A Brief History of the Grace Dart Extended Care Centre
When it was founded in 1863 the intention was to provide care in the form of food, clothing and shelter to the city’s poorest citizens.
The original name was the Montreal Protestant House of Industry and Refuge. It functioned under that name until 1953.
Among the Protestant businessmen who undertook to provide aid for the destitute were brothers William and Thomas Molson, John Redpath, William Workman, William Murray, and others, in order to start a refuge to get indigents off the streets and provide food, shelter and clothing to the poor.
Thomas Molson died and left his farm at Longue Pointe for the creation of a House of Industry and Refuge.
An Act was passed to incorporate the Montreal Protestant House of Industry and Refuge.
The Founders canvassed their colleagues for funds.
By September, they had raised over $70,000, in addition to the Molson farm.
Relief was immediately provided for:
1. A non-denominational soup kitchen in Fortification Lane providing 25,000 quarts of soup.
2. An overnight refuge, also non-denominational, sheltering 6,735 men & women who got a bed plus food and spent two hours working.
3. Longer-stay inmates, usually the frail elderly, who were unable to care for themselves.
4. A poor relief program to distribute food, fuel and clothing to poor families in their homes.
Land at the corner of Dorchester and Bleury saw the building of a House of Refuge that operated until 1953.
An agreement was reached with the Montreal General Hospital to take in poor, discharged patients. The Montreal General provided doctors for the refuge.
The men chopped kindling or did other work in the building, such as painting and cleaning. Female inmates were taught to sew and embroider so they could be employable.
A Country home with clean fresh air was seen as desirable, but the Molson Farm was believed not to be practical because it was too far away.
The Governors reconsidered the Molson Farm property and now decided it actually suitable. The land went from the river north beyond Sherbrooke St. At only seventy-five yards wide, it was nevertheless enough to build the structures they could foresee and that are visible today.
Architects were asked to prepare plans for the country home. William Workman died bequeathed $20,000 to construct a building to be attached to the country house, to be called the Workman Wing. Trouble with his estate caused many delays.
Permanent inmates from downtown moved to the new buildings in June 1885. The official opening was attended by the Governor General on July 10th.
The farm continued to produce food for both the downtown refuge and the Old People’s Home.
Around the turn of the century bequests, donations and subscriptions were received from families such as the Dows, Birks, Molsons, Redpaths and individuals such as R. B. Angus, Lord Strathcona and Sir William Macdonald.
The 20th Century brought many changes affecting the Centre, including changes in the government’s role in society, healthcare, pensions, volunteerism and population growth.
Governors decide not to accept TB inmates. Governors Jeffrey Burland and George Drummond, founded a TB institute that in 1909 became The Royal Edward Chest Hospital, now Montreal Chest Institute, an integral part of the MUCH.
Henry Dart, a pharmacist, turned a house on St. Hubert Street into a small TB hospital named for his daughter Grace, who had died of TB.
The Royal Edward Chest Hospital, now Montreal Chest Institute, an integral part of the MUHC.
The riverfront property below Notre Dame St. was sold for $25,000.
Other sections of land were expropriated by the city to extend local streets. The CNR took some of the land.
A building was erected between the Moore Home and the Workman Wing.
The Home for Incurables opened adjacent to the Old People’s Home. The name was changed to the Infirmary Home.
The hospital survived the depression because the province started contributing annual amounts to the operating budget.
Funds were raised to build the current structure on Sherbrooke Street, now the Grace Dart Pavilion.
The new Grace Dart Home Hospital building opens, now the Grace Dart Pavilion.
Dorchester Street is widened, forcing the House of Refuge to be demolished.
The Protestant House of Industry and Refuge changed its name to The Montreal Protestant Homes.
A new 146-bed hospital building was opened.
The new Quebec Hospital Act resulted in a separation between the Homes and the Hospital.
Medicare came into force and with it a shortage of doctors.
Foundations were created at both the Grace Dart Hospital and the Montreal Protestant Homes & Hospital.
The Montreal Protestant Hospital changed its name to The Montreal Extended Care Centre.
New physiotherapy area and Molson Hall were opened.
The Montreal Extended Care Centre and Grace Dart Hospital formed a joint board of directors.
The two Centres formally merged as The Grace Dart Extended Care Centre.
The Grace Dart Hospital Foundation and The Montreal Protestant Homes Foundation merged to become The Grace Dart Foundation.
The Grace Dart Extended Care Centre is accredited with an “Exemplary” rating.
Today the Centre is a 350-bed public long-term care facility mainly serving the Anglophone community and has a 150-year history.
En tant que bénévoles, nous sommes les premiers témoins du travail que fait la Fondation pour soutenir les activités et les besoins individuels des résidents. Notre premier réflexe est d’aller chercher l’aide de la Fondation et nous n’avons jamais été déçus. En cette époque de budgets serrés et de contraintes, la Fondation est une bénédiction. La Fondation encourage également le département des loisirs avec le coin café, et les belles décorations sont un cadeau de sa part.
Depuis août 2016, mon mari est résident au Centre de soins prolongés Grace Dart. Je suis sept jours par semaine au Centre. J’ai pu observer que les loisirs ont un impact très positif sur les résidents. Les jours d’activités, que ce soit des jeux, de la musique, ou des chansons, on voit les sourires, les yeux qui s’allument. Les résidents ont hâte de participer, ils apprennent des nouvelles choses, utilisent des iPads… Pour certains, ce sont de vraies découvertes, pour d’autres, ce sont des amitiés qui se forgent… S.V.P., donnez généreusement à la Fondation Grace Dart pour qu’elle puisse continuer son bon travail.
Je suis devenue membre du conseil d’administration de la Fondation Grace Dart parce que je voulais contribuer à faire une différence dans les soins prodigués aux personnes âgées fragiles et vivant en résidence. Comme je suis psychologue et que j’ai déjà été infirmière en chef à l’Hôpital Royal Victoria et infirmière consultante à la résidence Montclair, j’ai eu l’occasion de travailler avec des patients âgés souffrant d’un manque de soutien, que ce soit sur le plan familial, financier, psychologique, médical ou sur plusieurs de ces plans. Le monde entier est confronté au vieillissement de la population, qui affectera non seulement notre vie au fil des ans, mais aussi l’économie dans son ensemble. Investir dans la santé et le bonheur de la population vieillissante a un impact à la fois social et économique. Heureusement, la Fondation Grace Dart a à cœur le bien-être des personnes âgées et s’efforce de fournir un environnement chaleureux et personnalisé à cette importante population de notre société.
En mon nom et aux noms des résidents, je tiens à vous remercier pour tout ce que vous faites pour nous. Vous nous offrez ce que le gouvernement ne paie pas, comme la zoothérapie, la musicothérapie et toutes les autres activités que les résidents apprécient.