Born in in St. Stanislas de Kostka, Quebec, Donat was a member of the Canadian Senate as a Liberal Party from 1926 to 1963. Donat was also head of the Canadian Arena Company that helped designed arenas throughout Canada. One of the major arenas he re-built was the Montreal Forum in 1968. One of his final acts was to approve the financing and plans of the arena before he died. He won 8 Stanley Cup, 2 with the Montreal Maroons 1926-35, and 5 more cups with Montreal Canadiens in 1944-46-53-56-57.
Donat was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958.