The history of Hôpital Montfort

Montfort Hospital, link to 'The Beginnings' page Statue of Saint Louis‑Marie de Montfort, link to the 'Symbols' page Daughters of Wisdom, link to their history 1950 utility room, link to the photo albums
The Beginnings Symbols Daughters of Wisdom

Photo Albums

Founding of the Hospital

In 1953, the Francophone community of Eastview (Vanier), the Monfortain Fathers, the religious order of the Daughters of Wisdom and leaders of the Association canadienne-française d’éducation de l’Ontario joined forces to create Hôpital Montfort. 

In adopting a community-based approach with an emphasis on family medicine, Montfort quickly became the hospital of choice for Francophones throughout the region. The official agreement with the University of Ottawa relating to clinical teaching in French was signed in 1992. 

The Montfort crisis

On February 24, the Ontario Health Services Restructuring Commission recommended closing Montfort, the only Francophone teaching hospital in Ontario and the only one in the entire country west of Quebec. 

The reaction of the Francophone community was instant. The historic battle was on, spearheaded by Gérald Savoie, President and CEO of the hospital, Michelle de Courville Nicol, then Chair of its Board of Trustees and Gisèle Lalonde, former mayor of Vanier who became President of the newly-minted SOS Montfort movement. "Close Montfort? Never!" stunned Ontarians and rallied the Francophone population like never before. 

After a series of massive demonstrations and extensive news coverage, the case was heard in the Ontario Divisional Court.  In Decembre 1999, Montfort won on the basis of the fundamental unwritten principle guaranteed in the Constitution, the protection of linguistic minorities.

A few days later following this judgment, the government appealed the decision, the Court of Appeal of Ontario. Two years later, December 7, 2001,  the Court of Appeal of Ontario not only ruled in Montfort’s favour but reinforced this historic ruling. Montfort’s stunning victory was complete.

With this ruling, Montfort was recognized as an institution "essential to the Franco-Ontarian community." In this context, its role includes the following responsibilities:

  • Maintain the French language
  • Transmit French culture
  • Promote Franco-Ontarian solidarity
  • Protect the Franco-Ontarian community from assimilation

A new era 

In July 2005, the Liberal government of Ontario, led by Dalton McGuinty, announced that Montfort would receive more than $171.5 million for a major expansion project New Montfort. Thanks to this investment, Montfort would become a world-class facility offering the best practices and the most advanced technology in the field of healthcare.

On June 19, 2013, Hôpital Montfort received its official designation as a Group A academic teaching hospital by the Government of Ontario. With this academic designation, Hôpital Montfort, in concert with the University of Ottawa and La Cité collégiale, can continue to pursue its mission of improving access to health care in French by training future generations of physicians and health care professionals.


60th anniversary of Hôpital Montfort 


Montfort's 60th anniversary logo In 2013-14, Montfort celebrated 60 years of history. You may onsult Le Droit newspaper commemorative insert published for the launch of the celebrations and view our photo album at the bottom of this page for a recap of the celebrations.



Discover other highlights of Montfort...


Montfort Hospital, link to 'The Beginnings' page


The beginnings

Learn about Montfort in its early years. (1947-1969).






Daughters of Wisdom, link to their history


Daughters of Wisdom

Read touching testimonies from those who worked at Montfort.





Caritas, link to 'Symbols' page

View images found at Montfort during the renovations !