Why is Alliston… Historically Important?

Ever hear the ads? "come visit historic downtown *insert town name here*".

Ever hear the ads? “come visit historic downtown *insert town name here*”. We all have! But something separates Alliston from the rest. As much as I love the city, the hustle and bustle of life, I also really enjoy just relaxing in the countryside…. But also knowing that if my house were to explode, a rural community is right next door to hopefully save me.

Alliston is that.

But that doesn’t explain it’s historical significance. For that we go WAY back to the 1800’s.

The majority of the land now known as alliston was purchased by William, John, and Dickson Fletcher. The three Fletcher brothers were dissatisfied with their life in England. They came to Toronto and later began scouting locations to build a mill. Finally, in 1853, a grist mill was built by the Fletchers near the Boyne River. Three years later, Orange Lodge was built, and the members decided to name the village Alliston. Though some may disagree on the origin of the name, it is widely believed that Alliston was James Banting’s birthplace in Yorkshire…. Okay cool? But that doesn’t REALLY help our question. What makes the town significant to Canadian and World history? Sir Frederick Banting.

How many of you know someone who is Diabetic? Probably quite a few of you.. Keep that in mind reading the next little bit.

For starters let’s get some background. Who is this man, and why does he have a cool prefix in his name? Frederick Banting was a medical scientist, physician, painter, and also a holds a Nobel Prize for the discovery of Insulin. He was born in Alliston in 1891, and later in life attended the University of Toronto. Upon the discovery of insulin at the university, this happened.


In 1922, at the University of Toronto, the scientists went to a hospital ward with diabetic children, most of them comatose and dying from diabetic keto-acidosis. This is known as one of medicine’s most incredible moments. Imagine a room full of parents sitting at the bedside waiting for the inevitable death of their child. The scientists went from bed-to-bed and injected the children with the new purified extract – insulin. As they began to inject the last comatose child, the first child injected began to awaken. Then one by one, all the children awoke from their diabetic comas. A room of death and gloom, became a place of joy and hope.

Credits- Library and Archives Canada


This is why.

This moment in history changed the course of life for people suffering around the world. After this, he was given the Nobel Prize, and was Knighted by King George V.

This is why Alliston should be known, around the globe.



Some text taken from Previn Court – http://www.previncourt.com/blog/history-alliston-ontario/