Former Toronto mayor John Sewell opposes new mega-hospital site

Former Toronto mayor and urban activist John Sewell opposes location chosen for the new Windsor-Essex mega-hospital. He spoke at an event organized by the Citizens for an Accountable Mega-Hospital Planning Process.

Sewell, now an activist surrounding urban and environmental issues, says rural location not ideal

About 120 people attended event to hear why former Toronto mayor John Sewell opposes new mega-hospital site. (Aadel Haleem/CBC)

Former Toronto mayor John Sewell voiced his concerns about the location chosen for the proposed $2-billion mega-hospital to an audience of about 120 people on Wednesday night.

The urban activist didn't mince words, "Putting it on the far outskirts of town is really going to damage Windsor even further."

Sewell is not convinced putting the hospital in a rural lot near the airport — the planned site is the southeast corner of County Road 42 and Concession Road 9 — would be convenient for residents of both the city and county.

"Let's face it: if you do something downtown, people in the county are not disadvantaged," said Sewell.

"If you do something out in the suburbs, people who live in the centre of Windsor really are disadvantaged. They can't get to it by transit, it's a very expensive taxi ride. So that's wrong."

The event was held at the University of Windsor and organized by the Citizens for an Accountable Mega-Hospital Planning Process. 

"I'm feeling so inspired today," said CAMPP spokesperson Philippa von Ziegenweidt.

"The idea that there are other cities all over Ontario that are going through the same thing, where the residents are saying it makes no sense to build a new hospital outside the city," von Ziegenweidt said. "This is not good for us. And people are having the same questions: why are we using up our green spaces if we have land in the city that can be used for the hospital?"

​Sewell has another speaking engagement on Tuesday, at an event at the Windsor Public Library.