Canada’s first secular nurse and a pioneer in the field of health care
In May of 1642 on the Île de Montréal, a medical missionary named Jeanne Mance founded a small wilderness hospital in Ville Marie (now Montréal), the Hôtel-Dieu. That hospital, the second oldest in North America, went on to serve the people of Canada for 375 years, finally closing its doors in 2017. The remarkable story of Jeanne Mance and the Hôtel-Dieu are part of the great story of Montréal itself. This courageous woman, combining religious passion with tremendous administrative skill, established, expanded and preserved one of the first and most durable medical institutions in North America, all while enduring and overcoming incredible physical challenges and hardship.