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Keeping Long-Term Care Residents Cool – Infrastructure Ontario Supports Air Conditioning Installation in Long-Term Care Homes across Ontario

How collaboration enhanced resident experience

The Ontario government made a series of regulatory amendments to support the public commitment by the Premier in July 2020 to have air conditioning (AC) in all long-term care homes. This included amendments in April 2023 to require AC in resident rooms and enhanced enforcement tools, to ensure that residents can live comfortably in their homes and to reinforce accountability among long-term care home licensees in complying with AC requirements.

Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and the Ministry of Long-Term Care (MLTC) collaborated on the AC program over the past two years to support installation of cooling systems in long-term care homes across the province, especially in resident rooms.

The program’s goal was to ensure homes installed proper AC systems within designated cooling areas and resident rooms, where the systems ensured indoor temperatures are maintained at comfortable levels during specified periods, in accordance with the air conditioning requirements under Ontario Regulation 246/22.

Residents’ experience was made a top priority throughout the planning and installation periods of the program. IO drew on the expertise of its Technical Services Team, who worked closely with the MLTC and each long-term care home to determine the most appropriate AC solutions to meet their specific home’s needs.

Throughout the process, IO saw firsthand how new or upgraded AC systems could positively impact the comfort of residents and users in long-term care homes across the province. Multiple AC options were presented and installed throughout the homes, ensuring the long-term care homes received the best unit that met their specific needs.

Options included:

  • portable units,
  • window-mounted units,
  • single units,
  • through-wall units,
  • variable refrigerant flow units (outdoor units connected to multiple indoor units via refrigerant piping).
Air conditioner installed in room

With the exception of three long-term care homes, all resident bedrooms in the province have been equipped with air conditioning. While these three homes have been granted temporary exemptions to get their final air conditioning systems implemented, they have interim cooling solutions in place and are keeping their residents safe and comfortable.

Multiple staff members from IO, MLTC, and IO’s property and land management service provider collaborated to deliver this important program for Ontario long-term care residents and users.

Infrastructure Ontario (IO) is a Crown agency of the Province of Ontario that supports the Ontario government’s initiatives to modernize and maximize the value of public infrastructure and real estate. Infrastructure Ontario and the Ministry of Long-term Care worked collaboratively on the Air Conditioning Program.

Air conditioners installed on the roof