Humber River Hospital

Illuminated by floor-to-ceiling glazing, the main circulation concourse features a palette of neutral grays, creams, and browns. All images courtesy of Dan Schwalm.

Incorporating an evidence-based approach, HDR designed Humber River Hospital (HRH) with a focus on efficiency, environmental consciousness, and digitalization. In addition to being one of Toronto’s largest healthcare facilities and one of North America’s first completely digitized hospitals, the 1.8-million-square-foot complex is a model for modern healthcare delivery.


Image courtesy of Dan Schwalm.

The main circulation concourse, illuminated by floor-to-ceiling glazing, features a palette of neutral grays, creams, and browns, punctuated by cheerful green portals that clearly mark entry into the different departments. To improve wayfinding and staff workflows, HDR designed a layout that efficiently locates nurses’ stations, support spaces, and supply areas in proximity to patient rooms. Medical charts are entirely digitized, and automated guided vehicles transport materials throughout the facility, freeing caregivers to be with patients.

In keeping with HRH’s digital emphasis, integrated bedside terminals allow patients to control their environment—adjusting temperature, lighting, and the window’s electromagnetic shade—as well as check their test results and communicate with caregivers and family. Eighty percent of the hospital’s 656 inpatient beds are in private rooms, which feature welcoming hotel-like touches such as built-in wooden armoires, quilted gray bedspreads, orange throw pillows, and expansive city views.


Image courtesy of Dan Schwalm.

Rooftop gardens, green roofs, natively landscaped green spaces, maximized natural light, and high-tech design strategies that respond to climatic conditions offer additional patient comforts that
simultaneously further HRH’s sustainability goals.