I have had the pleasure of working at Alliston Union since January of this year. Although I have only been working here a short time, the sense of community and its rich history is clearly evident.
The school has a long history dating all the way back to the 1800s. In 1885, a two-storey Victorian building named Alliston Union was erected at the school’s current location on Albert Street. At this time, classes were relocated from their previous location at the Methodist hall in town. It was in these early years that the school’s most famous student Sir Frederick Banting attended.
In both 1905 and 1921, additions to the school were made. During these years, both elementary and secondary school students were housed within the building. In 1951, Banting Memorial High school opened and the Alliston Union site became solely an elementary school.
Between 1968 and 1969, the original building was torn down, leaving only one of the later additions, commonly referred to as ‘the annex’. A two-storey addition was also built, which included a unique open concept design on the upper floor, a double gym (one of the largest in the board) and the library. Aside from walls that were later added to separate the classrooms upstairs, the building has remained largely the same structurally since the 1969 renovations.
That brings us to today and the closing of the current building on Albert Street.
Although the building will no longer be in use, the memories of the school will live on as part of the rich history of this community. Alliston Union holds a special place in the memories of many people, as evidenced by the number of people attending the closing ceremony today, June 19, and the distance that many of our guests will travel to attend. It is obvious how important Alliston Union is to so many people.
It is with mixed feelings that we close the doors to the old building, but it is with excitement and anticipation that the community is welcoming the new location of Alliston Union. Our new school building will be opening this September just a few kilometers north on Church Street.
With the end of an era and the closing of the current building, our motto has been, “when one door closes, another opens”. We look forward to building many new and wonderful memories at Alliston Union!