Hôtel-Dieu, Montreal’s oldest hospital, has stood at the corner of Des Pins Avenue and St-Urbain Street for more than 150 years, although it has existed as a Montreal medical institution since the mid-1600s.

Hotel Dieu hospital Montreal

Hôtel-Dieu will have its services transferred to the new CHUM superhospital being built in downtown Montreal. (CBC)

But with the new University of Montreal (CHUM) superhospital near completion, city officials and residents aren’t sure what to do with the soon-to-be-vacated Hôtel-Dieu.

Plateau-Mont-Royal city councillor Alex Norris says the site’s historical significance means it must be preserved.

“They're buildings that have an historic mission in the social services and health care sector and we'd like to try to find a way of maintaining that, while diversifying, finding new uses for the building that's in line with the needs of the community,” Norris says.

But Plateau residents have different ideas about what the future of Hôtel-Dieu should be.

Hotel-Dieu Hospital Montreal

A drawing of Hôtel-Dieu. The hospital was founded in 1645 by Jeanne Mance, the first nurse to arrive in New France. (Jacques Viger/Archives of Montreal)

Resident Terrence Regan wants a community swimming pool, while Lucia Kowaluk thinks 40 per cent of the buildings should be used to continue providing health care services to the community.

However, all residents CBC News spoke with are against condos being built on the Hotel-Dieu site, as was proposed in late 2013.

Norris says that’s probably not going to happen anyway.

“We do have the powers of zoning and the main urban planning powers so the approval of our borough council will be necessary for any replacement project for Hôtel-Dieu and the Chest Institute. We want to exercise those powers in a way that most benefits the community,” he says.

The CHUM superhospital is scheduled to open in 2016.