Construction of new GPL and County Archives facility a step closer with completion of schematic design

Cobourg, ON – February 20, 2019 – The next phase of the project to build a new 180-bed Golden Plough Lodge and County Archives facility is now underway. Northumberland County staff, joined by representatives from Salter Pilon Architecture, today presented to Council the Schematic Design for the new build, which includes the overall building floor layouts and a preliminary site plan for the project. With the Schematic Design now finalized, the project enters the Design Development phase, where design and cost estimates are further refined in preparation for construction; targeted to begin in mid-to-late 2020.

“Our residents, staff and community members are very excited to see the continued progress on this important project,” stated County CAO Jennifer Moore. “At the Golden Plough Lodge, our staff strive to be leaders in providing quality long-term care, and a 180-bed facility means more Northumberland residents will have access to this care. The existing GPL, and the House of Refuge that preceded it, have served this community proudly for well over 100 years, and we know the community places a strong importance on acknowledging and respecting this history within the architecture of this building. We look forward to a new facility that honours this legacy and supports the organization’s ongoing work as a vital contributor to the local healthcare continuum.”

In 2007, the Ministry of Health & Long Term Care introduced revised standards for long term care facilities, requiring that these standards be met no later than January 1, 2025. With the extent of renovations required to make the existing GPL compliant determined to be infeasible, staff began to lay the groundwork in 2014 for the construction of a new facility. In October 2018, the Province confirmed funding for an expansion of the new GPL from 151 to 180 beds, responding to a significant need for additional long-term care capacity across Northumberland.

The new facility will also include space for the relocation of the Northumberland County Archives. Currently co-located with the Cobourg Library, the Archives’ expanded mandate in recent years to include official repository responsibilities for several member municipalities and community groups has seen it outgrow its current location.

“We have a unique opportunity with the construction of the new GPL to address, at the same time, the need for increased archival services capacity for the County,” indicated CAO Moore. “In order to address the increased demand for these services, the Schematic Design presented today includes space for the Archives that will best support, over the long term, the retention, and access by community members, of records and artifacts that represent the history of Northumberland.”

Northumberland County is focused on ensuring that the new facility offers a positive and healthy experience for residents, visitors and employees. The organization is therefore pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification for the redevelopment. With LEED, emphasis is placed sustainable practices including energy efficiency, and reducing and mitigating potential environmental impacts of the new building.

County Warden John  Logel, commenting on the progress of the project, noted “This Schematic Design represents a plan for the new facility that brings to life the vision laid out by Northumberland County; a facility that is economical, meets the needs of residents and staff, accommodates growing archival services requirements, meets the requirements of the Ministry for long-term care facilities, and respectfully addresses the history of the organization. Council looks forward to continued progress on the creation of a new facility that the community can be proud of for the next 100 years and beyond.”

For more information about this redevelopment project, visit on our GPL Archives Project page.