Bytown Museum unveiled a new temporary exhibition celebrating Ottawa’s healthcare history on May 17.

Capital Healers: Ottawa’s Health Care Story details Ottawa’s long history of health care from its early beginnings up until the 20th century.

The exhibit features photographs, artifacts, sketches, digital models created by Carleton University’s Immersive Studio.

“Health care and nursing, both formal and informal, have a long and colourful past in Bytown (later Ottawa),” the exhibition’s introduction reads. “Wives of canal workers nursed their injured husbands. Early doctors cared for patients, including an ailing Lieutenant-Colonel John By. Nuns risked deadly diseases to assist new immigrants. Trained nurses led hospital wards in times of peace and war.”

The exhibit also commemorates the 100th anniversary of Ottawa’s Civic Hospital which opened in November, 1924.

The Civic integrated five pre-existing nursing schools in Ottawa including the Lady Stanley Institute, which is heavily featured in the exhibit.

The first class of 32 nurses graduated in June 1925 and more than 4,000 nurses would graduate in the 50 years from 1925 to 1974.

The hospital was also the birthplace of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands on Jan. 19, 1943.

The Dutch royal family sought refuge in Canada when the Netherlands was invaded by Nazi Germany in 1940.

The hospital was declared extraterritorial, meaning it was outside Canadian jurisdiction, so Princess Margriet would be a Dutch citizen.

The hospital continues to receive the gratitude of the Dutch to this day. Earlier this month, 100 bouquets of tulips were delivered to the hospital from the Embassy of the Netherlands. And thousands more bulbs bloomed during the annual Canadian Tulip Festival

The exhibition runs until April 2025.