The Yukon government has officially opened a new 10-bed continuing care facility in downtown Whitehorse. The first residents will move in next week.
The Sixth Avenue Continuing Care facility is in the former Oblate Centre, which the government bought a year ago. Renovations were expected to be done in November, but the work ran three months behind schedule.
Premier Darrell Pasloski and Health and Social Services Minister Mike Nixon cut the ribbon at the new facility on Tuesday morning.
"We know that people are waiting for beds, and we know that that number will only grow larger," Pasloski said.
"In the past, there was certainly a lot of people that wanted to move south. So we've seen a big change."
The government describes the new facility as an "interim measure" to reduce the wait list for beds until a new, 150-bed continuing care facility is built in the Whistle Bend subdivision.
Nixon said the wait list "at any given time, can be upwards of 80 or 90 individuals."
Once the Whistle Bend facility opens, the Sixth Avenue building will be used "for other Health and Social Services housing needs," according to the government.