Billionaire philanthropist Jim Pattison has made a massive $75-million donation to help replace the aging St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver.

Pattison's contribution is a historic one, representing the largest donation ever made by an individual to a medical facility in Canada, according to the St. Paul's Foundation.

It was announced outside the current St. Paul's location on Burrard Street, a roughly 120-year-old hospital that will become part of a brand new medical centre in False Creek Flats.

Pattison was humble when explaining his involvement in the project.

"The folks here came to see us and said they needed some help," he told reporters.

The wealthy businessman also thanked St. Paul's staff and volunteers, whom he credited with "really [making] this project worthwhile."

The new facility, estimated to cost $1.2-billion, will be dubbed the Jim Pattison Medical Centre. The 18.4-acre health campus will house St. Paul's Hospital, with its acute and critical care programs, as well as the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation, the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, and other research facilities and specialized outpatient clinics.

Dick Vollet, president of the St. Paul's Foundation, said it will be a world-class facility that will serve people across the province.

"If you can imagine a John Hopkins or a Cleveland Clinic or a Mayo [Clinic], that's what we're going to build here," Vollet said, underscoring the importance of Pattison's contribution.

"It's one of the strongest examples of how philanthropy can really, truly transform people's lives."

The Jim Pattison Medical Centre is expected to open in 2023. For more information, visit the project's website

With files from CTV Vancouver's Breanna Karstens-Smith