_655BC31_web.jpgWith the success of antibiotics in treating TB, preventoriums were no longer needed. In 1961, the site was renamed Sunny Hill Hospital for Children. It focused on caring for kids with cerebral palsy, disabilities, and children requiring extensive rehabilitation.

1970s_Sunny_Hill.jpgThe 1970s saw a range of new services at Sunny Hill, including developmental and medical assessments for outpatients. 

1980s_655BC54.jpgIn 1981, Sunny Hill was renovated to include a north wing, an indoor pool, a gymnasium, and Hartman House, which served as a group home for children with severe disabilities. After the group home closed, the Hartman House building was used in many different ways. It was last home to the BC Autism Assessment Network (BCAAN), which provides assessment and diagnosis for BC families.
2000s_201812134_BCCHF_SunnyHill_D85_3993_web.jpgAs Sunny Hill celebrated its 60th anniversary in 1991, it underwent more changes. The focus on long-term care shifted to short-term assessment and diagnosis. This allowed Sunny Hill to increase outpatient and outreach services. Sunny Hill staff began traveling to communities throughout BC, so that kids from all over the province could have specialized care. In 1997, Sunny Hill became part of BC Children's Hospital. This led to the development of more services for kids in BC.

new_Sunny_Hill_entrance_web.jpgIn August 2020, Sunny Hill moved into a newly-renovated, state-of-the-art facility at BC Children’s Hospital on Oak Street. Its name changed to Sunny Hill Health Centre at BC Children's Hospital. This move provides an exciting opportunity to reimagine the health-care services for the site in East Vacouver, and to continue its long history of caring for children.


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SOURCE: Project Overview & Timeline ( )
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