Alliston Community Information
Alliston is the largest of the communities in New Tecumseth.
Highway 89 brings people straight through its downtown core, where a mix of unique businesses and community organizations keep streets bustling.
William Fletcher was Alliston’s first settler. He built a frame house for his family in 1849, after erecting a log shanty on his newly chosen mill site on the Boyne River (Lot 1 Cons. 1, Essa Township). The house still stands at 44 Fletcher Cres.
Alex Grant built a gristmill with the fletchers in 1853 and became the miller. The gristmill was destroyed by fire in 1911. Grant married to Sarah Ann Squire, who gave birth to Margaret Grant, the first child born in Alliston.
On January 28th, 1879, Margaret married William Banting, a well-respected farmer with a deep devotion to Methodist church. They had five children, the youngest being Frederick Banting.
Sir Frederick Banting is known around the world for discovering insulin. He was born in the farmhouse located on Sir Frederick Banting Drive. Historical plaques and cairn mark the Banting homestead today, which, after a lengthy battle was protected from development under the Ontario Heritage Act.
In 2008 the town took over ownership of the homestead and there are plans to create a Banting Heritage Park, so the community can make proper use of the property and celebrate Alliston’s most famous son.
In 1856, Alliston was named after William Fletcher’s birthplace, in Yorkshire, England. On June 18th, 1874, Alliston became an official village, encompassing 500 acres and cornering on four townships.
In 1877 the first train came to town, the Hand house was built (the home of the first towns veterinarian; restored in 1981, it is at the corner of Paris and Wellington streets) and a fire destroyed a large part of the village.
By January 1891, Alliston was proclaimed a town. Numerous businesses and services were in place, as well as churches, a school and the railway line.
Another fire would sweep through 30 Acres if Alliston’s main street in May 1891. The Methodist church (now St. John’s United Church) was one of the few buildings left standing. The residents of Alliston worked together to rebuild the town, using bricks in place of wood.