Banting Heritage Park
Frederick (Fred) Banting (titled “Sir” as a Knight Commander of the British Empire in 1924 under agreement with Canada) was one of Canada’s most famous medical scientists and a co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1923. He was born on 14 November 1891 on the farm located at what is now municipally known as 5116 Sir Frederick Banting Road. His birth occurred in a ground-floor bedroom of a clapboard farmhouse (not extant) that was located on the subject property.
In 2007 the Town undertook a heritage study and after a lot of hard work and dedication, the entire 107 acre property was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. This meant that any development of the property would be regulated by the heritage designation.
The Town of New Tecumseth purchased the property from the Ontario Historical Society in June of 2008. At that time the buildings were not occupied and had fallen into a state of disrepair. Not to be daunted by the challenges ahead, the Town forged ahead with a goal to restore the property without using tax dollars.
Fundraising was successful with donations from local residents, businesses, industries and organizations along with messages of support from near and far.
In 2009 the Town engaged Lord Cultural Resources to complete a Master Plan for the property to develop an overall plan for the use of the entire property and for the ongoing maintenance and restoration work required in respect of the buildings. Some of the work identified in the Master Plan has now been completed and the property has been named Banting Heritage Park.
The Alliston Lions Club and Rotary Club of Alliston partnered to fundraise and completely rebuilt the octagonal drive shed which is now a functioning part of the Heritage Park. Local tradespersons and businesses have provided great service to assist in various aspects of the project and continue to be a vital part of its success.
In 2012 the Town negotiated a lease with the Sir Frederick Banting Legacy Foundation (SFBLF) that provided a partnership relationship that will result in the restoration of the farmhouse and construction of an exhibit building and eventually an outreach centre. The long term goal is to provide a local facility that will provide education and support for people living with diabetes and to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Today, the 107-acre farm contains a farmstead consisting of a fully restored brick, three-storey brick house that was rebuilt in 1925 from some materials and parts of the foundation of an earlier evolved farmhouse, a wood barn and piggery built c1917 after a fire and a totally restored brick octagonal machine shed (1918).
On November 10, 2012, the Town celebrated with the Sir Frederick Banting Legacy Foundation to mark the official grand opening of the fully restored farmhouse in conjunction with World Diabetes Day and Banting Day.
SFBLF is moving forward on the next phase which is the construction of Phase 1 of a Heritage Exhibit Building which will provide accessibility access to the farmhouse making the main floor totally accessible to all. On November 15, 2012 the Sir Frederick Banting Legacy Foundation received $166,000.00 in funding from the Federal Government through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.