Sudbury·Audio

North Bay city council once again puts off vote on future of Dionne home

After being debated and discussed at North Bay city council for months, the future of the log home where the Dionne Quintuplets were born won't be decided for at least another two weeks.

City staff suggest giving the log home to pioneer village near Sundridge

To the world, the birth on May 28, 1934 of female quintuplets to Elzire and Oliva Dionne was a miracle, an event so incredible few believed the initial news report flashed around the globe. Once the birth was confirmed however, the quintuplets became one of the most sensational news events in history. (Toronto Star/Canadian Press)
After being debated and discussed at North Bay city council for months, the future of the log home where the Dionne Quintuplets were born won't be decided for at least another two weeks.

Council was poised to vote Monday night on a plan to move it to a pioneer village in Strong Township near Sundridge and then sell the valuable land the house sits on along Highway 17.

City councillor Chris Mayne tabled a motion to delay the decision for 30 days, so a citizens' group called the Friends of the Dionne House Museum could firm up its plans to keep the house in North Bay.

That motion was defeated by a vote of 5-4, but Mayne then issued a notice of reconsideration, which means it will automatically be put off for another two weeks and voted on again.

The Dionne quintuplets' home was moved to North Bay from Corbeil in 1985 and operated as a museum until 2015. (change.org -- Save the Dionne Home)

"If the vote does take place this evening, it really is a final decision for the community," Mayne told council. 

"If the Dionne quint home is sold to Strong Township it is lost forever."

City councillor Mark King says the debate over the home has become "a three-ring circus" with lots of misinformation being spread on social media.

"What you're seeing right now is a council that's actually paralyzed," he says. "They're bending to the pressure."

North Bay city staff have argued that re-opening the log house as a museum would cost at least $550,000 and say that while 15,000 visited the museum when it first opened in the city in the 1980s, tourists dwindled to just 3,000 in recent years.

now