About the Shriners

Greatest Philanthropy in the World

Shriners are men that come from all walks of life. Membership consists of a cross-section of the various social, economic, educational and spiritual backgrounds found in North America today.  Most people identify Shriners as those men who seem to have such a good time at their conventions, participate in local parades and are recognizable by their iconic "red hat" which is known as a fez.  What most people are not aware of that every Shriner must be a member of the Masonic Fraternity (a 3rd Degree Master Mason) and that the Shriners are the sole support of 18 Orthopedic Hospitals for Children, 3 of the finest Burns Hospitals for Children and 1 hospital that provides orthopedic, burn and spinal cord injury care across North America. All medical treatment, hospitalization, skin grafts, plastic surgery, etc. is at no cost to the patients and their families however third party insurance is accepted if available.  It is imperative to note that no child is refused treatment at Shriners Hospitals if they are unable to pay. Any child from infancy to 18 years of age is eligible for treatment.  If you know of a child in need of such care, please contact us. Patients in the Shrine Hospitals are children from communities such as yours as well as around the world. 

Become a Shriner

Interested in becoming a Shriner? Visit or contact us through our website to meet with a club member to learn more. 

About Shriners Hospital

Shriners Hospital for Children

 Inside Shriners Hospitals for Children each day, patients and families say thank you to the Shriners International fraternity – those men in the red fezzes. The model for care was imagined and established by the Shriners, the fraternal organization for which the hospital is named. Determined to give all children access to specialized pediatric care, the Shriners opened their first hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1922. Polio was reaching epidemic proportions and only families of means had ready access to doctors, leaving thousands of children at risk without health care. Shriners Hospitals for Children opened as a place where children suffering from the crippling effects of polio, clubfoot and other orthopaedic conditions could receive life-changing medical care.

Recognized as one of the world’s greatest philanthropies, Shriners Hospitals for Children has evolved into an international hospital system recognized for its devotion to transforming the lives of children through expert care and research. It is a destination of choice for parents whose children have orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, cleft lip and palate, or other complex surgical needs. All children receive care regardless of the families’ ability to pay.

Located in Montreal since 1925, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada is a bilingual, acute care center providing orthopaedic specialty care for complex or chronic disorders, such as osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease), severe spinal and limb anomalies, reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation. Children from across Canada, the U.S. and around the world have benefited from the Canada Shriners Hospital’s groundbreaking research and innovative treatments, both in Montreal and in their own communities.

For more than 90 years Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada’s board-certified surgeons and staff have been providing high-quality orthopaedic care. Every member of the team, from surgeons and therapists, to nurses and prosthetists, work together to ensure the best course of treatment for each patient in a family-centered environment.


Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada opened on February 18, 1925 with a 60-bed capacity for the purpose of providing orthopaedic care to children up to the age of 14. In later years, this limitation was raised to 16 and eventually, to its present limit of 18 years. It should be noted that patients can now be treated in Montreal until their 21st birthday.

Throughout the early years, patient statistics indicated a length of stay ranging from 90 to 120 days. The most recent statistics from 2015 indicate a length of stay of only 2.3 days which is quite remarkable in comparison. This shift can be directly related to an increase in day surgery, day treatments and clinic visits over the same period of time. Patients who previously remained in-hospital are now being discharged and seen, as required, on an outpatient basis. This change in concept is a consequence of a number of factors:

  • Advances in medical care and technology 
  • Teaching parents how to provide the necessary care at home aided by pre-discharge planning
  • Providing regular visits to the clinic, and access to a toll-free telephone line to the hospital and its team of professionals

The types of conditions treated today far exceed the range of those accepted in the 1920s. In addition to treating patients with more common orthopaedic conditions, such as deformed spine, legs, arms or hands, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada is now seeing patients needing a multidisciplinary approach. The children and adolescents present with a number of conditions simultaneously, such as metabolic and genetic bone diseases, skeletal dysplasias and neuromusculoskeletal conditions, such as spina bifida and cerebral palsy.