FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Northern Health has acquired land near the Fort St. John Hospital to expand health services in the future after a land trade with the City of Fort St. John.

The City will receive the old hospital site at 9636 – 100 Avenue in exchange for a 6.63-acre portion of the vacant lands east of the hospital.

According to the City’s announcement on Wednesday, Northern Health plans to expand in the future but currently has no immediate plans. The City says its new lands will be used for the benefit of the community, and any future development will follow direction from the Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw.

Mayor Lori Ackerman says the City can now integrate the historical site into its downtown planning.

“This is a significant opportunity to take this historical site and actualize the Downtown Action Plan for the long-term benefit of our community. We look forward to working towards realizing the full potential of the former hospital site,” stated Ackerman.

The exchange was initially proposed by the Northern Health Board in 2017 and is one of ten “big moves” in the City’s Downtown Action Plan.

“On behalf of the Northern Health Board of Directors, I’m pleased that we and the City of Fort St. John have reached this mutually-beneficial land exchange agreement that will allow for future growth potential at both the old and new hospital sites,” said Northern Health board chair Colleen Nyce.

“While the former hospital site has a significant place in the history of local health care, we hope it also has a bright future in Fort St. John’s downtown vision.”