The Centre Hospitalier Roberf-Giffard it’s the provincial mental health hospital in Quebec. The hospital draws its name from Robert Giffard, first surgeon and apothecary in Canada. In 1634, Robert Giffard was granted one of the first lands in New France, future Canada, along the Beauport and St. Lawrence.
By 1640, Giffard became the first doctor of the Hotel-Dieu de Québec. That was the first hospital founded in Canada and in all North America. In 1845, Giffard's manor house begins being used as an asylum accommodating 23 mental health patients. This Canada’s first psychiatric hospital was founded by Dr. James Douglas, Dr. Charles-Jacques Frement, Dr. Joseph Painchaud and Dr. Joseph Morrin. It was called Asile de Beauport (in French) or the Quebec Lunatic Asylum. In fact, Dr. Douglas, a ship’s surgeon, had suffered a debilitating accident and turned from surgery to psychiatry.
A new hospital, St. Michel Archangel, was later built on the site, but it was destroyed by an accidental fire in the 1940ies, and a new structure replaced it. In 1976, the hospital takes the name the Centre hospitalier Robert Giffard, continuing an association with mental health (after the Quiet Revolution of 1960, the Quebec government was seeking to reduce the number of saints’ names throughout the province, and thus gave names of Canadian heroes and prominent people to its institutions and places).
Address of the Centre Hospitalier Robert-Giffard:
2601 Chemin De La Canardiere
Phone: 418 663-5000