VIEW-11536 | Ward, Hotel Dieu, Montreal, QC, 1911

Ward, Hotel Dieu, Montreal, QC, 1911
Wm. Notman & Son
1911, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin silver process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , medical (125) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

The Montreal upper classes were gradually becoming aware of the social problems caused by urbanization and industrialization. For a long time their only response had been to give to charities for the poor. Some people were now beginning to call for fundamental reforms. The most energetic and most successful initiatives of the social reform movement were achieved in health care.

It should be noted that in the late 1800s, Montreal was still a "dangerous" city in this respect. The death rate, especially the infant mortality rate, was still high, with more than one child in four dying before reaching one year of age. The situation was more serious among French Canadians than among other groups. Doctors stepped up their public hygiene campaign, with the support of businessmen as well as that of women involved in women's movements and charitable organizations. Their most eminent spokesperson was Dr. Emmanuel-Persillier Lachapelle.

  • What

    Hôtel Dieu, founded by Jeanne Mance, is Montreal's oldest hospital. It was run by a religious order, the Hospitallers of St. Joseph. In 1911 most hospital patients were still in large common wards like the one shown in here.

  • Where

    After being located for over 200 years in Old Montreal, Hôtel Dieu Hospital was moved in 1861 to a huge site at the corner of Pine Avenue and St. Urban Street.

  • When

    In 1911, besides Hôtel Dieu, Montreal had a number of other general hospitals -- the Montreal General (1819), Notre Dame (1880), Royal Victoria (1887) and Western (1895) -- as well as several specialized health care facilities with more specific purposes (maternity, children, psychiatry, etc.).

  • Who

    Emmanuel-Persillier Lachapelle (1845-1918) was a professor in the faculty of medicine at Université Laval, in Montreal, and one of the founders of Notre Dame Hospital. He served as chairman of the Council of Hygiene of Quebec from 1887 to 1918.