Sudbury

City doesn't see a home for Dionne house in North Bay

North Bay city council says it doesn't see a viable option to keep the Dionne home in the city and is moving ahead with plans to give it to a heritage village near Sundridge.

North Bay city council expected to make final decision on Dionne home next week

The log home where the Dionne quintuplets were born was moved to North Bay in 1985 and was operated as a museum until 2015. (change.org -- Save the Dionne Home)

The log cabin where the Dionne Quintuplets were born looks to be on the move again.

It was in the rural community of Corbeil in 1934 when the five famous sisters were born, but in 1985 moved to the side of Highway 17 in North Bay to be run as a museum.

But the museum closed its doors in 2015.

Since its closure, the city wants to sell the land it sits on and the Strong Township agricultural society wants it to be the centrepiece of a heritage village it's planning near Sundridge.

That plan was stalled late last year when people in North Bay called for the log cabin to be kept in the city, designate it as a heritage building and re-open the museum.

But a report represented to North Bay city council Monday night says despite some passionate citizens, there is no specific plan to keep the quints home in the city.

Managing director of community services John Severino says the log house would need at least $550,000 in repairs to be re-opened as a museum, with annual operating costs of around $155,000, noting that while the museum had 15,000 visitors when it opened 30 years ago, but only 3,000 in recent years.

"There could be the remote possibility that the home could be knocked down and removed from the site," Severino told council.

"And I'll tell you, it was the one worry the subcommittee had."

Severino recommended that North Bay city council continue with the plans to give the home to Strong Township, offering to pay up to half of the $75,000 moving costs.

The artifacts and documents relating to the Dionne family would be given to the Callander Bay Museum, the North Bay public library and the library at Nipissing University.

"I certainly believe that the Dionne legacy will be protected for future generations," says North Bay city councillor Mark King.

The plan has been endorsed by a committee of city council, but won't be official until it passes a vote of all city councillors expected to be held next week. 
 

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