Comfort, Care, Compassion: bringing residential hospice care to Durham Region

There is an undeniable need for palliative care in Durham Region – help us bring residential hospice care to our community!

Learn More
Current web site - Coming soon banner (1)
Snip - Hospice Whitby building

Durham Region Hospice launches $15 million capital campaign to build residential hospices in Whitby and Clarington 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

New centres will provide comfort, care and compassion to families experiencing a palliative care diagnosis

Durham Region, ON – To better serve individuals in Durham Region who are facing a palliative diagnosis, Durham Region Hospice, a partnership between Durham Hospice and VON Durham Community Corporation, today announced the launch of Comfort, Care, Compassion, a capital campaign to raise $15 million toward the construction of two new residential hospices in Durham Region. 

With residential hospice care focused on living – not dying – by empowering individuals to choose how they navigate their final journey while helping their families cope with and prepare for their last stages of life, the campaign will support a 10-bed facility in Whitby and a five-bed facility in Clarington with Clarington Council announcing in early February that it will donate a two-acre portion of land on Cobbledick Road in Newcastle to house the new facility. 

Despite an estimated demand for 33 residential hospice beds in Durham Region by 2018-2019, the region is currently one of the only regions in Ontario without a fully operational residential hospice care centre, meaning that the only option for individuals living their final days is to remain in hospital or go home. With the annual cost of hospital end-of-life care in Ontario valued at $4.7 billion and an acute care bed costing approximately $850 per day, this marks a considerable drain on the province’s health-care system. Those costs become even more significant when considering that only five per cent of annual expected deaths require care in a hospital setting with the remaining 95 per cent better managed in a residential hospice care centre, which has an estimated cost of only $439 per day. With that context in mind, the numbers speak for themselves – there is undeniable need for residential hospice care in the community.

“Durham Region Hospice is committed to bringing residential hospice care to Durham Region, and is seeking donor support to make our vision a reality. Over the coming weeks and months, we will be reaching out to individuals, community organizations, corporations and all levels of government to help us reach our goal. Our health-care system has many supports in place to help us begin and live our lives well; however, that care, comfort and compassion should also extend into our final days. As a community, let’s come together to bring this much needed resource to Durham Region and ensure a full continuum of high-quality care throughout all stages of life,” said Dr. Edward Osborne, physician, Lakeridge Health and regional Palliative Care Lead for the Central East Regional Cancer Program and the Central East Local Health Integration Network.

Residential hospice provides meaningful care – at no cost to residents or their family members – in a supportive, home-like environment, while reducing health-care costs across the system. Hospice residents are cared for via an interdisciplinary team of health-care professionals and volunteers who provide assistance with pain and symptom management and comfort measures, while they and their families have access to counselling, and emotional and spiritual support in an environment that promotes quality of life.

“The transition at end-of-life can be frightening and confusing, yet it is a reality for everyone. Hospice care is truly person-centred with a flexible approach to the individual’s needs. Once constructed, both the Whitby and Clarington sites will offer private rooms, free parking, unrestricted visiting hours and the ability to live freely, including flexible meals based on each resident’s choice, continuing to live with pets, bathing/showering at leisure, going outside as desired, and access to a wide range of non-medical service and program options including spiritual and emotional supports, arts and music and holistic healing practices,” said Melodie Zarzeczny, chair, Board of Directors, Durham Hospice and Christine Raynor, chair, Board of Directors, VON Durham Community Corporation. 

The Comfort, Care, Compassion campaign is running in tandem with the Building for Compassionate Care capital campaign that launched in October 2017 in support of the planned Oak Ridges Hospice in Port Perry.

Hospice is about caring, not curing, and the time to care is now. To learn more about bringing residential hospice care to Durham Region, visit, follow us on Facebook at @durhamregionhospice or contact 


About Durham Region Hospice 

Durham Region Hospice is a partnership between Durham Hospice and VON Durham Community Corporation that was formed in June 2017 to raise $15 million toward the construction of residential hospices in Whitby and Clarington via a capital campaign. The campaign is aligned with a provincial government commitment to making it easier for families in Durham Region to access end-of-life and palliative care. 

Media contacts:

Krista Luxton
Communications associate, Good Word Communications


Allison Rosnak

Principal, Good Word Communications


Skip to content