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Northumberland County is responsible for Social Services in the County and this includes Long Term Care Homes. The home operated by the County is the Golden Plough located on County property at the northwest corner of Elgin and Burnham but it has reached end of life and does not meet current standards. Since renovating it to meet current requirements would be more expensive, even if it were possible, the County has embarked on a rebuild with a budget of $80M. golden plough At 200,000 sq. ft., the new building will be double the size of the current lodge and will include 6000 sq. ft. devoted to an archive/museum facility which will relocate from their current space at the Library.  When the new building is complete, the current building will be demolished since it would be too expensive to re-purpose the building for (e.g.) low-cost housing.

The new building will have 180 beds compared to 151 currently.  Each unit will have a window to open space – some into interior courtyards.

There is an overview of the project at this Cobourg News Post

The Archives are included because the County has expanded its mandate for archives to include the entire County (not just Cobourg) and has outgrown the space at the Library.  The new facility will include “display and exhibition space to showcase a diverse range of County stories”.

Progress Report - 3 April 2024

Construction advancing on all three levels

A mild winter has enabled construction crews to progress work on both the exterior and interior of the new Golden Plough Lodge and NCAM. Significant progress is being made with the installation of the mechanical ductwork and electrical cabling on all three levels of the facility. Bricks are now being installed on the interior courtyards and exterior stud framing and sheathing are almost 95% complete.

With interior wall frames in place, drywall installation for resident rooms and hallways is well underway and insulation is being installed to keep the facility warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Up top on the roof, final roof sealing and drainage are now at 80% and tie-ins for the heating and cooling systems and main boilers is nearing completion. In the coming months the exterior cladding and grading will start to be more visible and resident rooms and common areas will continue to be built out.

While construction crews have busy with the bricks and mortar, internally, the team has now begun the detailed process of developing a number of transition plans to ensure compliance with Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care requirements and plans to safely and smoothly relocate staff and residents.


Residents move in – Summer 2024
NCAM collection relocated from C. Gordon King Centre - Summer 2024
Demolition of existing GPL – October 2024
Completion of site campus – October 2024

Progress Report – January 2024

Interior Takes Shape

GPL Jan 2024With most of the roof complete and the majority of windows installed, the construction team is turning their attention to work on the inside of the facility.

Heating and air conditioning ductwork is being hoisted up and hung from ceiling brackets and electrical cabling is being wired throughout the building. Wall framing continues to be constructed and anchored in place to allow crews to start the hanging and installation of drywall. With drywall underway, the interior hallways and resident rooms are starting to take shape and define the interior spaces.

Late last month a number of major milestones where accomplished:

  • installation of roof top units holding the heating and air conditioning units;
  • boilers, pump, and the emergency generator have been placed in the mechanical penthouse above the 3rd floor and are currently being connected to building systems; and 
  • the curbs and first layer of asphalt have been completed for the north staff parking.

In the coming weeks, drywalling will continue on all floors and the major electrical and plumping components such as pumps and electrical panels will be installed and connected.

No update has been provided on move-in or opening dates.

Progress Report

25 October 2023

Over the summer months construction of the GPL & NCAM continued to proceed, with the project now at the 60% completion stage. A big focus has been on completing the roof structure which is now undergoing final sealing. Heating and cooling systems, including large boilers, have been hoisted and placed on the roof in preparation for hook up and installation.

Outside, the window installation is nearing completion which will allow for a lot of natural light for both residents and staff. Crews are also preparing to begin attaching the exterior cladding. Inside we have completed the fire suppression testing and commissioning and ductwork, electrical rough-ins and interior wall framing is in progress.

30 May 2023

The Golden Plough Lodge (GPL) & Northumberland County Archives redevelopment has crossed the halfway point of construction. Dedicated workers are forging ahead with the construction of the three-story, 180-bed long-term care facility.

Crews are currently working towards the important goal of finishing roofing and sealing to make the building weather tight, to allow the start of interior drywalling. Installation of resident room windows continues to progress around the outside of the building as well as the interior courtyard walls. Installation of the full height windows - reaching the height of all three floors - is also underway.

Exterior metal cladding has started in the courtyards and waterproofing membranes are being installed around the building.

Focus is now turning to the inside, with mechanical piping, ductwork, and electrical conduits being installed at all levels throughout the facility. Interior wall framing is progressing well on the first and second floor, with the third floor being prepared for cement leveling and smoothing. Resident move in is still on track for mid-2024  (Update Oct 2023 - although sources hint at a delay to be announced shortly).

Where are we headed next?

Cement leveling on the third floor will be completed shortly allowing crews to begin all interior framing. Once the roof is sealed from exterior elements by late spring, then drywall will start to be installed.

See County Web site page here.

Take a look at progress up to May 2023

Note re Northumberland County Archives and Museum (NCAM)

Preserving our past and preparing for our future

With over 400,000 archival materials and more than 600 artifacts, preserving and storing the past while ensuring space for future growth is an important consideration for the new NCAM.

"To meet our current requirements as well as our future needs, we had to seek out expert advice to develop a specialized storage system", commented Abigail Miller, NCAM Archivist. "We needed a storage system that would meet a high, curatorial standard."

Working with SpaceSaver Solutions, who are specialists in the field of archival storage, a system was designed to prioritize the needs of the artifacts and provide an enhanced experience for visitors. Special features include:

  • Storage cabinets with visible shelving for display and secure behind-the-scenes showcasing;
  • Oversized tray drawers for storing large plans and maps;
  • Mobile racks for safely storing and displaying framed artwork and photographs; and
  • Oversized shelves for storing and displaying large artefacts.

The storage units are moveable to maximize space and have a sophisticated drive system for smooth, balanced movement to prevent shifting or damage to fragile artifacts. This state-of-the-art system, installed in a secure, climate-controlled environment, will help NCAM to work to achieve a Category A Curatorial standard designation, which will enable staff to acquire and borrow cultural property of outstanding significance and national importance to Canada. 

The current archive collection will be carefully relocated to the new facility's collection storage room in 2024. Once the items are safely stored, the remaining available space will still provide over 40 per cent new storage space for future growth.

"With over 50 thousand linear feet of storage we plan to be able to continue collecting for another 15-20 years," explained Miller. The specialized shelving unit will be funded with the generous support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.

More details

The Project manager who provided the update in a report to the County's Public Works committee also said in November 2022:

The project has experienced challenges related to a combination of variables including supply chain, labour disruption and resourcing, weather, inflation, higher interest rates, etc., which is resulting in higher projected forecasts than originally budgeted. As a result, the projected cost will increase from $115,428,998 to $127,249,219.

The schedule has been updated with a new projected occupancy date in late January 2024.  Subsequently, the new facility will be cleaned, furniture, fixtures, and equipment will be moved into the new facility and GPL staff will be training in the new facility to ensure efficient workflows prior to resident move-in anticipated for Summer 2024. Substantial completion of the project including demolition of the existing GPL and completion of campus site works is projected for October 2024.

Simulation of Final Building

This is a virtual tour video which explores the concept design for the Golden Plough Lodge long-term care home portion of this project – that is, it does not include the Archive.

There is a little more detail at the County's web page.

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