Today Thu Fri
It is forecast to be Thunderstorm at 11:00 PM EDT on August 20, 2014
It is forecast to be Chance of a Thunderstorm at 11:00 PM EDT on August 21, 2014
Chance of a Thunderstorm
It is forecast to be Mostly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on August 22, 2014
Mostly Cloudy



New Kind of Birthing Experience Coming Soon to Regent Park

Ontario's first midwife-run "birth centre" will be opening shortly near Dundas and Parliament.

Photo by Flickr user storyvillegirl.

Starting soon, mothers will have another option when it comes to how and where they welcome their babies into the world: in the near future, two birth centres will be opening in Ontario—one in Ottawa, and one in Toronto’s very own Regent Park.

The Toronto Birth Centre, which is expected to accommodate about 450 births each year, will be run by midwives; one Scarborough and six central Toronto midwifery practice groups will be involved in its operation. Geared toward women with low-risk pregnancies, the Centre will offer birth pools and showers, and various pain-management options (not including epidurals or narcotics). There won’t be any doctors or nurses on hand, but midwives are equipped to deal with many common issues, and in the case of any serious complications, patients will be transferred to a hospital.

The Centre will be concerned not only with the experience of the expectant mother, but also with that of her family members and supporters—it will offer a Birth Centre Aide, for example, who’ll be there from the very beginning of the visit to assist all involved. Families will also be encouraged “to incorporate their own culture, background, traditions and preferences in their experience,” and the Centre will make the support of Aboriginal families through pregnancy and labour a “particular focus.”

The whole-family focus doesn’t end with the birth: the Centre is positioning itself as a place where families and members of the community will be able to drop in to get advice and support about things like pregnancy, labour, breastfeeding, and the challenges of parenting.

No date has been provided for the official opening, but the Centre has signalled that the location will be up and running in the near future and suggests an official announcement is on its way.


  • Stephanie MacDonald

    This is the 2nd birth centre to open in Ontario. The first opened its doors May 17, 1996 on the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. It has been successfully running ever sence.

  • OgtheDim

    Is this where we point out that the Tories under Harris actually cancelled the 3 proposals that were accepted to do this back in the mid 90′s.

    The power of the OMA…..

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    Why are six of the midwives from Toronto, and the seventh from Scarborough? Should that be Old Toronto, or have we de-amalgamated?

    • CaligulaJones

      You wouldn’t believe how bad provincial databases are concerning what exactly “Toronto” signifies…

    • Stephanie MacDonald

      Six Nations is a reserve in Southern Ontario. It isn’t the number of midwives.

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        “The Toronto Birth Centre… will be run by midwives; one Scarborough and six Toronto midwifery practice groups will be involved in its operation.”

    • TorontoistCopyEditors

      We should have specified that those six midwifery practice groups are from “central” Toronto. Thanks for noticing that!

      • OgtheDim

        Hmm….the lack of any site North of Leaside or west of Dupont is a story in and of itself.

        Anybody thought to ask that question?

        • dsmithhfx

          Nobody thought of it! Not even you!

          • OgtheDim

            The line between journalist and commentator is thick.