News release

Work Underway at IWK Emergency Department Expansion Site

Work has started on the IWK Health Centre’s new emergency department, which will more than double its current size.

“Expanding the IWK’s emergency department is an exciting step forward,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. “This project will mean a larger, more modern facility for patients, families, physicians and staff, and will also ensure the IWK continues to meet the standards of care that it is well known for around the Maritimes.”

The new emergency department will be built on University Avenue in Halifax next to the existing parking garage near the front of the Children's Building. The current emergency department is on the opposite side of the complex on South Street.

The new department will help address the increase in patients being seen at the emergency department and meet new infection prevention and control measures. It will also meet future needs in support of the government’s goal of doubling Nova Scotia’s population by 2060.

The estimated cost of the project is $102 million. It will serve children and families from all three Maritime provinces for the next 50 years with a priority on a patient-focused experience.

EllisDon was awarded the construction manager contract for the IWK Emergency Expansion Project. The project is anticipated to be completed by March 2025.


The IWK’s renovation project is more than an infrastructure project. It will enhance Nova Scotians’ access to care and will provide a healthier, safer environment for patients and staff. Kim Masland, Minister of Public Works

The new emergency department will allow the IWK to modernize patient flow and improve patient care experiences. The design will allow enhanced infection prevention and control, as well as privacy for patients and families from triage and throughout their stay. Dr. Katrina Hurley, Chief, IWK Emergency Medicine

The government’s commitment to the construction of the emergency department at the IWK, purpose-built to meet the physical and mental health needs for children and youth, will ensure our healthcare providers are able to meet the evolving needs of Maritime families by providing the highest level of care for years to come. Dr. Krista Jangaard, President and CEO, IWK Health

Quick Facts:

  • over the last few years, there has been a significant increase in patient visits, with the department seeing a 28 per cent increase in patient volume this fall compared to the same period in 2019
  • on average each day, there are 1,020 outpatient/clinic visits, 90-100 emergency visits and 20 surgeries at the IWK

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