North Bay votes to keep Dionne quintuplets' home in the city

City council in North Bay, Ont., voted Tuesday night to adopt a committee's recommendation and keep the home where the Dionne quintuplets were born and its contents in the city but move them 2.1 kilometres away to a waterfront area.

Councillor Chris Mayne said the vote was 7-3 in favour of a recommendation from a special review committee created earlier this year amid public outcry over a proposal to move the home to a nearby community and hand over its contents to museums and universities.

Among the proposal's vocal opponents were the two surviving quintuplets, Cecile and Annette Dionne, who wrote a letter to councillors suggesting there is a "moral obligation" to safeguard the home as a part of Canadian history.

The 82-year-old sisters, who now live in Montreal, said their story put the city of roughly 54,000 in the global spotlight and serves as a reminder of "how society and politicians sometimes bend the rules."

The quintuplets were born in 1934, the first quintuplets to survive more than a few days.

The Ontario government took them from their parents and placed them in a special hospital where they spent the first nine years of their lives, and where they served as a tourist attraction that poured roughly $500 million into provincial coffers.