Officials and 2,000 shriners will be on hand Thursday to cut the ribbon at the brand-new Montreal Shriners Hospital for Children.

The hospital has moved to the McGill University Health Centre's Glen superhospital site from its previous location next to the Montreal General Hospital on Des Pins Avenue.

The new hospital is scheduled to open to the public on Oct. 5, while the old one is now up for sale.

The privately funded hospital, which serves children with long-term and chronic orthopedic and musculoskeletal illnesses who often need round-the-clock care, will operate side-by-side with the publicly funded Montreal Children's Hospital.

And although it is now incorporated into the MUHC superhospital site, the Shriners will continue to do some things a little bit differently:

  • The hospital will continue to offer free parking to staff and visitors, even though the rest of the superhospital will continue to charge.
  • Foreign patients' care will be funded by the Shriners.
  • Out-of-province patients' care will be paid for by their own provincial medicare.

The new Shriners hospital is equipped with four operating rooms, up from the two at its previous location.

According to the hospital, the space for outpatient care has tripled while the space for rehabilitation services has quadrupled.

The Shriners, based in the United States, operate one Canadian hospital, in Montreal, and 21 others in the U.S. and Mexico.