Lambert cough and cold syrup: trust built on a century of useful service in Quebec, Canada

Chromology about Dr. J.O. Lambert and his natural cough syrup.

Lambert Syrup was developed in 1887 in St-Zéphirin-de-Courval, near Drummondville, Québec, by Québec physician Joseph-Oliver Lambert. Lambert Syrup has since then been part of our history, effectively relieving cold and flu symptoms for generations of Canadians, and is still available in pharmacies, grocery stores and mass retailers across Québec. Its packaging showcases Dr. Lambert’s famous mustache and warns of imitations that would not bear the signature and photo of Dr. Lambert. Now over 120 years old, Lambert Syrup hasn’t lost any of its potency and remains popular with Canadian families.


  • February 14, 1861 : Birth of Joseph-Olivier Lambert in Baie-du-Febvre. Son of Antoine Lambert and Marcelline-Judith Godbout. He is part of the seventh generation of the Lambert family in Québec, and one of the brightest students of his time.
  • November 24, 1886 : Weds Marie-Ève Blanche Boisvert, in St-Zéphirin-de-Courval
  • 1887 : Dr. Lambert develops the formula of the syrup that would bear his name, and registers the patent
  • January 13, 1889 : birth of Dr. Lambert’s first son, Joseph-Fernand-Victor Lambert
  • 1891 : Creation of Dr. J.O. Lambert Limited company
  • February 7, 1892 : Birth of Dr. Lambert’s second son, Paul-Émile Lambert
  • April 2nd, 1893 : Death of Dr. Lambert, in Notre-Dame-de-Stanbridge
  • November 12, 1893 : Birth of Dr. Lambert’s third son, Joseph-Olivier Lambert
  • 1901 : Reorganization of Dr J.O. Lambert company. The Boisvert family (Dr. Lambert’s wife’s family) takes over the company and continues to produce and market Lambert Syrup
  • 1915 : Incorporation of the Dr J.O. Lambert company
  • 1918 : During the Spanish influenza (a type A flu), many newspapers praised the curative virtues of Lambert Syrup. Lambert Syrup is distributed across Canada and even in Great Britain, France, Belgium and the United States.
  • From 1889 to 1939 : Dr J.O. Lambert company had sold 11,372,299 bottles of its renowned cough syrup
  • Beginning of the ‘70s : the Boisvert family sells Dr J.O.Lambert company to Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, a pharmaceutical giant
  • March 13, 1980 : Mr. Rolland St-Charles buys the Dr J.O. Lambert company from Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada. He stays true to the original formula first patented by Dr. Lambert, and to the brand image of the packaging that proudly displays a vintage photograph of Dr. Lambert. Mr. St-Charles establishes the offices of Dr. J.O. Lambert company in Boucherville, Québec, in the same building as JL Freeman sec.
  • November 16, 2009 : 122 years after obtaining the patent, the original formula is now available, for the very first time, in single dose format. It’s the first time that a cough syrup is being sold in individual doses in Canada. Quite an innovation!