B.C. billionaire Jim Pattison has donated $75 million to the St. Paul's Hospital Foundation in Vancouver.

The St. Paul's Foundation says the donation is the largest by a private citizen to a single medical facility in Canadian history.

"Jim Pattison's gift will help us realize an exceptionally rare opportunity to build a major medical and research centre from the ground up," foundation CEO Dick Vollet said at the announcement on Tuesday morning.

The donation will help build the Jim Pattison Medical Centre, an 18-acre health campus, which will be built near Main Street and Terminal Avenue in East Vancouver.

The foundation says the new medical centre will include the new St. Paul's hospital, the provincial heart centre, the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation, the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and other research centres, primary and specialized clinics and facilities for "life sciences industry partners."

"I am proud to donate to St. Paul's Foundation for a hospital that has been putting people first in our community for more than 120 years," Pattison is quoted as having said in a media release.

"The new Jim Pattison Medical Centre will build on St. Paul's history of serving British Columbians with excellence and compassion."