The Bruce Oake Recovery Centre is weeks away from welcoming its first residents.
The long-term treatment facility, located at the site of the old Vimy Arena on Hamilton Avenue, is a 43,000-square-foot building, and its co-founder, Scott Oake, says it’s on the verge of opening its doors.
“Anyone who has driven by it can see that from the outside, it’s complete, and the same for the inside,” Oake told Global News.
“Construction began in January of 2020 — work on the foundation around then — and some 15 months later, we have a beautiful facility that’s bright, it’s open, it’s got a lot of natural light in it.
“It’s very welcoming. We couldn’t be more excited.”
The recovery centre will be a long-term, residential treatment centre for men suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.
It was created in honour of Oake’s son, Bruce, who died in 2011 due to a heroin overdose. He was 25.
“When Bruce died 10 years ago, we felt that addiction was already at a crisis stage, and as a result of this pandemic… whatever it looks like on the other side, demand for the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre is going to be through the roof,” he said.
“Addiction and loss of life due to overdose has exploded during the pandemic, and a place like the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre is sorely needed.
“The completion of the building is not the finish line, it’s the start line — the point where we can start saving lives.”
Oake said intake of the centre’s first residents is expected in about three weeks, with the hopes that the 50-bed facility will be full by the fall.