In the pre-COVID era, patients waited a median of 159 days to get a bed in Ontario, with some areas at 263 days. Thus, it was not uncommon for some patients to wait more than one year, and up to 2.5 years in some areas, if they stood at the long end of the wait-time curve. The Conference Board of Canada raised the alarm 20 years ago and predicted we will need 199,000 more LTC beds in Canada by 2035.
Given chronic shortages, wait lists had grown by 78 per cent in Ontario, between 2011 and 2018, with 35,000 patients waiting. Ontario only had 78,000 beds pre-COVID, and they were all full. Premier Doug Ford promised 15,000 additional beds, in 2018, to help fix the crisis.