After a dozen years of discussion, a groundbreaking announcement was made Thursday: The MUHC's English hospital will be built in the Glen Yard.

A consortium led by SNC-Lavallin and Innisfree Ltd. will build the $1.343 billion project.

Modern-looking, sleek building will take up 300,000 square metres and house 346 adult beds, and 154 children's beds.

At a ceremony Thursday, Dr. Arthur Porter, CEO of the project, said the project will begin imminently and is set to be completed by 2014.

"Work will start almost immediately. The preparations on the site have already been completed in terms of decontamination. I think we've had, within our organization, plenty of time for preparation. We have a very solid clinical plan; we've had a tremendous amount of input into this," he said.

Porter was confident it would be carried through to completion.

"The shovel goes in the ground and we are on track. This hospital will be built," said Porter.

Premier Jean Charest was on hand to lend his support to the project.

"No one goes to Boston and says, ‘Why do you have five hospitals? You should have one hospital,'" he said.

The groundbreaking event was symbolic, because the proceedings were disrupted by a small group of protestors who are against the project due to the private-public partnership, concern about it exceeding its budget and what they say is the unnecessary construction of an English-specific hospital.