A family from Ontario has made the largest private donation in the 103-year history of the IWK Health Centre.

Myron and Berna Garron are giving $10 million dollars to help three projects at the children's hospital.

"You are truly a remarkable couple," said Anne McGuire, president of the IWK, during Friday's announcement. "We are so honoured that you have chosen the IWK Centre as recipient of your generosity."

The money will be used in the mental health unit, the neonatal intensive care unit and the women's health facilities.

"This is like New Years eve, only a million times better," joked Myron Garron as he addressed the large crowd gathered to celebrate the announcement.

Myron Garron is originally from Westport, Nova Scotia. He made his fortune while running a successful automotive manufacturing business.

"Not in a million years, when I was growing up in Westport, did I ever imagine myself to be in this position," he said.

Growing up Garron worked in the fish plants in the summer. He said he used to dream about making $10,000 a year.

This isn't the Garrons' first donation to the IWK. They've participated in smaller projects over the years, but recently Myron decided he wanted to do something significant.

He asked the hospital for a wish list of its top three projects.

"They took me there, and within five minutes, I was so depressed I wanted to leave," Garron said.

He said he knew something had to be done for mental health patients.

"The transformation of our inpatient mental health unit has been a dream of ours for a long time. A beautiful new unit will better align with current standards while creating an environment that is safe, welcoming and therapeutic," said McGuire.

Improvements to the women's health facilities will help with a growing number of high-risk pregnancies and high-risk births in Atlantic Canada.

She said, "none of these changes would be possible" without the donation.