Sudbury

Dionne home to make way for highway rest stop in North Bay

The Dionne Quintuplets home will stay in North Bay for at least another six weeks, but the land it sits on could be a construction site by this summer.

Special review committee to report back to city council in April

After months of delaying a decision on moving the Dionne Quintuplets home to a pioneer village near Sundridge, North Bay city council has created a special review committee to study the issue. (change.org -- Save the Dionne Home)

The Dionne Quintuplets home will stay in North Bay for at least another six weeks, but the land it sits on could be a construction site by this summer.

City council voted Monday night to strike a special review committee to study the possibilities for keeping the historic log cabin in North Bay and also voted to sell the property along Highway 17 for $1.68 million.

The new private owners, who paid about $700,000 more than the assessed value of the land, plan to build a highway rest stop with a restaurant and gas station and hope to begin construction this summer.

That could prompt city council to make a final decision on the future of the Dionne home, after months of putting of a vote on giving it to a group in Strong Township, near Sundridge, planning to start a pioneer village.

North Bay Mayor Al McDonald (CBC)

Monday's meeting started with a vote to strike a special review committee, featuring three city councillors. There was no debate, so Mayor Al McDonald felt a need to explain what was happening to the audience.

"The Dionne quints won't be discussed tonight," he said.

"It's a review committee set up by members of council. So we will not see a report come back until April 4."

But North Bay citizens did still want to talk about the Dionne quints home, including Jeff Fournier, who has spoken at almost every council meeting about this issue for the last four months.

The founder of the Friends of the Dionne Quintuplets Home Museum thanked council for their decision to give them more time to find a way to keep the house in North Bay.

"It's nice to work together with you folks," Fournier said with a laugh.

He told council that $7,000 has been raised so far to re-open the Dionne house as a museum, but he said other donors, as well as government agencies who might provide funding or grants for the project, won't commit money until the home is "safely secured in North Bay."

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