Ottawa

One step closer to a peaceful death in Kingston

For five years, Kingston, Ont., residents have worked to build a hospice in the city — the largest Ontario municipality without a dedicated residential space for the dying. A recent $500,000 donation from the city makes that project one step closer to fruition.

Council votes to donate $500K to hospice campaign

A campaign to establish a dedicated residential hospice in Kingston, Ont., received a boost last week when city council voted to donate $500,000 to the project. (Shaun Best/Reuters)

For five years, Kingston, Ont., residents have worked to build a hospice in the city — the largest Ontario municipality without a dedicated residential space for the dying.

Those efforts got a boost last week, when Kingston's city council voted to donate $500,000 to the project.

"We're darn close [now] and our expectation is to go to tender and have a shovel in the ground before the end of the summer," said Peter Kingston, who chairs The Time is Now, the name of the campaign to build the hospice.

Kingston told CBC Radio's Ontario Morning that his own mother died in a palliative bed in a hospital, while his mother-in-law died in a Toronto hospice.

Home-like atmosphere

""The difference [was] night and day," said Kingston.

"[Hospitals] are loud, they're noisy, they're busy. It's not a peaceful way to end your life."

Having a hospice in the eastern Ontario city would offer the opportunity for a more tranquil death, with friends and family able to visit 24 hours a day and even stay overnight, Kingston said.

Hospices typically have fewer than 10 beds, which means a home-like atmosphere so that visitors "can concentrate on talking about old times," he said.

The city of Kingston's $500,000 to the hospice project means it's now only $1 million short of its fundraising goal. (Lars Hagberg/Canadian Press)

'They'd be able to die well'

While the city's $500,000 contribution pales in comparison to one private $4.5-million donation from a 99-year-old resident, it does bring the total money raised to $10.7 million — just one million dollars short of the campaign's stated goal.

Kingston said it should take between 15 and 18 months to build the hospice. An eight-hectare parcel of land at 1200 Princess St. has already been identified as the future site, he said.

The project would ultimately mean a great deal for people preparing for death, Kingston said.

"Folks like my mom would not have to spend their last few days in an active hospital," he said. "They'd be able to die well in a residential hospice."

 

CBC Radio's Ontario Morning

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.