The world-famous Dionne quintuplets in 1939. From left, Emilie, Annette, Cécile, Marie and Yvonne.
North Bay, Ontario
It is great that with approaching Canada’s 150th anniversary, the final decision on the Dionne Museum in North Bay came out to be positive. The Dionne Quintuplets are the first quintuplets known to have survived their infancy.
Born May 28, 1934, just outside Callander, Ontario, near the village of Corbeil
A silent film that looks at a day in the life of the Dionne Quintuplets
The story of Dionne Quintuplets is as astounding as heartbreaking. It’s a story of a marvellous survival and a very sad child exploitation, perhaps with no precedents in Canadian history. The Dionne girls were born two months premature. All five survived to adulthood. The babies were made Wards of the King under the Dionne Quintuplets’ Guardianship Act and soon we’re moved by government across the road from their birthplace to a tourist theme park that became known as “Quintland.” Girls were exposed to the public three times each day in an exhibit enclosed by one-way viewing windows, and thus became the country’s biggest tourist attraction bringing in about $500 million to the province during the near-decade it operated. Those days are long gone, but the story still resonates today.