Providence Village is a dream that is coming to life. The Sisters of Providence have shared their vision to transform their Motherhouse property in the centre of Kingston into a neighbourhood community. There has been tremendous support for the idea and numerous organizations and services are exploring the possibilities such a village creates.
These include long-term care, hospice and the Kingston YMCA. Providence Care, which operates the Providence Manor long-term care home currently in downtown Kingston, as well as hospital and community programs, is a committed partner and is working with the Sisters to transform the vision into reality.
The first puzzle piece dropped into place in late November when it was announced that housing developer Homestead Holdings had purchased four acres of the 30-acre grounds of the property at 1200 Princess Street. The plan developed for Providence Village identified housing as a key need of the Kingston region. The sale commits Homestead to three apartment buildings that will add approximately 400 new units to the Kingston market. One of the buildings will cater specifically to seniors and will include 60 units designated as affordable housing units. Space within the buildings will be allocated to accommodate onsite programming, such as supports for seniors living in their own homes.
With a housing agreement in place, what are the other pieces moving ahead? Providence Village plans include transforming the Motherhouse building into offices, meeting spaces and a hive of activity for Providence Care and a number of other organizations.
Housing the first element to fit into place
The Sisters will continue to live in the building, consolidating over time in the Marian wing. With them will be members of the Congregation for Notre Dame and the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph, who already live at the Motherhouse.
This is the picture that has emerged from more than a year of planning by the Sisters of Providence, Providence Care and the consultants who have worked with them on a master plan and master program for Providence Village.
The Providence Village idea was approved at the 2015 congregational chapter (meeting). A key component of the plan is the long-term care home. Providence Manor needs a new locale and the Motherhouse site would be ideal. Providence Care is working through the required approval process with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and hopes to be moving forward with construction in the next few years.
“Our work over the past year and a half has been to do a study of what the local needs are here in Kingston,” said Sister Sandra Shannon, General Superior of the Sisters of Providence. “From that point, we looked at our property and considered how we might accommodate several organizations and uses on the site.”
“We have had some exciting initial conversations with organizations that meet needs of different people in our community – whether they are seniors, families, people looking for work or people in their last stage of life,” says Cathy Szabo, President & CEO at
Providence Care and member of the Providence Village Steering Committee. “Our vision statement is to develop ‘A neighbourhood of people helping people, inspiring hope, fulfilment and care for the earth.’ Working with our partners we know we are headed in the right direction.”
Providence Care is committed to the vision for Providence Village, and we’re excited to be planning to redevelop our long-term care home, Providence Manor, on the property,” Szabo adds.
The values used by the steering committee are compassion, respect and integrity. The five guiding principles of Providence Village are to:
- uphold a spirit of humility, simplicity and charity;
- demonstrate responsible stewardship of resources;
- create opportunities to connect, innovate and collaborate;
- be open, welcoming and supportive;
- foster holistic life and wellness.
Although some components will be built sooner, the development plan for Providence Village stretches out over seven to ten years.
This article is taken from the Fall 2016 issue of the Providence Pages, the newsletter of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul(Kingston, Ontario). To read this issue, click the picture on the right.
For further information or to subscribe to the Providence Pagesnewsletter, visit www.providence.ca