Your Key to IBD at Mac Kids

Ronald McDonald House Hamilton

At some point, your child may need to be treated in the Pediatric Inpatient Unit, which consists of wards 3B, 3C, and 3Y on the third floor. All are staffed by a team of pediatric nurses and doctors.

Please ask the business clerk or your nurse for a copy of the pamphlet called “Welcome to the McMaster Children’s Hospital – A Guide for Children & Families on 3B or 3C.” It will provide you with more information about our inpatient wards.

Ronald McDonald House Hamilton (RMHH) is a safe, compassionate, temporary home-away-from-home for parents whose children are seriously ill and receiving treatment in Hamilton-area hospitals. The house is conveniently located a half-block from McMaster Children’s Hospital.

(In addition, all patients and their families can use the services offered at the Ronald McDonald Family Room while they are at the hospital.)


Admission is based on the child’s medical condition, room availability, and the distance between home and the hospital. Financial need is not considered.

To be eligilble for a room at RMHH, families must:

  • have a child aged 21 years or younger being treated for a serious illness at a local Hamilton hospital, on an inpatient or outpatient basis
  • live outside of a 45 km radius from RMHH (although families who live closer may be eligible, under special circumstances)
  • have a referral from hospital staff such as a social worker, nurse, or other medical staff

Siblings and other family members may accompany the parents of the ill child. Childcare is not provided, siblings must be supervised, and only one room is available per family.

There is a nominal fee of $12.00 per night per room. (Families with financial difficulties should contact the Director of Family and Volunteer Services to make alternate arrangements.)

If no room is available, several local hotels may be able to offer a special compassionate rate to families on our waiting list.

Even families who are not staying at the house may use RMHH facilities, if they have children at Mac Kids and have a hospital referral. They may visit RMHH to: shower, take a nap, use the computer, do some laundry, or make something to eat in the family kitchen.

If you have any questions or wish to register, please speak with the staff taking care of your child at the hospital.


RMHH is fully accessible. It has:

  • rooms for 40 families (three rooms, for short-stay families, with a shared bathroom; 37 spacious bedrooms — of which five are barrier-free — with queen-sized bed, private ensuite bathroom, storage, mini-fridge, and TV)
  • mom’s rooms (for nursing)
  • a communal family kitchen with personal pantry, and a large dining room
  • laundry facilities, computer lounge, and fitness room
  • playroom, games room, and theatre
  • outdoor play area and patio

Linens are provided, but families are responsible for cleaning their room at departure.

Each room has a telephone for local calls; each floor has a phone booth for long distance calls. WIFI is available throughout the house.

If space is available, families may park one vehicle on-site.


RMHH is a smoke-free facility. Alcohol and illegal drugs are also not permitted onsite.

To protect ailing children, anyone who is suffering from (or has recently been exposed to) a communicable illness should not visit RMHH. This includes family members with a cold, flu, or sore throat.

Questions & Information

If you have questions about registering at RMHH, please speak with the hospital staff who are taking care of your child, or visit the RMHH website.

Adapted from content at (August 2012)