After a hard-fought victory from 13 years of work, Gisele Lalonde says it was a sweet moment when the Montfort Hospital opened the doors to a six-storey expansion -- a wonderful thing considering the hospital once came close to closure.

"It's very emotional for me," says Lalonde. It was she who lead the fight to keep the Montfort open when the Conservative provincial government tried to close it.

"I had the support of the community very, very much and I think this was a community victory."

Now, the the heart of the Montfort beats strongly. A new six-storey expansion includes four floors for the Canadian Forces Health Service Centre.

"Since 1953, Montfort has healed the sick. Today this hospital continues that mission with renewed vigour with more services, more beds and more staff," Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said in a speech.

The Montfort is Ontario's only French language teaching hospital, yet the services offered are bilingual. One of the student nurses now is Veronique Lalonde -- grandaughter of Gisele, the Montfort's saviour.

"It's kind of an honour. I was actually asked at the interview why I wanted to work at Montfort specifically, and I actually had the chance to say it's one of the only French speaking and French teaching hospitals around."

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Norman Fetterley