Tag Archives: North Bay

“Impressive Tribute Paid Solider Dead,” The Nugget, August 5, 1935, p. 3, 5.

[Transcribed by F. Noël with permission.]

Impressive Tribute Paid Soldier Dead

Solemn Opening 159th Re-Union

Memorial Services at Cenotaph and Lee Park Sunday


Their name liveth forever more.
Solemn, with a touch of sadness, yet inspiring for all its solemnity, was the drum- head memorial service at Lee Park Sunday afternoon, and the ceremony at Memorial Park in the morning.
The address of Rev. (Captain) N. Clark Wallace, main speaker, was heard by at least 2,000 persons at Lee Park. Standing before the pyramid of drums, Rev. Mr. Wallace told the gathering that the honor of the fallen cannot be sullied. It remains pure throughout eternity. “They are not on trial. We are on trial,” he said. His text was “Their name liveth forever more.”
Perhaps the most touching feature of the service was the placement of a wreath at the plaque of the unknown soldier. While the band softly played a funeral march the wreath was deposited on behalf of the 159th Battalion by Col. E. F. Armstrong, officer commanding. It was a tense moment for all, particularly the veterans, who were formed up in a square facing the drum-head.

Patriotism, Sacrifice

In his address, Rev. Mr. Wallace outlined the true meaning of the terms patriotism and self-sacrifice, stating men who went overseas set up real examples of these virtues.
“The real cause of the war,” he said, in reviewing the struggle’s beginning briefly, “was Germany’s desire to rule the world. We didn’t go to war to make the world safe for democracy, through that has become the popular belief. We entered the fight for liberty, freedom, truth, justice, and honor. The men who went to war believed those things worth fighting for.
“Today it almost seems as if the soldier is an outcast” Rev. Mr. Wallace continued. There has been so much preaching against armament, so much talk of pacifism and world peace forever, he contended, that the men who fought in the Great War had almost become outcasts.
“It is good to gather together to pay tribute to the fallen. Their honor, their sacrifice, must remain unsullied. Yet it is wrong to say their honor must remain unsullied. It can not be sullied for they fought the good fight, they kept the faith. Their name liveth forever more.”
Captain T. Ellwood of the Salvation Army pronounced the invocation following the doxology which opened the service. Two hymns followed, then a scripture reading by Rev. Garland Gladstone Lacey.
A short prayer by Rev. H.A. Sims followed the laying of the wreath. After Rev. Mr. Wallace’s address one minute of silence was observed in honor of the fallen. A trio of bugles sent the “Last Post” shrilling into the breeze. The benediction was pronounced by Rev. (Captain) P.C. Reed. The National Anthem closed the service.
Arrayed in their berets and badges, members of the 159th Battalion presented a colorful and smart appearance as they paraded to and from the park. The All Verterans Band was under the leadership of Frank Saunders.
The “Order of Service” was presented to the 159th Battalion Association by Mrs. John G. Ross, in remembrance of her brother, Lieut. W.K. Clarke, killed in the Great War March 7, 1918.
A plea for a continuation of the war to end war, on behalf of God and in the interests of world peace formed the theme of Capt. Rev. P.C. Reed’s address to the members of the 159th Battalion and other units at the Sunday morning memorial service in Memorial Park.
Classing the war against war as one from which there is no discharge save death, Capt. Reed pleaded with his hearers to strive as citizen-soldiers to leave behind them a mark of accomplishment towards this end, Canada’s citizen soldiery was classed as the bravest in the Allied forces during the World War, and that reputation must be upheld in the new war, Capt. Reed exhorted.
“It is a war without guns or bay-
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onets that we are fighting now,” Capt. Reed explained, “but a war which we must fight, not against God, as some said we were in the last war, but for God and against sin and selfishness. We cannot stand further losses from war, but we must continue in this great war for God.
“Captain Rev. Stanley Lambert, the padre of Christie Street Hospital, Toronto, said recently that every fifth day since the end of the war, a soldier has died in Christie Street Hospital. Like the Olympic, which was discharged recently after long years of service, and like the troop ships which received their discharge while on service, all of those vessels a lot of you boys will know, the old soldiers are getting their discharge,” Capt. Reed explained.
“From this new war against war and sin, however, there can be no discharge, a vote which the men who profit from warfare are trying to discourage. You who know the hell and horrors of war should be leaders in this great battle which all citizen-soldiers are fighting today.
“I am reminded today of a spot near Seaforth in England, where I once say a blooming field of oats, and just below the top of the oats were blooming red poppies. Then I am reminded of another field, in Flanders, where red poppies bloom amid the crosses, where lie our comrades. It is the death which the poppies signify in Flanders that is the penalty of war, and it is the life that the poppies signify in Seaforth that we want to preserve, that we are fighting to preserve in the great war we are fighting today, for peace,” Captain Reed concluded.
The service at Memorial Park was in charge of Rev. H.A. Sims, assisted by Capt. Reed, and Rev. G.G. Lacey, who pronounced the benediction. The 159th Battalion Band accompanied the assembled veterans in the singing of “The Son of God Goes Forth,” prior to the address, and “Rock of Ages” at its conclusion. Sgt. Major A. Collier, Sudbury, sounded the Last Post and Reveille.

Veterans Circle Cenotaph

To veterans from the 159th and other units massed on three sides of North Bay’s war memorial, and to listeners who spread back almost to the First avenue sidewalk, Rev. Mr. Reed voiced his message. A parade from the Masonic Hall by way of main street preceded the service.
To the west of the monument the 159th band was drawn up, grouped there after leading and marching men to the park. To one side of them were the bagpipers and drummers of the North Bay Highlanders, and with them the Bugle Band of the Algonquin Regiment.
More than five hundred citizens and visitors attended the memorial service, joining their voices with those of the veterans in the hymns, and repeating with them the Lord’s Prayer after Rev. Sims. Surrounding the park on three sides were rows of parked cars, their occupants joining with the veterans in tribute to their comrades who died in France, and whose memory they honored by the service along with other soldiers who fell in the Great War.

“Women Played a Great Part in Development of City,” The Nugget, August 5, 1935, p. 10.

[Transcribed by F. Noël with permission.]

Women Played Great Part In Development of City

Responsible for Developing Spirit of Fellowship in Early Days

True Pioneers

The North Bay of today, with its fine city streets and modern structures is a far cry from the little settlement huddled about the C.P.R. station which marked the site when the first woman arrived at this Gateway to the North, about 50 years ago.
The one board walk extending along the only travel way, now Oak street, was laid with planks placed lengthwise. The few make-shift dwellings faced the station and the C.P.R. “Red Row,” the last house of which stands on C.P.R. property at the corner of Ferguson and Oak streets.
About this little active spot in the wilderness, pierced only by the twin rails of a great transportation company, the C.P.R., lay an area dotted with innumerable stumps, the first evidence of clearing operations.
At first, social and church activity was nil but, in the secluded settlement a spirit of friendship in common sympathy soon sprung up and the populace turned their minds to entertainment.
Travelling troupes of entertainers were soon including North Bay on their itineraries and it was not long until an amusement hall was erected west of the settlement proper. Since church services were at this time held only upon the visits of missionaries and in box-cars on the rail tracks, church organization was devoid.

Develop Fellowship

It was not until Methodists, Roman Catholics and Presbyterians had united in their respective bands that the spirit of fellowship really bloomed. The “Park,” now Amelia Park, was a popular location in those out-of-town gatherings which characterized the early days of North Bay.
Church congregations organized picnics and the whole colony turned out. Visitors from as far as Ottawa arrived by train for these far-famed events when jollity and care-free merriment were the only watchwords. Large banquet tables were laid in the open air and the country picnic of tradition was on.
A remarkable annual event, organized as the town grew in population and the surrounding territory became broken by farm houses, was the Agricultural Fair also held at the Park. It was an occasion long looked forward to each year. Fine specimens of animals and farm produce were exhibited for awards.

First Women’s Society

The first women’s society active in the settlement was the Women’s Christian Temperance Union which still functions in the city of today. Its organization was prompted by the open bars of that time which were the mecca of lumbermen travelling through the little colony.
The first sport participated in was lacrosse. Enthusiastic encounters of this play, originated on the Ottawa River, drew practically the whole village.
The early days were hard for women, no lights, now water and no conveniences, such as are taken for granted today. Water was carried from Lake Nipissing for some time and later it was hauled in barrels by team, to be sold for 25 cents a barrel.
There was only limited hotel accommodation for new arrivals who were not yet established, and the village folk were forced to take them into their homes. “The Blue School” will be remembered by pioneers of the district. It was built on McIntyre street when accommodation at the first little schoolhouse was found wanting.

Railways Cause Growth

The start of the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario, and C.N.R. railways expanded the settlement. The three transportation systems put North Bay on the map. Except for the passing of Samuel de Champlain, the North country was shrouded in oblivion until the C.P.R. rails pushed through the wilderness. The establishment of T.& N.O. connection with the North made North Bay a terminal point, through which all traffic to the rich mining areas must pass.
After the construction of the first churches, the ladies of the town centred their activities about them. Picnics and social affairs were arranged and advertising was done by announcements from the various pulpits. Dramatic societies were organized and their efforts provided a variety of entertainment.
In the early days of the 20th century many social organizations were formed providing gathering places for the women of the town. The most prominent of these was one which is still flourishing in the present-day city, the Women’s Canadian Club, a society alive with patriotism.
Reminiscent tales of North Bay’s early days were on the tongues of everyone as pioneers were reunited.

Many Pioneers Among Visitors for Home Week,”The Nugget, Aug 9, 1935.

[Transcribed by F. Noël with permission.]

Many Pioneers Among Visitors For Home Week

Former Resident Comes from Wisconsin to Renew Acquaintances


The Old Home Week registration office in the Tourist Information Bureau is an interesting place this week as former residents of North Bay make it their headquarters during their return to the city.
Meeting one another, old-timers enjoy interesting chats of the old days when North Bay was nothing more than a spot in a wilderness touched by the C.P.R. main line.
Among the many who have returned after long departures is Patrick Stone, of Tomahawk, Wisconsin, who is visiting in the city during Old Home Week. Mr. Stone left North Bay more than 25 years ago and is spending his holiday renewing acquaintances.
His two sons, Judge P. Stone and John, who accompanied him, have never before seen the city. Mr. Stone is en route to Ottawa to visit Michael Brennan, a former mayor of North Bay, who is ill.” While in the city he is the guest of Dr. E.J. Brennan.

Pioneer Women

“North Bay wasn’t much of a place when I came to it 50 years ago this month,” Mrs. Harry Washburn, an old-time resident of the city and now a resident of Ottawa, reminisced Thursday.
“A month after Mr. Washburn and
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I came to North Bay we bought a house at the corner of Cassells and Main streets, and that was out in the bush almost, for those days. There was nothing but a little narrow path, lined with stumps and rocks between our home and the C.P.R. station. I can remember going to St. John’s Anglican Church when Rev. Mr. Gilmour was pastor, and carrying wood and oil to light the fires when we got there. We had a lot of fun in those old days, though.” Mrs Washburn smiled.
Leaving here on the death of her husband about 20 years ago, after 30 years residence in the city, Mrs. Washburn has since made her home in Ottawa.

Absent 22 Years

In 1900 Robert Wallace came to North Bay as a C.P.R. railroader, and although he remained in the city only eight years, Mr. Wallace retains a rich store of memories of the old city. In 1906 with the opening of the Parry Sound branch of the C.P.R. Mr. Wallace moved to Mactier, where he still resides, retired on a pension early in 1935. He is paying his first visit to the city in 22 years, and is the guest of Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Allan, 11 O’Brien street.
A real North Bay native is D.J. Bernard, born 53 years ago in a boarding car in the C.P.R. yards, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Paul Bernard. Those were the days when the spot on which is now Main street, in front of the Bank of Nova Scotia, was merely a pool of water. Doyle’s and McFarlane’s boarding houses were the principal gathering places for the pioneers, and Rev. Silas Huntington and Rev. Father Bloem were conducting their early missionary labours in the little settlement.
When North Bay’s first fire department was organized, Mr. Bernard was one of the members, and he made the fighting of fires his work in the intervening years. Joining the Spruce Falls Power and Paper Company’s fire department at Kapuskasing shortly after his return from overseas, Mr. Bernard is present chief of that unit. He has been with it 15 years.
Registration in the official registration book since Wednesday included…

“Birth of Gateway City Initiated Development of Great Importance.” The Nugget, 5 August 1935, 1 and 10

[Transcribed by F. Noël with permission.]

Birth of Gateway City Initiated Development of Great Importance

More than two and a half centuries after the birch bark canoes of Samuel de Champlain’s exploration party slid down the La Vasse River.. glided out on the smooth waters of Lake Nipissing… and swirled on into the sunset, two ribbons of steel penetrated through swamp and virgin forest to reach the spot now known as North Bay, the Gateway City.
In other words, the Canadian Pacific Railway arrived… and its arrival meant the birth of North Bay.
It was in July, 1615, that Champlain passed this way, momentarily drawing aside the curtain of oblivion and mystery which surrounded Nipissing district. When the great French explorer disappeared into the west that curtain dropped back into place again and remained that way for 265 years. The Nipissing Indians watched 1,060 seasons fade into history and gradually the story of the “pale face” who visited the region became a legend, dim in the minds of even the oldest of the tribe.
At the end of that 265-year period the quiet of this wilderness was at last broken. Surveying parties, discouraged when they tried to route the Canadian Pacific Railway around the south shore of Lake Nipissing and ran into unforeseen difficulties, pushed their way north in 1880.
Once again canoes came down the La Vasse… and this time they did not fade into the west. They brought the surveyors and their families.
Two years later the steel came through. Construction work cleared a little space on Lake Nipissing’s shoreline … carved, as it were, a niche in the thick forest, where a few cabins and shanties sprang up haphazardly. It was the beginning of North Bay.

Christened in 1882

The Gateway City was named North Bay in 1882, because of the fact that its first habitations were clustered on a great, sweeping bay on the north shore of Lake Nipissing. A legend that North Bay was named through shipment of a keg of nails has been disproved.
Shortly after the steel of the railway wound its way through the district North Bay was surveyed into lots and subdivisions. By 1885 it was fairly well established. When the C.P.R. got through to British Columbia, cattle and wheat trains rattled through the little settlement heading east. Machinery and other manufactured products were transported west. Trains, trains and more trains puffed their way through North Bay.
In the end, C.P.R. officials established the place as a divisional point. Shops and offices were located here and a population boom resulted.
The next big step forward was North Bay’s incorporation as a town in 1890. John Bourke was first may-
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or, and April 7, 1890 will always remain a red letter day in the city’s history.
Not content with being a mere town, “The Bay” lost no time in entering the county town election in 1895. With Sturgeon Falls and Mattawa as her opponents, North Bay waged a bitter battle for the honor. Two elections were necessary. They were the famous elections in which “dead men and children voted.” Sturgeon Falls did not participate in the second, and North Bay just edged out Mattawa.
That meant another boom, coincident with the establishment of judicial and governmental offices. The election victory brought North Bay a court house, registry office, and jail, two judges, and various other government employees.

Start T.&N.O. Railway

Undoubtedly the biggest jump in the progress of the city occurred in the period 1902 to 1905. This time the ribbons of steel were the rails of the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario railway. Flung north to Cochrane in 1902, piercing the very heart of the richest gold and silver mining areas in the world, the T. & N. O. “made” the North country and Northern Ontario. North Bay was and is its headquarters, its southern termininus, and the main settlement along its lines.
Smooth steady progress was temporarily halted by the Great War, but after four trying years the town, like all other Canadian towns, cities and villages, marched forward again.
By 1925 North Bay had become modern in her appearance. She was overdue to become a city. She had become a famous railway and distributing center, and a true gateway to the North. Her business and residential sections were up-to-date and beautiful.
And so, Old Home Week of 1925. With her incorporation as a city, North Bay completed the last step towards 20th century modernity. She was on her way as one of Ontario’s key cities.

Ten-year Eras

North Bay’s progress can be briefly sketched in ten-year periods: 1885, definitely established as a village on the C.P .R.: 1895, made county town; 1905, boom as the T. & N. O. railway hummed with activity; 1925, attainment of modern cityhood; 1935, emerging from depression years in fine condition, ready to face a promising future.
Since 1925, North Bay’s progress has not been slow. A few important events in the past ten years include: Extension of the Ferguson highway 341 miles north of North Bay to Kapuskasing, with branches to Timmins, Kirkland Lake, etc.; extension of the T. & N. O. railway to Moosonee, on the shores of James’ Bay; building of Canadian National Railways divisional offices; building of a new Nipissing Home for the Aged; building of the North Bay College; building of the V ocational School; St. Joseph’s Hospital; new Public and Separate schools; the Masonic Temple; the Empire Hotel; the Capitol Theatre; the Presbyterian Church; the St. Vincent de Paul Church and St. Simon Church; the suburban United churches; Lee Park; Amelia Park; establishment of a provincial laboratory, a provincial mines office; growth of the suburb of West Ferris, including new schools, laying out of two lakeside parks, and erection of thousands of summer cottages along the beach.
Aside from the major improvements, the appearance of North Bay became more attractive year by year, as succeeding city councils and citizens at large co-operated in an effort to beautify their city.

Population Growth

Official statistics reveal North Bay’s growth since 1895. In that year the population was 2,024, the area 500 acres, the property value $431,790, the business and income assessment next to nothing and the taxes $$9,122.
In 1905 the population of 5,204 was residing on the same 500 acres, but property value had increased to more than a million dollars, the sum being $1,636,250. The town had a business assessment of $134,980 and income assessment of $119,770, and taxes amounting to $40,122.
In 1915 the population had jumped to 10,041 and the area to 2,160 acres, the property value to $6,821,613, the business assessment to $400,960, the income assessment was $146,168, and the taxes $167,109.
In 1925 the population was 13,011, the area 2,100 acres, the property value $8,445,300, the business assessment $130,515, and income assessment $438,225, and the taxes $365,773.
Today North Bay has a population of 16,181, an area of 2,100 acres, a property value of $10,991,908, a business assessment of $642,370, an income assessment of $161,576, and taxes amounting to $569,487.30.
North Bay is the capital and judicial seat for the District of Nipissing. It is the focal point of various provincial government branch offices which serve Northern Ontario, including Crown Lands, Game, and Fisheries, Northern Development, Provincial Police, Hydro Electric, Provincial Laboratory, and Provincial Mines Office.
It is Northern Ontario headquarters for Railway Mail Service, office of the District Superintendent of Postal Service, Customs and Excise, Employment Service, Department of Marine, and Department of National Defense, all branches of the Dominion Government.

Hopes of Future

Among the improvements that North Bay is looking forward to are: Completion of the highway to Timiskaming, Quebec; erection of a new bridge over Duchesnay Creek; erection of a new hockey arena, city hall, and district court house, and establishment of a branch of the new provincial bank.
The Gateway City got her start as a railway, distributing, educational, church, government, and tourist center for Northern Ontario. The railroads established North Bay. In later years the highways made their advent. Now the city is connected with good roads leading in all directions, north, east, south and west. She is a true “hub” in the wheel of northern development and progress. Her position is strategic in every way.
Practically all tourists (and there are thousands weekly) who visit Dafoe Hospital to see the Dionne quintuplets make their headquarters at North Bay for two or three days.
The city is the leading educational center of Northern Ontario, and ranks with the best in the southern part of the province. The See of the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie is located here. Head offices of the T. & N. O. are here, as well as divisional offices of the C.P.R. and C.N.R.
In 1925 North Bay had 27 miles of permanent sidewalks, 16 1⁄2 miles of sanitary sewers, 9 1⁄4 miles of storm sewers, 38 miles of watermains, 6 1⁄4 miles of pavement, and 30 miles of improved streets.
Today it is estimated the city has about 40 miles of permanent sidewalks, 30 miles of sanitary sewers, 15 miles of storm sewers, 50 miles of watermains, 30 miles of pavement, and 50 miles of improved streets. Add modern homes, stores, parks, and buildings, and the description is that of North Bay.
North Bay’s lighting system compares favorably with any in the province. The city is equipped with a waterworks system capable of taking care of the needs of a metropolis with a population of 50,000 souls.
Thus has North Bay has developed, progressed, and prospered since first the C.P.R. reached here more than 50 years ago. Old Home Week of this year marks a half century of growth for the Gateway City, a fitting celebration for such an occasion.

Old Home Week Sporting Events, 1925 and 1935


To celebrate holidays with sporting events was a long-standing tradition in Ontario. OHW celebrations followed this practice as well. In 1925 the finance committee of Old Home Week was allocated $4000 to spend on recreational sports during the August celebration. A wide range of events were planned that would appeal to almost everyone including soccer games, baseball, swimming, football, track events, tennis, and quoits.

Map of Old Home Week Locations, North Bay

Map of Old Home Week Locations, North Bay

Sporting events took place at several locations. Amelia Park beach was the site of canoe races, swimming and other water events such as log burling. Wallace Park and Amelia Park were used for baseball, softball, ladies’ softball, and track events for young and old.

The horse races were a featured event and 50 entries were expected. The opening race event was attended by Hon. J. Lyon, G. Nicholson, Dr. Harcourt, MLA, Mayor McDonald, and John Ferguson. (The Nugget, August 7 1925)

Lacrosse and baseball played by the Old Timers were major attractions. Lacrosse used to be very popular in North Bay before World War One. Former members of the North Bay lacrosse team met in July to organize for a game against Sudbury during Old Home Week. Mattawa also pulled together a team. Those who played baseball were former North Bay baseball club players, some from as far back as 1884.

The tennis tournament was extremely popular and entries from many parts of Northern Ontario including Timmins, Haileybury, Sudbury, Copper Cliff and Cobalt were received. As a result of the enthusiasm, the North Bay Tennis Club decided to establish an annual Northern Ontario championship.


In 1935, horse racing was no longer the chief attraction at OHW. In fact, the track was gone, having become the grounds for North Bay College. Key attractions included the marathon swimmer Marvin Nelson, and a baseball game played by NHL players. (See Special Events.) Another high profile event was a boxing match between Dom Scappatura and visiting Kirkland Lake boxer Herbie Dymond held at Wallace park. Having grown up in North Bay, Scappatura had many local fans and they turned out in large number to watch him fight. This was only one of several matches that took place with local boxers participating.

OHW was an opportunity to bring in some of the best teams in the region. A baseball game between Kirkland Lake and Frood Mine, for example, was expected to one of the most entertaining events of the week as the Kirkland Lake team had not lost a game yet and Frood Mine was considered to be one the best teams in their league.

9_baseball_1935OHWGames which featured Old Timers were also crowd pleasers. As expected, large crowds turned up to watch Old Time baseballers including “Boxcar McDonald”, “Gutty” Lockhart, and “Cap” Weegar in a challenge game against the CPR Ceepees. A photo (left) of a baseball game in 1935 suggests that large crowds watched some of the games.

Photo by Hartley Trussler.

Lacrosse was no longer played on a regular basis but was revived for OHW. North Bay was defeated by Sundridge despite the help of Native players from the reserve.

Regular teams also got an opportunity to play during the week. The North Bay Rosedale Thistles, for example, played soccer against the Garson Mine team in front of a crowd of 1500. Veteran soccer players also pitted themselves against younger players. The T&NO baseball team lost shamefully to a Pembroke team. Local girls’ softball team and younger players also got a chance to play.

Track and field events, bicycle races, and swimming races provided the greatest opportunity for local children to participate in the events of the week. Both the Motor Club and the Knights of Columbus included a number of these activities in their program. The Motor Club held swimming and running races in the morning at Amelia Park. Local athletes, ranging from as early as 15 years of age to adults were able to take part in the races. For the swimming portion, the competition took the form of a quarter-mile race in Lake Nipissing.

Sporting activities during the OHW celebrations were similar to those of Dominion Day and Victoria Day holidays and of company or church picnics. During the celebrations regular play was suspended and exhibition and novelty games were the norm. The focus could be on providing a high quality games that people would want to see or on hilarity and entertainment.

For a full listing of sporting events see the programs:

Program for 1925

Program for 1935


Old Home Week Special Events, 1925 and 1935


In 1925, the big entertainment special event was an act by James Hardy, a high wire walker and stunt man, advertised as “The only living ‘Hero of Niagara Falls'”, the ‘Marvel of Genesse Gorge’ and the ‘Wonder of Montmorency Falls’. ‘The World’s Famous Aerial Artist’ performed daily at Wallace Park with a special show for Children’s Day. During his act he changed clothes and balanced on a bicycle.

A huge concert with about 700 school children was another special event held during OHW. It was under the direction of J. Gatenby and held at the arena.

A civic banquet was held in St. John’s Parish Hall on August 3rd to honour North Bay’s achievement of city status. Invitations were extended to all “notable” public servants who held office from 1891 to 1924. Seventy-five planned to attend. Members of the Old Home Week executive, members of the clergy, E. Beatty (president of the CPR), Sir H. Thornton (president of the CNR), Hon. Charles McCrea, Hon. J. Lyons, Hon. G. Henry (M.P.), E. Lapierre (M.P.), H. Morel (MPP), G. Harcourt (MPP) and Z. Mageau were also invited. (The Nugget, July 21, 1925.)

The CNR presented outdoor movies for the entire week. These were screened on the side of their local office with the city turning off three lamp posts to accomodate this. The movies included long screening of Canadian scenic productions, comedies and cartoons. The scenic productions shown were: the Triangle Tour, Diary of a Rocky Mountain Badger, NipigonTrails, Great Lakes Romance, Where Its Always Vacation time, In Old Quebec, and Where the Moose Run Lodge. (The Nugget , August 4, 1925.)

One event which surprisingly, was not part of the official program, was the unveiling of a cairn in honour of Samuel de Champlain by the Imperial Daughters of the Empire. The cairn was located at the Toronto highway where it was crossed by the La Vase River. Judge Valin would unveil the cairn. Speeches were made by Rev. Father Chapleau and Mayor McDonald. Mrs. W. Cockburn, chapter regeant, oversaw the affair which was attended by eighty people.(The Nugget , August 4, 7, 1925.)


9_AdforNHLHockey was by far the most popular sport in North Bay and some local players had gone on to the National Hockey League. In an era of natural ice, a summer event like OHW did not allow for a hockey match. But even without a hockey game, these players would be a draw. They were brought in to play softball against a local team. The match which pitted fourteen NHL professional hockey players against the North Bay Travellers and gave spectators a chance to meet and greet these hockey players drew a crowd of 4,000 to Amelia Park on Saturday afternoon. The results of the game, a defeat of the Travellers by a score of 11-10 was probably not as important as the chance to see the hockey stars in person. Traveller’s Day with this special feature was advertised well in advance. The ad to the left and the program listed the hockey stars who were coming: Pep Kelly, Maple Leafs; Bob Gracie, Maroons; Hec Kilrea, Maple Leafs; Wally Kilrea, Detroit; Syd Howe, Detroit; Allan Shields, Maroons; Joe Lamb, St. Louis; Bill Beveridge, St. Louis; Alex Smith, Americans; Frank Finnegan, Maple Leafs; Eddie Finnegan, St. Louis; Earl Robinson, Maroons; and, Ace Bailey, “former star of the Toronto Maple Leafs and one of the most popular stars of all time” as umpire.

TMarathon swimmer Marvin Nelson was a star attraction at the 1935 OHW in North Bay. According to the advance publicity for the event, Nelson was world champion swimmer five times over. His first win of the unofficial world champion title was in 1930 in Toronto at the Canadian National Exhibition. Three years later, he won again, the first person to do so twice, to a crowd of more than 100,000. In North Bay the crowd was much smaller, but Nelson not only performed, he also considered coming back again.




The Capitol Theatre also took advantage of the crowds at OHW to bring in special shows like this one, a “Harlem Extravaganza” called “Brown Skin Models.”


Promoting Old Home Week, 1935

The 1935 "Quintuplet Map" issued by the Board of Trade.

The 1935 “Quintuplet Map” issued by the Board of Trade.

5_OHWMAPs2-smallIn 1935 OHW was promoted by the railways and by the local Board of Trade. Every effort was made to be sure that visitors to the Dionne quintuplets were aware of Norh Bay and OHW. The “Tourist and Fish Committee” of the North Bay Board of Trade sent out 10,000 copies of their special “Quintuplet Maps” which highlighted the Dionne Quints and the Old Home Week activities to tourist information bureaus across the province. (The Nugget, June 28, 1935. The reverse side of the map features advertising in panels approximately 9 x 22.5 cm in size. When the map is folded, the image of the Dionne quintuplets appears on the advertisement for cruises out of Callander on the steamer “Sea Gull” appeared on the bottom. A large two-panel ad by the North Bay Board of Trade advertised the advantages of North Bay as a tourist destination. Temagami Park was also featured in a two-panel ad.

The Nugget, 26 July 1935.

The Nugget, 26 July 1935.

By summer, tourists were beginning to arrive to visit the Quints, and North Bay wanted to capitalize on this.

Boys Advertising Old Home Week 1935

An unusual advertising method used to give visitors to the Quints the message that Old Home Week was happening in North Bay only a few miles away was an ox-cart with a large sign to that effect.


Canadian National included a special reference to the North Bay Old Home Week in its Civic Weekend ad. Fares were advertised as a cent a mile round trip bargain excursion. From Toronto to North Bay the rate was advertised as $4.55. (The Globe, 29 July 1935.)

The key for promoters of OHW in 1935 was to get the message out that North Bay was in close proximity to the Quints and that anyone visiting the Quints should visit North Bay as well.

Promotions such as draws for a car were used, but they do not appear to stand out as a novelty quite as much as they did in 1925. Both the 159th battalion and the Rorab Shriners held a draw for a Ford v-8 sedan. The battalion car was won by John Smith of Parry Sound; the Rorab car was won by Mrs. E.S. Weisman of McIntyre Street. (“Home Week Autos Find New Homes.” The Nugget, 12 August 1935, 1.)


Old Home Week Promotions 1925

5_GlobeAD1925Old Home Week advertising went beyond the usual ad in the local paper or the placement of ads in the souvenir book. A special full page advertisement was placed in the Toronto Globe for the 1925 OHW in a format that resembled those of other towns. It consisted of stories and pictures as well as more obvious advertisment of the event. The Globe made a specialty of these special pages and even sent a representative to North Bay to discuss it. The cost was was $220 for a half page ad.

5_StudebakerSpecial promotions were also organized in which expensive items were given away in a raffle-like promotion. The OHW organizers themselves gave away a Studebaker Six. It was given away free to the person who became president of the OHW Association. Members of the association paid a dollar to join and the President was chosen based on a draw from the names of all members. A total of 1200 people entered the draw to become Honorary President of Old Home Week and 5000 people were there to watch the final draw. Tickets were loaded into a washing machine for mixing and the winning ticket was selected by Ms M. Baxter. Mr A. Smith announced the winner, Mrs P. Moriarty, the wife on a T&NO employee, who was presented with the keys to the vehicle. Since such a car cost about $2,000 at that time, this promotion definitely made money for the OHW organizers, and even more so if the car was provided at cost.

5_CochraneCochrane Hardware gave away two large ticket items during the 1925 OHW. The first contest required guessing the number of tools on display and offered the winner a Findley Tortoise Cook Range as its prize. The second offered a Brantford Electric Washing Machine valued at $145 to the person with the most votes. Votes were based on the value of purchases made during OHW but could be transferred to someone else. Both contests required persons to be in the store.

Here's WatchesEric W. Ross gave away both a man’s and a woman’s Mars Swiss wrist watch during OHW. He advertised the give-away in advance but the actual contest rules were not published until July 31st. “Watch for It” his ad read.






5_FergusonAdSMJohn Ferguson who owned property throughout the city promoted sales through OHW by giving away a lot free. It would go the person who purchased a lot closest to the lot he had picked to give away. The person who won it, however, could choose one in another location instead if they so wished.




Travel to OHW was also subject to a special promotion. The Railroad Transportation Committee was in charge of making arrangements with the railway companies and ensuring that tourists would have the best rates possible when the came. This was arranged with the Canadian Passenger Association in Montreal. The arrangement for reduced fares which was negotiated was a ‘Certificate Plan’ by which the traveller who purchased a First-Class Single ticket to North Bay and obtained a “Canadian Passenger Association Standard Certificate” from the ticket agent at the same time could, when returning, present this certificate and pay only one-half of the First Class fare, plus a twenty-five cent validation fee. As the programme further explained, however, these special fares applied only to travellers from Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes and to fares over seventy-five cents. “Summer Tourist Fares” would be in effect from Vancouver to Winnipeg. The Certificate had to be presented to the Secretary of Old Home Week at the Registration Bureau to be filled out, as well as to the ticket agent, and only if more than 150 such certificates were handed in would the special rate apply. ( “Come Back – Old Pal!” brochure; “Official Programme.”)

Old Home Week Parades, 1935

August 5th Monday. A Glorious hot August Day. Perfect for the first Big Day.
Went to work early and got the parade arranged at least our part of it. Jack Fischer had our float to finish and we had the “Gutter Service Ambulance” to decorate. Had to get a car for the last Old Home Week Babies. I did all the lettering on the old cars and trucks. The first and opening parade was at 9:30 and we did some tall old hustling to get up there.
The parade was splendid and the crowd was good too. Brought Marg, the kids down to see it. Took a bunch of pictures of the floats. PM. I was too busy to go down and see any of the sports. There was a full day of entertainment and everybody was in good spirits. At night everything was hilarity personified.

Diary of Hartley Trussler, Courtesy of Paul Trussler


Jacques Cartier. Photo by Hartley Trussler.

Jacques Cartier. Photo by Hartley Trussler.

HMS Traveller. Photo by Harlty Trussler

HMS Traveller. Photo by Harlty Trussler

The Old 1908 Auto Car. Photo by Hartley Trussler.

The Old 1908 Auto Car. Photo by Hartley Trussler.

The grand opening parade of Old Home Week 1935 formed at the old Arena Rink on Main Street West and made its way to Amelia Park where Mayor Bullbrook with the help of several other dignitaries, declared OHW opened. Six bands participated. The grand parade on Monday was the most important event of the 1935 celebrations. It was viewed by an estimated 20,000 people and reported to be “one of the greatest in the history of the city.” A mile and a half in length, it took twenty minutes to pass a given point and included floats, veterans, dignitaries, comedians, and oddities. The veteran’s float reproduced a dugout with sandbags and a battle scene. The city’s float consisted of a historical panorama built on the firemen’s ladder truck which showed surveyors arriving in 1882 and a hunting and fishing scene. It also carried Miss North Bay, 1935, and the two children born during the 1925 Old Home Week. First prize for the floats went to the Cercle Canadien Français for a “tableau depicting the landing of Jacques Cartier on Canadian soil, planting of the cross, and welcome by the Indians.” The Travellers’ battleship float of “H.M.S. Traveller” directed by Pilot Paddy Petch looked so genuine it took second prize. (The Nugget, 5 Aug 1935)

— Motor Club Day —- August 6th Tuesday. A beautiful hot day Just Perfect.
Went to work early – I was busy as could be all forenoon getting things ready for the big Motor Club Parade It was at 1:30 PM. It was very good too but not nearly as large as yesterday’s. We had our float and two new cars in it. There was an interesting drill of the Copper Cliff Cadets down at the Park and then a couple baseball games and softball games. In the parade today was the old 1915 Buick Touring car which belonged to Harry Pedder when new and in which I had my first wonderful automobile ride. In those days it was a real adventure and something to talk about for the rest of the year. The Old car is still running good and I guess could make the same trip now in 12 hours which took us 21/2 days to make then. Margaret and I went down after dinner to see some of the sports and it was so uninteresting we went back home. Came back to see the Swim. Mar[vin] Nelson was here and swam in a relay race against four North Bay Boys. It was about as interesting as a stroll of ten year olds. We didn’t stay to see the finish.
Worked until late.

Diary of Hartley Trussler, Courtesy of Paul Trussler


The Turgeon Family.

The Turgeon Family.

On Wednesday, French Canadian day, the parade themes were historical and allegorical. Floats were entered by the many French Canadian communities from the surrounding area that participated and featured figures from French Canada’s past such as Jacques Cartier, Champlain, and Louis Hebert as well more allegorical figures such as Evangeline, “The Angelus”, and a tableau of the “‘slaying of the Canadian Martyrs”. The most unusual float was that from Astorville and consisted of Mr. and Mrs. David Turgeon and their 21 children. The Nugget featured their photo under the headline: “ALL OF ONE ASTORVILLE HOUSEHOLD.” (The Nugget, 12 August 1935.)

Jacques Cartier Monument

Jacques Cartier Monument

In the afternoon the parade went to McMurchy Park where a monument to mark the 400th anniversary of Jacques Cartier’s arrival in Canada (1534) took place. Like French Canadian Day, the monument was sponsored by the FFCF and Le Cercle Canadien-Français. Judge J.A. Valin and E.M. Regimbal, the president of the Cercle presided. The monument was blessed by Very Rev. Dean J.A. Chapleau of St. Vincent de Paul Church, North Bay’s French parish. Speeches were made by Dr. J.R. Hurtubise of Sudbury, M.P. for Nipissing, and J. Harry Marceau, M.L.A. for Nipissing. According to the French program, Senator G. Lacasse was to have given the major speech, but he was unable to attend. Mayor Bullbrook spoke saying French Canadian “were carrying out the old French traditions inaugurated in Canada with the early settlement of their country by Jacques Cartier.” (The Nugget, 7 August 1935; The Globe, 8 August 1935.)

Thursday morning, a children’s parade made its way to Amelia Park where there were activities planned for the children. It included a lot of clowns. Thursday evening featured a “Monster Carnival Parade” with prizes for best costumes in several categories. Young and old were asked to join the Shredded Wheat Band from Niagara Falls, New York, to the carnival and street dance area and to enjoy the Old Home Week spirit.

Two parades featuring the Toronto Shriner’s 70-piece band were planned for Friday, Shriners’ Day.

Saturday, organized by the Associated Canadian Travellers, a monster street parade ended at Amelia Park where the Travellers’ softball team competed against National Hockey League players, one of the entertainment highlights of the week The week closed with a “shirt-tail” parade at 11:30 that night.

View more of Hartley Trussler’s 1935 OHW Parade images below:

Old Home Week Programs, 1925 and 1935



A full page ad in the Nugget highligted the main events of the week.

In 1925 each day of the OHW celebration had a theme.

  • Monday – ‘Civic Day’ – granting of the city’s charter after the pageant parade, sports
  • Tuesday –  ‘Soldiers’ Day’ – parade of the Returned Soldier, sports, regatta
  • Wednesday – ‘New Ontario Day’ – pageant parade, sports
  • Thursday – ‘Children’s Day’ – children’s sports tournaments and fireworks
  • Friday – ‘Pioneer Day’ – old-timers sports, horse racing
  • Saturday – ‘Railroad Day’ – open house at the railyards, sports, and fireworks

A six-page “Official Programme” with the complete details on every event was printed once all of these were finalized. There were parades, sports, and dancing every day as well as many special events.

Come Back

A four-page advertising brochure entitled “Come Back Old Pal” provided the highlights of the event and information as to who to contact for billeting, on special rail rates, on parking for motorists, and on the major promotional device of the week. This brochure was designed to answer questions that people might have before coming and to encourage locals to send the names of any former residents to the secretary so that an invitation could be sent to them.


The prizes to be awarded for each events were listed in the programme. These were suited to the age group and gender specific. Boys would receive a baseball glove and a knife; girls would receive an eversharp pencil. Gramophone records were the only item that went to both.


In 1935, each day of OHW was sponsored by one or more community organization and the days of the program were named for their sponsors.

  • Sunday and Monday – 159th Battalion Reunion Days
  • Tuesday – Motor Club Day
  • Wednesday – French Canadian Day (Cercle Canadien Français, Fédération des Femmes Canadiennes-Françaises (FFCF)
  • Thursday – Knights of Columbus Day
  • Friday – Shriners Day
  • Saturday – Associated Canadian Travellers Day

The Motor Club put the emphasis on swimming and water sports. The Knights of Columbus prepared a program that was much like Children’s Day in 1925. French-Canadian day was like a Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day celebration and differed from any of the days in 1925 in that sourrounding communities were invited to join in the celebrations. The unveiling of a monument to Jacques Cartier at McMurchy Park was the highlight of the day and warranted attention in the Globe. Sports and parades were featured every day.

The 1935 program was published in the Nugget.

French Canadian Day activities were printed in their program.