News Local

Town closes deal on Banting estate 0

By Raymond Bowe, Barrie Examiner

The deal for the old Banting home has closed, but the town is only halfway to its $500,000 fundraising goal.

Frederick Banting was born Nov. 14, 1891 at the family farm on the outskirts of Alliston. He discovered a practical way to produce insulin in the early 1920s and was awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1923. Banting was knighted in 1934, but died in a plane crash seven years later.

Banting remains the town's most famous son, but the homestead had been falling into a state of disrepair.

The Town of New Tecumseth reached a binding agreement in January with the Ontario Historical Society Foundation to purchase the 107-acre Alliston property for $600,000. That deal was to close on June 30 on the condition that $500,000 could be raised through a fundraising campaign.

"We're a little better than halfway there now, and we still have some outstanding corporate donations," Mayor Mike MacEachern said yesterday.

Despite being only halfway to its target, the municipality went ahead with the deal anyway.

MacEachern said there were plenty of $20, $50, $100 and $1,000 donations flooding town hall from local residents.

"We thought there was enough community want to move on it," he said yesterday, adding about $50,000 was raised at Wednesday's fundraising gala, including in-kind contributions.

The town still took possession of the property on June 30.

The municipality will continue to fundraise, MacEachern said, and the next step in the home's restoration is to hire a project manager and then co-ordinate the work.

The town plans to restore the unoccupied homestead -- including the house, an octagonal drive shed and a silo -- to its former glory and open it to the public.

For more information about the Banting homestead, call 705-435-3900, ext. 250, or visit www.restorethebantinghomestead.com.

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