Closure of Sandy Hill’s last retirement residence presents substantial community harm
By September 30, Rideau Place (aka Rideau Place on the River, at 550 Wilbrod St) will cease to be a residence for seniors. Chartwell Corporation, owner and operator, recently informed the current residents that they must find other accommodation by that time.
Mary Perrone Lisi, Chartwell’s Senior Director of Communications and Public Relations, says Rideau Place will be sold, but “at this time” she does not know of any plans for the handsome building or lovely garden at the eastern end of Wilbrod Street. She explains that residents may choose alternative Chartwell locations in the urban area and that the company will “fully support their moves”. The staff now employed at Rideau Place will be offered jobs at other Chartwell institutions, “if possible.”
IMAGE readers may recall Chartwell’s 2014 closure of the former Rideau Gardens, adjacent to the library on Rideau Street, which is now a student residence. It seems students and seniors are interchangeable inhabitants of multi-residential institutions.
Several residents who were displaced when Rideau Gardens closed moved to Rideau Place. A few years earlier, the former École St-Pierre, later St. Pierre Community Centre, was repurposed as a seniors’ residence, but that edifice is now a boutique apartment building.
Not only is the closure of Rideau Place very disconcerting for its residents, it is also demoralizing for Sandy Hill seniors who had planned to make Rideau Place their final home. There are no longer any placements for seniors in our neighbourhood. Are seniors in Sandy Hill in short supply or determined to age in place?
We shall miss the connection with our most venerable; many of us have enjoyed visiting them during happy hour, concerts in the garden, through interesting talks, and other events. Even more, as we bid them adieu, we are sadly aware that the closure signals the end to friendly chats and greetings with Rideau Place neighbours, both residents and staff.