Construction of the Nova Scotia Hospital began in 1856, and the hospital opened its doors in December 1857. An Act for the Management of the Hospital for the Insane, passed in 1858, outlined the hospital's objective of providing humane and enlightened curative treatment for the mentally incompetent. The lieutenant-governor was empowered to appoint a board of commissioners to supervise the hospital's expenditures and general operations, and a medical superintendent to act as the hospital's chief executive officer. Established as the Provincial Hospital for the Insane in 1858, the hospital was also referred to as the Nova Scotia Hospital for the Insane until February 1901, when the hospital's name was legally established as Nova Scotia Hospital. Because the hospital was located in the Mount Hope area of Dartmouth, it was popularly known for many years as the Mount Hope Lunatic Asylum. The hospital operated under the jurisdiction of the board of commissioners until 1861, when it was placed under the Board of Works. In 1878 the hospital was transferred to the control of the Board of Commissioners of Public Charities and in 1931 to the Nova Scotia Department of Public Health. On 1 January 2001 the Health Authorities Act came into force and the Nova Scotia Hospital lost its status as a public body. The former Nova Scotia Hospital became the Mental Health Program of the new metropolitan Capital District Health Authority.