Evolution of the Homestead

Banting Homestead Heritage Park

The 107-acre farmstead, located at 5116 Sir Frederick Banting Road, Alliston, Ontario, Canada, is the birthplace of Sir Frederick Grant Banting, co-discoverer of insulin and Canada’s first Nobel Laureate. The Town of New Tecumseth owns the property. The venue buildings and approximately 5 acres surrounding are under long-term lease by the Sir Frederick Banting Legacy Foundation (SFBLF).

Octagonal Drive Shed

Thompson Banting built the original brick octagonal drive shed in 1918. It is unique because farm implements could be driven in and out, and parked against one of the seven closed walls without the necessity of shifting other implements out of the way. The badly deteriorated building was faithfully restored (2010) using the original materials augmented with additional material from a nearby, similar shed. The cedar shake roof is new material. A concrete floor (2010) and electrical service (2013) were added to facilitate use as a ‘gathering place’. The initial work was done in 5 months during 2010 and was funded primarily as a joint project by the Alliston Lions and Rotary clubs with support from SFBLF. The Drive Shed was formally opened on September 11, 2010.

Site Infrastructure

SFBLF developed a site plan (2010 -11) involving an architect and seven engineering teams as a precursor to further evolution of the site. In parallel, the Town of New Tecumseth constructed a parking area, new access lane, widened and paved the adjacent approach road including replacement of an integral bridge. A natural gas line was installed in 2012 and municipal water and sanitary sewer services added in 2013. Enbridge and the Biffis family respectively provided these facilities as gifts-in-kind. SFBLF have added improved hydro service and telecommunications and security monitoring capability and, with the help of volunteers, new flower gardens.

Farmhouse

Thompson Banting constructed this building in 1925 using materials from the preceding larger family home that he dismantled. He used a portion of the original foundation as well.

Sir Frederick Banting was born in that earlier home on November 14, 1891.

SFBLF renovated and adapted the 1925 building starting in September 2011 and completed the task in October 2012. The interior of the building was completely ‘stripped’ to the framing. Major reinforcing was added along with new insulation, wallboard, plumbing, windows, wiring, HVAC, telecommunications and security systems. The original hardwood floors were fully restored and the original woodwork surrounds saved, stripped, replaced and re-stained to reflect the original hand-wrought graining pattern. The stone foundation was fully exposed, parged and sealed and the main porch supports and other elements repaired, re-built or replaced. A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony for the resulting building was held on November 10, 2012 as part of the annual Banting Day/World Diabetes Day celebrations.

Reception and Heritage Exhibit Centre

SFBLF began construction of this building in November 2012 with completion on May 31, 2013. This is a multi-purpose building providing a central reception area for the complex, additional exhibit space and the barrier-free facilities required to support a fully viable public space. It is the first stage on the path to a larger exhibit and education complex that will include a multi-purpose, flexible classroom. A longer term aspiration is to provide outpatient services. A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony for the resulting building was held on November 9, 2013 as part of the annual Banting Day/World Diabetes Day celebrations.

Banting Legacy Trail

An exercise Trail that surrounds the building envelope was added to the site in the Spring of 2015. The initial installation included 5 maple and 7 coniferous trees donated by Drysdales Tree Farms. The Legacy Trail connects with a ‘safety walkway’ installed across the southern front section of the park by the Town in the Fall of 2014. This section is intended to avoid visitors from nearby homes and schools having to walk on the main roadway to reach the site entrance. Exterior information exhibits and exercise equipment will be added along the Trail.

Engraved Paver Patio

To enhance the main flagpole and gardens area, a paver patio was installed in the early summer of 2015. It also provides a modest source of fundraising support through the sale of engraved pavers. To see examples ..

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