A home away from home next to The Montreal Children’s Hospital

A home away from home next to The Montreal Children’s Hospital gives parents of critically ill or injured children and teens a comfortable place to stay during their child’s hospitalization

Thanks to Pavillon Kat Demes, parents can focus on what matters most- the care and comfort of their sick child

Montréal, Québec: January 23, 2024 – The Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation is thrilled to inaugurate the Pavillon Kat Demes, a home away from home for parents from out of town whose critically ill or injured child is receiving care at The Children’s.

This haven, which opens in early spring, provides parents with all the comforts of home, including the warm welcome and support of compassionate employees, volunteers, and other families. Pavillon Kat Demes allows parents to focus on their number one priority- their child's comfort and care. It is the only facility in Quebec to offer free, temporary accommodations to parents of sick children and teens.

A grateful family pays it forward

The pavilion is named in honour of Catherine (Kat) Demes, who, in 2014, was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, an inoperable cancerous brain tumour. Little Kat passed away a year later. She was only five years old.

Ever since, Kat's mom, Dina Bourdakos, dad Peter Demes, Uncle Perry Giannias, and numerous other family members and friends have kept Kat’s memory alive by fundraising for The Children’s Foundation through Expos Fest. They have already raised $1 million for cancer research and have pledged to raise a further $2 million to support the Kat Demes Pavilion.

“Having a child with a serious illness is one of the most difficult experiences anyone can face. I remember the worry, uncertainty, and numbing fatigue,” said Dina Bourdakos. “Added to this, many parents staying at the Pavillon Kat Demes will be from out of town, away from their homes, family, and friends. When they need it the most, their support system will be miles away. For these families, Pavillon Kat Demes is a precious oasis. My family and I have pledged to raise $2 million for this project. I cannot think of a more fitting way to honour Catherine’s memory.”

The Pavillon Kat Demes is located at 5004 Boul. de Maisonneuve.

Proximity:  Located just a short five-minute walk from The Children’s, Pavillon Kat Demes ensures parents are never far from their child’s side, creating a sense of security during difficult times.

Comfortable rooms:  Pavillon Kat Demes offers six thoughtfully furnished private bedrooms and washrooms, providing a cozy and serene environment where parents can rest and recharge.

Supportive Community: Parents staying at the Pavillon Kat Demes can connect with other familites facing similar challenges, creating a supportive community where shared experiences and friendships are forged.

A community-funded project dedicated to Quebec families

The Foundation's incredible donors funded the Pavillon Kat Demes. This project is one of the dozens of donor-driven innovations which are the hallmark of The Foundation's major Unexpected Ways to Heal campaign.

Pavillon Kat Demes is critical to better serve the needs of seriously ill children and their families who must travel long distances to access necessary medical treatment at The Children’s,” said Renée Vézina, President of The Foundation. “We are extremely grateful to Loblaw Companies Limited, Le Groupe Maurice, and the Demes family for their donations. Your gifts will impact the health and well-being of children and families from across Quebec. You have turned a dream into a reality.”

"Le Groupe Maurice is committed to better community living. And we know to realize this commitment, we must get involved in our community. That's why we're extremely pleased to welcome Pavillon Kat Demes to the LIZ, a first for Le Groupe Maurice. We are delighted our $2.7 million donation will enable parents of seriously ill children to benefit from a comfortable retreat, an oasis where they can find respite and regain their strength during these very trying times", said Francis Gagnon, Chief, Real Estate Development and Investment Officer at Le Groupe Maurice.

“In keeping with our purpose to help Canadians live life well, Loblaw Companies' $2.5 million donation will provide even greater support to young patients and families from all over Quebec. We are proud to have been able to help make this important project a reality,” said Mr. Galen G. Weston, Chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited.

The Foundation also extends a heartfelt thank you to Air Canada Foundation, Canada Cycles for Kids, Just for Kids Foundation, Kids for Life Foundation, Kurling for Kids, METRO, Pedal for Kids, Sarah’s Fund for Cedars and the many, many other donors who directed their gifts towards this project.

Social Services managing requests for stays at Pavillon Kat Demes

Social Services at The Children's are handling all requests for accommodations and will prioritize families from out of town. Stays can be from four nights to several months, depending on the child's illness and treatment. We anticipate several hundred stays per year.

The Foundation is managing the day-to-day operations of Pavillon Kat Demes. The Foundation has recruited a dedicated and compassionate team with experience in the hotel and hospitality sectors.