Manor former home
|From the collection of the Dionne
Quints Museum with expressed permission of Annette and Cecile
to Dionne quintuplets
The pitter-patter of 10 little feet belonging to
five identical sisters once filled the halls of a Corbeil, Ontario
The Dionne sisters, born on May 28, 1934,
were the world’s
first quintuplets to live beyond infancy. They resided in a sprawling
mansion near North Bay as wards of the Ontario government after
being taken away from their parents. Over the years, a few million
people would travel to the area from near and far to see the celebrity
babies, raised in a home that became a profitable tourist attraction.
Today, that very home still stands. Inside,
four upstairs bedrooms are still filled with mirrors, closets
and dresser drawers that
originally furnished the quintuplets’ quarters. Only now,
the mansion is home to seniors and owned by Milt Graham, proprietor
of Nipissing Manor Nursing Care Center and Retirement Home.
|From the collection of the Dionne Quints Museum.
Graham purchased the retirement home and expanded an adjoining
long-term care facility in 1990. A previous owner purchased the
building in 1967.
U-Mee Graham, program co-ordinator for Nipissing Manor, shares
the history of a retirement home with 20 resident rooms that had
a special visit from three of the quintuplets in 1998. The women
toured the home, previously known as Quintland, and mingled with
staff and residents.
“One of the residents used to dress them,” says
U-Mee. The resident purchased clothing for the five babies to wear.
residents knew the quintuplets’ parents, Elzire and Oliva
Dionne. According to the Dionne quintuplets’ timeline on
of North Bay’s website,
the quintuplets were born near Callander in a small house to the
young farming couple.
The parents visited their children at the Corbeil mansion and
stayed in the master bedroom on the upper level of the home. That
room is also equipped with the original closet, dresser drawers
and mirrors, notes Graham.
She says while the upper level of the home has pretty much remained
the same, the lower portion of the mansion and basement has been
renovated. The main level has been divided into several rooms and
the original garage has been converted into a dining room for residents.
However, a fireplace and the banister on the staircase remain intact.
A huge, original chandelier has also been hung in the dining room.
The mansion was initially turned into a
nursing home but when new government regulations were introduced
around 1988, it was
converted into a retirement home because the hallways weren’t
wide enough, notes Graham.
Today, there are three surviving quintuplets.
For more information about the famous sisters, visit the website
of the Dionne