The Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal is the oldest hospital in Montreal, Quebec. Since 1996 it has been one of the three hospitals making up the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM).

"Hôtel-dieu," literally "hostel of God," is an archaic French term for hospital, referring to the origins of hospitals as religious institutions.


The origins of the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal date back to Paul Chomedey's arrival on the Island of Montreal in 1642 to found the French colony of Ville-Marie. With him came Jeanne Mance, the first nurse in New France. She founded the hospital on October 8, 1645. This was confirmed by letters patent of Louis XIV of France in April 1669. Guillaume Bailly, a Sulpician missionary, is credited with drawing up the plans for the stone version built in 1688.

Although Jeanne Mance was a laywoman, her hospital would be later staffed by the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph (Religieuses hospitalières de Saint-Joseph) order of nuns, which were founded in 1636 by a layman, Jérôme Le Royer de la Dauversière along with Mother Marie de la Fere, in La Fleche, France.

The hospital burned and was rebuilt three times between 1695 and 1734. After the conquest of New France by the British, it remained the only French-language hospital in Montreal for two centuries. Around 1850, the hospital became affiliated with the Montreal School of Medicine and Surgery. It had an affiliated nursing school between 1901 and 1970. It continued to grow until 1861, when it was moved from Old Montreal to its present site near Mount Royal.

In 1996, it became one of the three hospitals to make up the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM), along with the Hôpital Notre-Dame du CHUM and the Hôpital Saint-Luc du CHUM.

The present site contains a museum of the hospital's long history.

Medical achievements

During its history, many medical milestones have been recorded at the Hôtel-Dieu, including the world's first removal of a kidney (1868), the world's first removal of a tongue and jaw (1872), the first femur transplant (1959), the first identification of an AIDS patient in Canada (1979), the world's first successful recovery of a person with severe burns to 90% of the body (1981), and the world's first robotically assisted laparoscopic surgery (1993).


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