Clinics & Inpatient Care Units

Palliative Care Unit

Image for the palliative care unit

The focus of the palliative care unit (PCU) is to manage distressing symptoms (pain, nausea, difficulty breathing) and ensure comfort when cure is no longer possible.

The PCU is a 10-bed unit comprised of three large semi-private rooms and four single rooms. The environment on PCU is structured for the comfort of patients and their families and friends. Facilities include an open concept kitchen/lounge/dining area, laundry facilities, a whirlpool bath, educational reading materials and small private meeting rooms.

  • Visiting hours are flexible.
  • Family and friends wishing to stay overnight with a patient may arrange a cot and sleeper chair with our staff.
  • Children are welcome to visit.
  • Pets are welcome to visit, with clearance from staff.
  • Open dialogue with our specially trained staff is encouraged at all times.
  • Trained volunteers are part of the team, and help to enrich the patient’s quality of life.
  • All religions are respected, all personal spiritual advisors are encouraged to visit and a multi-faith meditation room and chapel are located in the Hospital.
  • All basic ward rooms and professional care are covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).


Accessing Palliative Care

Applications to the palliative care unit are normally made by a member of the health care team caring for the patient.

Our criteria for admission:

  • The patient and family agree with a palliative plan of care. This means that a decision has been made by the patient and family to stop any further active treatment aimed at cure of the illness, and to focus instead on promoting patient comfort by managing symptoms.
  • A “do not resuscitate” (DNR) status has been discussed and agreed upon by the patient and the patient’s family.
  • The patient should have an estimated life expectancy of three months or less. If the condition of the patient stabilizes or improves and the care team feels the patient may have a longer life expectancy than initially thought, we work with the patient and the patient’s family to find a more appropriate care setting.

Tours of the unit are encouraged so patients and families can see the facility and have an opportunity to talk with our staff to answer any questions about palliative care.

Contact Us

Palliative Care Unit
Donnelly wing, fourth floor
St. Michael’s Hospital
30 Bond Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5B 1W8, Canada
Phone: 416-864-5226 (nursing station, 24-hour direct line)
Fax: 416-864-5297

The easiest access is through the Queen Street entrance. Take the elevators on your immediate left.