Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care
The Apotex Centre has 237 dementia beds of a total of 472 beds. The exterior space was defined by a multi-story facility that was bordered by parking lots and a front entrance lawn.
The front entrance and three ground floor courtyards are designed to be viewed from the resident home areas on all floors. There is a strong visual connection between inside and outside which builds on the documented research that views of the outdoors contribute to the health of individuals.
Each of the three courtyards differs in size, layout and design. The differentiation affords a rich variety of outdoor spaces for residents, their families, staff, volunteers and members of the neighbouring community.
The Picnic Court is situated immediately adjacent to the cafe and is a popular place for the surrounding neighbourhood as well as staff, residents and their families. The court provides a large sheltered eating area with tables and chairs situated under deciduous shade trees. Two enclosed niches and one small courtyard extend opportunities for semi-private dining and visiting. In addition, there is a moderate sized horticultural therapy area with raised planting beds. It is anticipated that vegetables and herbs will be grown here reinforcing the theme of food and dining.
The Court provides a venue for the sculptures that have been situated for the appreciation of those in the Court and in the interior cafeteria.
The North Court has the option of being secured for programming for cognitively impaired residents who require a secure environment. A shaded perimeter promenade invites protected circulation. The court is divided into four separate, partially enclosed areas to create more intimate spaces for both casual and programmed use. The whimsical sculptural pieces provide focal points for residents.
The West Court is the largest of the three interior courtyards. It serves as a public gathering space for receptions and parties as well as individual casual use. The large pergola is a focal point and in the fall of each year transforms into a succah.
A horticultural therapy space complete with raised planting beds, water supply and storage shed is situated within the garden partially separated by a low wall . Although the space is an enclave separate from the rest of the court, it allows simultaneous use while within the larger garden.
There are numerous small sitting spaces within these intensively planted gardens with large shade trees and an impressive display of plantings that expand the gardens' interest to all seasons.
The Front Entrance addresses the neighbourhood. It provides residents and visitors with niches for private visiting in small groups close to the door. Shaded walkways surround the expanse of lawn. This garden creates a contemplative viewing space that physically separates pedestrians and vehicles while still providing open views to the activity at the street and the front entrance.