Grey Highlands mayor wants to revive Grey Gables project

Grey Highlands Mayor Paul McQueen has announced he will be bringing forward a resolution to resume discussions about the redevelopment of the Grey Gables long-term care home in Markdale.

At county council’s meeting on Jan. 26 (the meeting was held virtually due to weather conditions) McQueen announced he would bring a resolution about Grey Gables at council’s meeting on Feb. 9.

The redevelopment of the Grey Gables has been on hold since August 2021 when, faced with rising projected costs for the work, the county voted to put the project on hold for the time being.

“Grey Gables was placed on hold until such time county council decides otherwise,” McQueen said in an interview after the meeting. “We have a new council. We have new information.”

In 2019, the provincial government approved an additional 62 long-term care beds for Grey Gables bringing the total to 128. The project has long been controversial at Grey County. A number of years ago, the county was moving towards transferring the 66 beds away from the Markdale home to Rockwood Terrace in Durham.

However, the Ford government was elected on a promise to build tens of thousands of new beds across the province and the county eventually received bed allocations for both the Markdale and Rockwood projects. County council decided to move ahead with the Rockwood project, while putting the Markdale redevelopment on hold.

McQueen said in December the province announced more money for the beds.

“They have increased the funding to the allocated beds. That is new information,” he said.

McQueen said it was time for the new county council elected in October to have a discussion about the future of the project. He noted that there are multiple options to pursue for Grey Gables including a new build or adding a wing to the existing facility.

“It’s time to put this back on the table. Time is ticking. We’ve got to get on this,” said McQueen.

McQueen said the new long-term care beds are desperately needed locally. He said local hospitals are seeing their resources stretched with hospital beds being used for patients who could be in long-term care if more beds were available.

“It’s even more critical now,” said McQueen, who said he expects the public, which has been vocal in the past with its support for redeveloping Grey Gables, to be well represented at the meeting on Feb. 9. “It’s time for round three.”

Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,