Maimonides can trace its history back as far as 1910 when it was founded by the Jewish community of Montreal under the name "Montreal Hebrew Sheltering Home." At the time, it was more commonly referred to as the Moshav Zkainim, and housed only six residents in a home on Evans Street.
A second home located on City Hall Avenue opened with the name of its founders, the B. & S. Steinhouse, Old People’s Home.
Encouraged by the newly formed Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Montreal, an agreement was signed between both homes to raise funds for the construction of a larger building on land owned by the Sheltering Home on Esplanade street.
There were 145 beds. The demand for more beds kept growing as Montreal’s Jewish community thrived and aged. The new residents admitted now had an average age over 80.
Until this time, it was the policy of the founding homes to admit only the aged who were autonomous and required minimal nursing supervision. However, as the physical condition of the residents deteriorated, medical and nursing staff were provided and the criteria for admission was altered accordingly. To reflect this change, the institution was renamed Maimonides Hospital and Home for the Aged in honour of Rabbi Moshe Bar Maimon - also known as Maimonides. He was one of the greatest Rabbis in Jewish history as well as a noted philosopher and doctor serving as physician to Saladin, Sultan of Egypt.
Recognizing the obvious needs in the community for a first rate, long-term hospital to care for the elderly who were chronically ill, Maimonides Hospital and Home for the Aged and Allied Jewish Community Services made the decision to sell the building on Esplanade which was no longer adequate to meet the demands of the community.
A 7 ½ acre site was purchased in Cote Saint Luc. A new facility was built containing five floors and accommodating 247 beds.
Another first was realized when the "Meals-on Wheels" program came into being - the first of its kind in the Jewish community and one which is totally staffed by volunteers. To reflect this expanded role in the community, in 1977 the facility became known as Maimonides Hospital Geriatric Centre.
Two more floors were added to increase the bed capacity to 387, where it now stands. Maimonides has long been a leader in geriatric care and became involved in community outreach as far back as 1965 when the Maimonides Day Hospital, now the Helen and Sam Steinberg Geriatric Day hospital, was inaugurated - the first psychogeriatric day hospital in both Canada and the United States.
Management of the Accredited Foster Home program, now renamed Accredited Homes for Seniors, was transferred from Jewish Family Services to Maimonides. Approximately 100 residents in 12 to 15 residential homes in the community came under the supervision of Maimonides Hospital Geriatric Centre.
Maimonides Foundation fostered the development of the Collaborative Research Network in Long Term Care involving 14 institutions with over 2,000 residents. The result of research projects emanating from this network will undoubtedly impact on the care of the institutionalized elderly.
Maimonides officially changes its name to Maimonides Geriatric Centre.
Thanks to a transformative gift from the Donald Berman Foundation, Maimonides is officially renamed Donald Berman Maimonides Geriatric Centre.