Banting Heritage Park

The Banting Heritage Park, located on 5116 Sir Frederick Banting Road, celebrates Sir Frederick Banting's legacy and contribution to medical science. Explore the Banting Legacy to learn more about visiting the Park, diabetes research, and more!

Sir Frederick Banting

Sir Frederick Banting was born on 14 November 1891, on the same site as the park. He made a great contribution to medical science as a co-discoverer of insulin. He was the co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1923.

Restoration

Members of the Banting family lived continuously on the farmstead for over a century (1891 - 1998). The last owner, Edward Banting, bequeathed the property to the Ontario Historical Society (OHS).

We bought the property from the  OHS in June of 2008. The entire 107-acre property was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. After successful fundraising, we hired Lord Cultural Resources to complete a Master Plan for the area in 2009.

In 2010, we asked the Sir Frederick Banting Legacy Foundation (SFBLF) to provide leadership for restoration of the historic buildings and upgrades to site infrastructure.

The first project, begun in April and completed in September 2010, was restoration of the historic Octagonal Drive Shed (1918). SFBLF partnered with Alliston Lions Club and Rotary Club of Alliston to fundraise and rebuild the octagonal drive shed. Local tradespersons and businesses provided great support for many aspects of the project. They continue to play a role in the property's development. In the same year, the Town installed a new access lane and parking lot.

The historic Farmhouse, built in 1925 by Thompson Banting, was restored and upgraded by SFBLF starting in late 2011 and completing in October 2012.

Accessibility

To ensure public accessibility, SFBLF sought and received funding support from the Federal Government, through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, and matching funds from many others. This allowed construction of a new Heritage Exhibit Building, officially opened on November 14, 2013, that includes barrier-free washrooms and an interior wheel-chair ramp to the Farmhouse. In the same year, the Town extended municipal services (sanitary and water) to the site. These steps achieved the essential SFBLF strategic goal of creating a unique, Diabetes Management and Education Centre (DMEC) accessible by all Canadians and visitors from around the world.

Grand opening

The site was opened briefly for visitors to mark World Diabetes Day and Banting Day on November 10, 2012 and opened permanently with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in November 2013 after completion of the Heritage Exhibit Building.

A work in progress

Enhancement of  the property continues. In parallel, SFBLF has created and implemented a wide array of free scheduled programs, many of which are based at the Park, including School Tours, Group Tours, Diabetes Classes for Adults, Summer Day Camp Field Trip support and public access hours.

2014 - New interior exhibits designed and installed; picnic tables added by the Town; and a Parks Canada heritage plaque placed at the front of the property.

2015 - Installation of the Banting Legacy Trail; outdoor information exhibits; new trees; memorial paver patio.

2016 - Heating and lighting upgrades to the Octagonal Drive Shed to support use of this unique venue as a classroom.

2017 -  Outdoor exercise equipment added to the Legacy Trail.

2018 - Outdoor musical instruments added to the picnic area.

2019 - Additional outdoor information exhibits added to the Legacy Trail

As of the end of 2018, over 9,000 visitors from 9 provinces, 26 US states and 35 countries have enjoyed the programs and facilities at the Banting Heritage Park.

In addition, local families and residents use the Banting Legacy Trail daily.

The collective result stands as a major testimony to what can be achieved by a community working together to preserve a great Canadian legacy.