This Week in History
Ground Broken for New Nurses' Home
For the week of Monday August 6, 2001
On August 11, 1903, construction began on the nurses' residence at the Kingston General Hospital in Kingston, Ontario. Known today as the Ann Baillie Building, it still symbolizes the gains made by women to make nursing an important health care profession.
In 1897, the early graduates of the school formed the Nurses' Alumnae Association and started a building fund for a nurses' residence. The result of their efforts was one of the first residences in Canada constructed especially for nurses. Soon similar residences emerged at hospitals across Canada, 'places of their own,' where nurses trained, lived, enjoyed leisure and social activities together and built a profession.
The impressive appearance of the Ann Baillie Building reflects the goal of hospital and nursing leaders to attract respectable young women to nursing. And, with its 22 rooms, including a sitting room and dining room, it was also meant to provide a home-like environment. The building was later renamed for Ann Baillie, Nursing Superintendent from 1924 to 1942. Like most nursing superintendents, she lived there in order to supervise the student nurses.
The Ann Baillie Building, now the home of the Museum of Health Care at Kingston, is a national historic site of Canada. Other residences have been commemorated to symbolize nursing as an important health care profession, including the Pavillon Mailloux and Hersey Pavilion in Montréal, Quebec, Begbie Hall in Victoria, British Columbia, and the St. Boniface Hospital Nurses' Residence in St. Boniface, Manitoba.
For more information, please visit the Museum of Health Care at Kingston.
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