Rendering of completed rebuild of West Lincoln Memorial Hospital with text that says Hospital Renaming West Niagara Memorial Hospital

We’ve heard you. We’ve received feedback from several Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln community members. We are grateful for your passion and care towards the hospital as a cherished resource for our communities. We recognize that the current engagement was limited in scope and timing and apologize for this.

Some have expressed desire for more comprehensive public consultation about the request to rename the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH). The project team is pivoting to refine our current strategy and extend the time period for public engagement. The municipalities are working in collaboration with Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) and the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital Foundation (WLMHF) to bring this to fruition. All Council Members within Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln will also have the opportunity to discuss the proposed name change at each of the Council/Committee meetings.

While the municipalities continue to seek feedback from their respective residents through public engagement, HHS continues to conduct internal engagement with the WLMH workforce. This engagement is imperative to the decision-making process and will be ongoing into early spring 2024.

The partnering organizations will review the feedback received and discuss next steps in the early spring. Next steps could include further planning towards a name change or proceeding with the current name of ‘WLMH’. Ultimately, renaming the hospital requires approval by the HHS board of directors, as outlined by the Ministry of Health’s hospital renaming directive.

The collective goal is to have a site name that best serves the public interest and the role of the hospital providing excellent patient care. The public’s engagement in this process is vital to achieving this goal.

The New Hospital

West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH), a Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) hospital, is being rebuilt to accommodate the growing health care needs of west Niagara’s communities. Public support of the new hospital has been overwhelmingly positive, as local residents acknowledge this important endeavour and have demonstrated unwavering commitment to this redevelopment project.

Proposed New Name: West Niagara Memorial Hospital

The Mayors of the Town of Grimsby, Town of Lincoln, Township of West Lincoln and the Chair of Niagara Region have submitted a request to Hamilton Health Sciences to change the name of the new hospital to West Niagara Memorial Hospital. The municipalities, region, WLMH Foundation and HHS are sharing information about the process with the community in support of this request.

The proposed new name not only aims to better reflect the geography in which the hospital is located, but also more accurately represents the broader communities the hospital serves. Similarly, including “West Niagara” in the new name follows recent precedent in naming other community infrastructures, such as the West Niagara Secondary School and the West Niagara Agricultural Centre & Fairgrounds. Names not only identify, they provide historical connections and symbolize the communities in which they belong.

A decision about the new name for the hospital is expected to be made in spring 2024, and the new name will be effective upon the opening of the new hospital in mid-2025.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is a new name for the hospital being proposed? What's wrong with the current name?

After discussing the matter, the Mayors of Grimsby, Lincoln, and West Lincoln, as well as the regional chair of Niagara, submitted a request to consider a proposed name change to West Niagara Memorial Hospital.

The redevelopment of the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH) facility makes for an opportune time to explore the idea of this name change.

The proposed name aims to better represent the broader community the hospital serves and the geographical location of the hospital. Names not only identify, but they also provide historical connections and symbolize the communities in which they belong.

Since the creation of the Niagara Region in 1970, the hospital is no longer located in what was formerly known as “West Lincoln County”.

What is the meaning of the word "Memorial" as part of the hospital name, and why is it part of the proposed new name?

Much thought has been given to keeping “memorial” as part of the hospital name, as the word retains part of its history. The word “Memorial” was included in the original name of the hospital – West Lincoln Memorial Hospital – to pay homage to those who served in the two World Wars at the time the hospital was founded in 1946. The proposed new name – West Niagara Memorial Hospital – continues to uphold this recognition.

For more information about the history of the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital, visit the Grimsby Historical Society.

What is the criteria for a name change? How is it determined and how is the decision made?

The renaming of a hospital in Ontario must follow the Ministry of Health’s hospital renaming directive. Part of this directive outlines the need for consultation with interested parties and the community regarding the adoption of a new name for the hospital. Once interested parties and public consultation has concluded, the partnering organizations will review the feedback. Based on public engagement and feedback, Hamilton Health Sciences’ (HHS) management will bring a recommendation to its Board of Directors for a decision on the matter. This is the regular procedure in Ontario for a hospital name change.

Can the hospital be named in recognition of a donor? How?

Yes. The hospital can be named after a donor based on the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital Foundation’s and HHS donor recognition policy, which states the hospital can be renamed with a donation exceeding $20M.

How did the 3 Mayors come up with the name West Niagara Memorial Hospital as the new name?

The proposed name change was a thoughtful balance between paying homage to history, by retaining the word “memorial” and by better reflecting the hospital’s current geographical location. The current name, including the reference to “West Lincoln,” ties to history; however, the thought was that geography will often change, and today, many refer to our areas and the area of service as “West Niagara” – again, the thought was this proposed geographical name now, more so represents the communities which it predominantly serves, with patients hailing from the three communities and the surrounding area.

Who will make the final decision on the renaming of the hospital?

HHS’ management team will bring a recommendation to its Board of Directors based on the results of public engagement.

When will a decision on the name be made?

Public engagement will continue into spring 2024, likely concluding by the end of April/May, with a final decision by HHS Board of Directors in late May at the earliest.

Why is the hospital spending money to re-brand? Aren’t the costs better dedicated towards services?

There are no additional costs involved with changing the name, as signage and wayfinding costs are already budgeted in the project’s redevelopment plan – this is standard practice. The hospital will be acquiring new signage both internally and externally, regardless of the outcome of the renaming request.

While a potential name change would create no impact on the quality or extent of services planned for the new hospital, the new facility will be approximately 80 per cent larger than the existing facility and will enhance patient capacity, comfort, and care.

Why have municipal tax dollars been dedicated to the hospital redevelopment?

Provincial policy determines the funding of new hospitals and capital building projects. New hospitals are not built without community and municipal donations. Known as the “local share,” donations from benevolent individuals, groups, and businesses are key. These fundraising efforts also include municipalities. A community’s required local share is to pay 10% of capital construction costs and 100% of the cost of equipment, furniture, fixtures, and parking lot infrastructure. In terms of overall cost, this translates to 70% provincial, 30% local (individuals, groups, businesses, and municipalities).

Service delivery - what services does this hospital offer?

West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH) provides both inpatient services and outpatient services, and as a site of Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS), the hospital serves as a point of access to one of the largest health systems in Canada for patients requiring more specialized care.

The new modernized facility will be home to the hospital’s signature programs, including but not limited to, an emergency department, diagnostic imaging, complex continuing care, acute inpatient care, maternal and newborn, day surgery and endoscopy, and ambulatory care.

What are some of the environmental features planned for the new hospital?

The new hospital will contain the following environmental/green features:

  • The building will achieve LEED silver certification
  • Total Energy Use Intensity (TEUI): 1.25 GJ/m2/year
  • Greenhouse Gas Intensity (GHGI): 36 kg eCO2/m2/year
  • High performance envelope with full electrochromic windows for all-vison panels in the curtain wall, providing efficiencies in the solar heat gain
  • Water cooled heat recovery chiller for first stage of cooling
  • Rooftop solar PV system providing 5% of the total building energy load
  • Electric vehicle charging stations
  • Planting of more than 115 net new trees on site

Watch in Real Time! Hospital construction live feed - see video below.

About the WLMH Rebuild

The WLMH redevelopment project is currently in the construction phase after breaking ground in spring 2022. The new hospital is being built directly behind the existing building located at 169 Main St. E, Grimsby.

WLMH provides both inpatient and outpatient services, including emergency services, complex and palliative care, surgery, and maternal and newborn care. The new hospital will be approximately 80 per cent larger than the existing hospital, and enhance patient capacity, comfort and care throughout.

The new, modernized facility will support the community’s evolving health care needs and the workforce’s ability to provide exceptional care. As a site of HHS, WLMH serves as a point of access to one of the largest health systems in Canada for patients requiring more specialized care.

Stay Up-to-Date

If you would like to stay informed of ongoing West Lincoln Memorial Hospital updates, you can subscribe to their newsletter (External link).

Questions or Comments

The Communications Team is available to answer any questions you may have about the proposed new name "West Niagara Memorial Hospital." Please submit your question through the form below, and we will respond as promptly as possible.

 Submit a Question or Comment

History of WLMH

  • 1946

    West Lincoln Memorial Hospital opens on Park Road with donors funding the hospital’s construction.

    Visit Grimsby Historical Society's (External link) website for more background information. 

  • 1949-50

    Fire destroys hospital and it is rebuilt in its current location on Main St. West in Grimsby.

  • 1969-70

    A large extension is added to accommodate the emergency department and the operating room, among other areas. The beginning stages of the hospital’s unique primary care model is established.

  • 1994

    The WLMH midwife program is established.

  • 2014

    West Lincoln Memorial Hospital officially joins Hamilton Health Sciences.

  • 2016

    Our Healthy Future plan submitted to HNHB LHIN, which includes a rebuilt WLMH with a 24-hour Emergency Department, obstetrics, and day surgery.

  • February 2018

    LHIN endorses the proposed program and service model for a rebuilt WLMH. HHS submits plan with three design options to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for review.

  • October 2018

    HHS submits funding request to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to conduct significant facility upgrades in the operating room to meet current patient safety standards.

  • November 2018

    Ontario Premier Doug Ford visits hospital and commits to rebuilding West Lincoln Memorial Hospital. The Premier also announces a planning grant and a grant for general infrastructure upgrades.

  • November 2020

    Request for qualifications.

  • April 2021

    Short-list bidders selected.

  • June 2021

    Request for proposals.

  • April 2022

    Tender awarded for construction.

  • May 2022

    Construction begins.

  • Mid-2025

    Expected completion of the new hospital.

Important Links

Communications Team Members

The following Project Team Members are representatives from Hamilton Health Sciences and partner municipalities:

  • David Silvestro, Hamilton Health Sciences
  • Christina Davidson, Town of Grimsby
  • Liliana Busnello, Town of Lincoln
  • Beth Audet, Township of West Lincoln

Funding Contributions for New Hospital

Total local contribution = $50M