This place is valued for its association with the Sisters of St Ann, who built the hospital in 1947 and ministered there until 2005. Originally envisioned as a home for senior men, the facility was restructured as an infirmary. It became a public institution in 1966 and amalgamated with the local health council in 1997.
The Sisters of St. Ann arrived in Victoria from Quebec in 1858, to establish education and health service for new settlers and Indigenous people. While many of their contributions are celebrated, in 2014 the Sisters acknowledged that their involvement in Canada’s Indian Residential Schools contributed to a form of cultural oppression that has had a lasting effect not only on those who attended the schools but also on subsequent generations.
A plaque installed on site in 1950 commemorates the Sisters, and the now vacant facility is included on the City of Nelson’s Community Heritage Register. The building remains a flagship of the historic francophone momentum in Nelson.