Ontario Breaks Ground on Long-Term Care Homes in Belle River and Leamington

Two homes will bring 320 much-needed long-term care beds to the province

Construction is underway on two new long-term care homes in Belle River and Leamington, bringing 320 new and upgraded long-term care beds to Essex County. This is part of the Ontario government’s $6.4 billion commitment to build more than 30,000 new beds by 2028 and 28,000 upgraded long-term care beds across the province.

“Congratulations to the whole team involved in the ground-breaking of these two upgraded and modernized homes. Our government is fixing long-term care and a key part of that plan is building modern, safe and comfortable homes for our seniors,” said Paul Calandra, Minister of Long-Term Care. “Today marks a significant milestone. When building is completed, 320 residents will have a new place to call home, near their family and friends.”

The new home in Belle River will replace Tilbury Manor Nursing Home in Tilbury, and will provide 85 new and 75 upgraded beds in private and basic rooms. The 160-bed home will be more centrally located to better serve surrounding communities, and is expected to be completed and welcoming its first residents in fall 2025.

The new home in Leamington will replace Franklin Gardens Long Term Care Home in Leamington, and will provide 40 new and 120 upgraded beds in private and basic rooms. The 160-bed home is expected to be completed and welcoming its first residents in summer 2026.

Both new homes will feature design improvements, including secure outdoor spaces for residents, larger resident common areas and air conditioning throughout the home. The design is centred around ‘resident home areas’ to create more intimate and familiar living spaces for up to 32 residents, with dining and activity areas, lounges and bedrooms.

In addition to these two new long-term care homes, Ontario is supporting five other projects in Essex County, including the development of long-term care homes in Essex, Tecumseh and Windsor. Together, these seven projects will provide 361 new and 759 upgraded long-term care beds, for a total of 1,120 beds built to modern design standards.

The government is fixing long-term care to ensure Ontario’s seniors get the quality of care and quality of life they need and deserve, both now and in the future. The plan is built on four pillars: staffing and care; quality and enforcement; building modern, safe and comfortable homes; and connecting seniors with faster, more convenient access to the services they need.

Quick Facts

  • The Ontario government is on track to build 30,000 much-needed new long-term care beds in the province by 2028, and is redeveloping older beds to modern design standards. Through a $6.4 billion investment, Ontario has 31,705 new and 28,648 upgraded beds in the planning, construction and opening stages of the development process. This will help increase access to long-term care, reduce waitlists, and ease hospital capacity pressures. It will also improve working conditions for staff in long-term care homes and provide safe, more comfortable homes for residents.
  • Building more modern, safe and comfortable homes for our seniors is part of the Government of Ontario’s Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021.
  • The province is taking innovative steps to get long-term care homes built, including modernizing its funding model, selling unused lands with the requirement that long-term care homes be built on portions of the properties, and leveraging hospital-owned land to build urgently needed homes in large urban areas.
  • The Ontario government is providing a supplemental increase to the construction funding subsidy to stimulate the start of construction by August 31, 2023 for more long-term care homes across the province, including the Arch Long Term Care Lakeshore and DTOC Leamington projects. This means projects must have met all criteria to start construction and attained government approval by August 31. Not-for-profit homes have the option to receive a portion of the funding as an up-front construction grant payable at the start of construction. The supplemental increase is part of the funding for long-term care home development.
  • As of April 2023, more than 40,000 people were on the waitlist to access a long-term care bed in Ontario. The median wait time is 123 days for applicants to be placed in long-term care.


“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to invest in creating new long-term care homes for the Leamington and Belle River communities. Today’s announcement marks an exciting milestone for the team at Riverdale Living and our mission to create environments that empower our residents, their families, and our staff to shape their care journeys in meaningful ways. We’re also grateful for the support and assistance we’ve received from our provincial and municipal partners over the years as we’ve worked to navigate the redevelopment process. We are looking forward to the day we can open the doors and welcome residents home.”

– Daniel Argiros
on behalf of Riverdale Living

“The new facility in Belle River will be state-of-the-art, offer private rooms, and have 160 beds. That’s twice as many beds as the facility it is replacing. That means the people of Tilbury and Belle River will have twice as many beds in a new state-of-the-art facility. I want to thank the Minister of Long-Term Care for ensuring that people in Essex County receive access to the quality long-term care they deserve, in a safe, home-like environment, when and where they need it.”

– Anthony Leardi
MPP for Essex

“This announcement marks a significant stride forward in our pursuit of dignified and compassionate care for our seniors. The redevelopment of these new homes exemplifies our unwavering dedication to building warm, welcoming, safe homes for our seniors. These initiatives stand as a testament to our promise of fostering a future where our seniors can thrive, surrounded by the comfort they deserve and the support they need.”

– Trevor Jones
MPP for Chatham-Kent—Leamington