Our History

Our History

As Canada’s first and longest-running community health centre, Mount Carmel Clinic has a storied past based on providing community-focused care to the North End of Winnipeg.

Establishment of Mount Carmel Clinic
Mount Carmel Clinic was created by the Jewish community to provide medical care to the growing number of Jewish Newcomers arriving in Canada from situations of political unrest and oppression in Eastern Europe. Many of these families were in poor health due to the conditions from which they fled, but had very little money to afford medical services. Mount Carmel Clinic was able to provide culturally safe and affordable medical care to these families.
Mount Carmel Clinic Opens its Doors at 263 Pritchard Ave
A grainy black and white photo shows a house partially obstructed by trees. Two children stand on the front porch.

The clinic was originally located in an old house that was redecorated for the clinic’s purposes. The kitchen was renovated into a pharmacy, which operated initially through donations.

A New Building is Constructed
A grainy black and white photo shows a brick building that says Mount Carmel Clinic on it.

The clinic very quickly outgrew its first location, and shortly thereafter planning began to fundraise for the construction of a new building. On June 16, 1929, construction began on the new clinic located at 120 Selkirk Avenue.

Use of the Clinic Grows
A grainy black and white photo shows the waiting room of the clinic filled with patients. Three medical staff are working in the background.

Due in part to the depression and war times, the clinic began to experience a rise in non-Jewish community members utilizing the clinic in the 1930s. By 1936, non-Jewish peoples made up one-third of the patients at the clinic.

The Clinic Evolves
A grainy black and white photo shows a parent holding young child as they receive a vaccination in their arm from medical staff.

As needs changed, the clinic shifted focus to broaden its scope. With the hiring of nurse Anne Ross, the clinic began to provide community-centred health services to those in the neighbourhood that needed it most. This included Newcomers and refugees from different parts of the world, as well as First Nations and Métis peoples moving to the city from reserves.

Patient Numbers Increase
A grainy black and white photo shows two medical staff in the clinic during the 1970s. One wears a mask with thick glasses on and is operating a piece of medical equipment. The other has their back to the camera and is working at a counter.

Over the course of two decades, the clinic went from seeing 3 to 4 patients per day, to seeing upwards of 120 patients each day. Mount Carmel Clinic’s services grew to include dental care, family planning resources, mental health supports, and a day nursery.

Anne Ross is Appointed Executive Director
A grainy, black and white photo from the 1970s of Anne Ross wearing a white lab coat and sitting with children from the daycare.

Anne Ross was hired in the early 1940s as one of the clinic’s first paid staff members, and quickly became a figurehead for the clinic. In 1964 she was formally appointed as executive director which allowed her the ability to speak on behalf of the clinic and implement new ideas. She was integral to the shaping of the clinic’s model of service and the development of many of the programs that still exist at the clinic today.

MCC Pushes for Increased Housing Resources

The clinic advocated for those living in low-income situations, and pushed the government to provide better housing options and more public housing. This contributed to the eventual establishment of the Neighbourhood Improvement Program in 1974, a tri-governmental housing program with the goal of improving housing across Canada.

A New Home for the Clinic is Constructed
A grainy black and white photo shows Anne Ross standing alongside two politicians, holding a large ribbon outside the doors of Anne Ross Day Nursery. One of the politicians is cutting the ribbon with a pair of scissors.

As the clinic continued to grow, it became clear that finding a much larger and permanent location for the clinic was necessary. After a decade of fundraising and a significant capital contribution from the government, a new building for Mount Carmel Clinic was constructed at 886 Main Street.

Anne Ross Day Nursery Building Construction Complete
A grainy black and white photo from the 1980s shows lots of people attending a grand opening event for the Anne Ross Day Nursery. There are several large bundles of balloons and a podium with someone speaking to the crowd.

Upon the completion of the new clinic, focus quickly moved to the goal of raising funds for a building to house the clinic’s day nursery program, which provided supports for children ages 2 – 5 years. The MCC board of directors approved plans for the new building in 1983, and by 1985 the newly named Anne Ross Day Nursery was complete. 

Opening of Sage House
Originally called Prostitutes and Other Women for Equal Rights (POWER), the house originally opened at 50 Argyle Street in February 1992. The program provided a safe space for women-identifying persons involved in survival sex work to access resources. The program was later renamed Sage House and moved to its current location in a house on Dufferin Street.
Mount Carmel Clinic Foundation is Established

The establishment of an official foundation improved the clinic’s capacity to be able to fundraise for large capital projects in a more effective way. The foundation went on to lead several successful fundraising campaigns over the next 20+ years, including the multiple clinic expansions and upgrades.

Expansion into 888 Main Street
Reception desk in the middle of a community drop in centre.

The Mount Carmel Clinic Foundation began a capital campaign in 2005 to fund substantial renovations to the clinic. By 2008, the clinic was able to execute phase one of the renovations: the retrofitting of 888 Main Street—the old bank building donated by CIBC--to house its administrative offices and outreach services.

Establishment of Wiisocotatiwin Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Program

Created through the At Home/Chez Soi research project of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, ACT provides housing support to some of Winnipeg’s most vulnerable and at-risk community members by employing a housing first model.

Chiropractive Services & WISH Clinic

Several new services were made available at the clinic, including chiropractic services, and the student-run WISH clinic, a partnership with the University of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

Modernization of Anne Ross Day Nursery
Interior of the Anne Ross Day Nursery. A brightly lit room with tiny, children's furniture, and a wall of windows looking out at the backyard play area.

It took another four years of fundraising to reach the goal of renovating the Anne Ross Day Nursery, located adjacent to the main clinic building. These renovations made the building fully accessible and allowed for an additional eight daycare spaces to be made available to the community.

Establishment of Manito Ikwe Kagiikwe Mothering Project
The Mothering Project space. Light coloured wood lines the walls of the well-lit and bright space. A traditional star blanket hangs on the wall.

The Mothering Project was developed to provide enhanced supports for mothers who are pregnant or have young children, and who struggle with substance use. With help from the Mount Carmel Clinic Foundation, a new space dedicated to the program was renovated in 2016.

Waiting Room Renovation
A well-lit clinic waiting room filled with padded blue chairs.

Further renovations were undertaken at 886 Main Street. The clinic was able to address some necessary structural changes to the waiting room skylight as well as modernize the waiting room area and purchase new furniture to create a more comfortable space for the community.

Landscaping Project – Ongoing
The backyard of the Anne Ross Day Nursery building. It features several trees with autumn leaves, a paved walkway, and several play areas.

With help from the Mount Carmel Clinic Foundation, the clinic was able to focus on improving the exterior of its 886 Main Street location, beginning in 2018. This included significant landscaping along the east and south sides of the building, enhanced accessibility measures at the front entrance, and a large outdoor play area for the daycare.

Purchase of 896 Main St

Mount Carmel Clinic was raise funds for the purchase of a new building directly adjacent to 888 Main St, with a significant contribution from the Mount Carmel Clinic Foundation. This building provides office and programming space for Wiisocotatiwin Assertive Community Treatment, and will be renovated in the future to suit the needs of the organization and the community.

Addition of Elder Services & Land-Based Teachings
A woman walks in a large prairie field with a grey sky behind. She is carrying a bundle of medicines and wearing a traditional Indigenous ribbon skirt.

Identifying a need for more Indigenous programming, Mount Carmel Clinic invited highly respected cultural leaders Elder Mae Louise Campbell and Mitch Bourbonniere to join its staff team. Their expertise has allowed the clinic to expand its offering of drop-in and program-based Indigenous cultural activities.

The Future of Mount Carmel Clinic

The clinic is ever evolving and adapting to the needs of its community, staff, and operational needs. The organization has many short and long-term goals for the future, which include both programmatic and capital aims. Enhancement of the clinic’s physical space is ongoing, and new services and programs are being added on a regular basis.


Hours of Operation
Monday, Wednesday* + Friday
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Tuesday + Thursday
9:00 AM – 8:00 PM


*We are closed 9:00 -11:00 AM on the first Wednesday of each month

886 Main Street