Tag Archives: Old Home Week

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.


Granting of the Charter at Memorial Park. Photo by Milton Adamson, Toronto

On Monday August 3rd, 1925, Old Home Week celebrations in North Bay opened with a grand pageant parade to Memorial Park where a special ceremony was held in which the charter of the City of North Bay was granted to Mayor McDonald by the Hon. Charles McCrea, Ontario Minister of Mines. The creation of the city was marked by the firing of a cannon There was a formal blessing by both Rev. J. Ferguson and Rev. J. Chapleau. Speeches were made by McCrea, McDonald, H. Morel, M.L.A., Senator Gordon, and John Ferguson. (“North Bay, Past and Present, Celebrates,” The Nugget, August 4, 1925.) A special panoramic photograph was taken of the crowd and the float that carried the OHW Queen. A copy of this photo hangs in the Branch 23 of the Canadian Legion building today. The Legion is located on part of the site where the crowd was gathered.

The Old Home Week Pageant Parade of 1925

In 1925 the grand opening parade of OHW on Monday August 3rd was billed as a pageant parade. At the time, pageants were all the rage. Quebec City had put on a huge pageant to celebrate its 300th anniversary in 1908. In Ontario, many of the Old Home Week celebrations of the 1920s included a pageant but these required a large outdoor space to stage them and hundreds of volunteers to act in them and North Bay settled for a less ambitious pageant parade instead. Still, like pageants, this would allow the town to highlight its history as well as its recent progress for the visitors. The key pageant floats were designed by an “expert” and the costumes were also specially prepared for them.

Samuel de Champlain Pageant Float 1925

Samuel de Champlain Pageant Float 1925. Photo by Hartley Trussler.

The organizers worked from the point of view that North Bay’s history began with Champlain’s travel through the area in 1615. A float portraying Champlain was therefore one of the key pageant floats. It created a stirring image of “Samuel de Champlain and his dauntless followers, bearing hard on their paddles, with their faces eagerly set forth in the direction of the new lands they were to explore…” This float was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. Champlain, played by Chas. St. Germain, was portrayed as “the first of the party and was shown as gazing from the top of a hill over the surrounding country while his companions were landing the rest of the flotilla….”

Other pageants floats represented Jean Nicolet, the first white man to set foot in North Bay, Father Claude Pijart, the first priest to the Nipissing Indians, a band of coureurs de bois and fur traders, and the Rev. Father Le Caron and a band of frenchmen. The three railways present in North Bay, put considerable effort into their floats as well.

The Lucy Dalton

The Lucy Dalton. Photo by Hartley Trussler.

“The C.P.R. was represented by the Lucy Dalton, the first railway engine in Northern Ontario, drawing a miniature caboose with the conductor and the brakie in uniform on the steps. The engine was driven by a gasoline motor but nothing was lost to the realistic appearance as the engineer and firemen were in the cab, smoke issued forth and a whistle tooted incessantly.” “…Lottie Britton and Alex Gillie, employees of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the early days, piloted Lucy Dalton, the replica of the first engine used in the service along the streets. Wm. Dreany and Harry Hughes looked out from the tail end of the caboose as they did when North Bay was only a water tank and a few surrounding shacks.” [The Nugget, Aug 4 1925.]

T & N O Float. Photo by Harley Trussler.

T & N O Float. Photo by Harley Trussler.

The T. & N.O., in three sections, depicted Northern Ontario with the themes of farming, mining, and sport life. Designed by Russel Huntington, it was built in the railway shops in only two weeks. “The third section of the float pictured a sportmen’s camp with great realism. The Indian guide was not other than Frank Commando, chief of the Nipissing tribe, while the fish were brought fresh from the water of Lake Temagami.” [The Nugget, Aug. 7, 1925]

The parade included clowns, bands, soldiers, policemen and many floats by North Bay businesses. Few of them were described but pictures of the parade show some of them. Below:  A.B. Gordon & Co. Ltd., a major lumber company in the area, the float from Beamish Stores and a float showing a model of the original post office.

3_PageantRouteThe pageant parade formed at the west end of Main Street. Getting it going took some time as the parade streched for six city blocks and the marshals had to place each one. It marched down Main to Fisher before turning North and making its way to Memorial Park where a large crowd was waiting and the city of North Bay was granted its charter.

Hartley Trussler was working that day but he had his camera with him and took time to take pictures of several floats as they went by the North Bay Garage. For more photos from Trussler’s album see below.

“The parade was about eleven and say it was great. It was really a wonderful spectacle and very much better than I ever thought possible. It was a fitting start to the week it ushered in and everything seemed to be on the move and in good spirits. There are about five times as many people on the street as generally and everybody is dressed up and in holiday mood. The town is full of flags and bunting and it is really pretty.” [Hartley Trussler’s Diary, 3 Aug. 1925. Courtesy of Paul Trussler.]

 Hartley Trussler’s Photo Album of 1925 Old Home Week Parade

Old Home Week Organization 1935

In 1935, the city of North Bay decided that it could not afford to spend money on an OHW celebration. Initial plans had already been made to hold a second OHW the first week of August. The promoters turned to local groups and organizations to see if any of them might be able to sponsor a day. In the end, enough groups came forward that OHW went ahead. The organizers were aware from the beginning that the Dionne quintuplets would be generating tourism to the area and they hoped to capitalize on this.

2_Barker2_PalmerThe central committee of OHW in 1935 was chaired by Dan Barker and the secretary was Alderman G.E. Palmer. The remainder of the committee was made up of two or three representatives from each of the community groups sponsoring a day. The Central Committee coordinated their efforts and dealth with the city on general matters relating to the event while the individual groups focussed on their parades and program.

The organizing groups were: the 159th Battalion, the North Bay Motor Club, the Cercle Canadien Français and the North Bay branch of the Fédération des Femmes Canadiennes-Françaises (FFCF), the Knights of Columbus, the Rorab Shrine Club, and the Associated Canadian Travellers.

It is worth noting that although French Canadian Day was organized by both a men’s and a women’s group, only the men’s group (Cercle Canadien-Français) had representatives on the Central Committee. The women’s group (Fédération des Femmes Canadiennes-Françaises) was responsible primarily for the banquet on the evening of French Canadian Day, although they were also involved in fundraising for the Jacques Cartier Monument. The French souvenir book, however, lists the full executive of both groups.

Articles in the Nugget on the organization of OHW in 1935 are listed and summarized in the attached pdf file.

Old Home Week Organization 1925

The Officers and Executive Committee

2_ExecutiveOld Home in 1925 emerged out of plans for an Old Boy Reunion. When word came that city status would be granted around the same time, the celebration planned became more elaborate and over a period of several months was transformed from an Old Boy Reunion to an Old Home Week. The town of North Bay was involved in the organization and provided funds for the celebration. The work, however, was done by the many OHW committees which oversaw every aspect of the operation.2_Executive_photo_p4_Thumb

The overall organization was in the hands of the Executive which consisted of a President, four vice-presidents, a secretary, treasurer and an executive committee of eleven persons. They were all male. The president was John Ferguson, the “founder” of North Bay. Dr. J.B. MacDougall, who was probably the author of much of the souvenir book, is well known as the first principal of the North Bay high school. He was later appointed superintendant of schools for a vast area of the north and has left a fascinating account of his work called, Building the North. The other members were also prominent members of North Bay’s business and professional community including J.W. Richardson, who was mayor for several years and the founder the Richardson hardware store. A.C. Rorabeck was the first pharmacist and he also ran the Bell exchange. More information on some of these men is available in Anson Gard’s study of North Bay, The Gateway to Silverland.

Committees and Their Members

As well as the executive there were numerous working committees (see below) which supervised all aspects of the organization from sending invitations to the Old Timers to arranging billeting for them and well as all aspects of the program. A list of all the committees follows. Most of the members of these committes were well known members of the English elite of North Bay. Several of them had been or would become mayors or were on city council at some point in this period. Women were placed only on a few committees, particularly those dealing with the Old Timers. The wife of Harry Marceau (who was the local M.L.A. in 1935) sat on the the Ladies’ Old Timers Committee; she was one of the few French Canadians involved. The complete list is available here as a pdf.

OHW Committees 1925


List of Nugget Articles

Articles in the Nugget on the organization of OHW in 1925 are listed and summarized in the attached pdf file.

Old Home Week Invitations and Ephemera 1935

The Dionne Quintuplets and Old Home Week

If it had not been for the the birth and survival of the Dionne quintuplets in nearby Corbeil in May of 1934, the 1935 OHW celebrations would not have been organized. North Bay, like the rest of the country was in the throes of the Great Depression and unemployment caused great hardships not just for many families and individuals but for the city. It could not afford to pay for such a celebration. The promoters of OHW, however, were banking on the fact that the “Quints” would be one year old in 1935 and that tourists would be arriving to see them.

Old Home Week invitations and stationery in 1935 came with a Quint theme

The envelope for the Old Home Week invitations and stationery in 1935 used an image of the Dionne quintuplet babies and the slogan “Five Reasons Why You Should Come to North Bay.”

An invitation was sent out to as many people associated with North Bay as possible. It showed the five girls with their names and the slogan “Five reasons to visit North Bay – Gateway to the Land of Gold .” Stationery with this image sold at one cents a page and earned $150 indicating that up to 15,000 sheets may have been in circulation. (The Nugget, May 8, 1935.)

Official Song

Courtesy of the North Bay and Area Museum

Courtesy of the North Bay and Area Museum




This “Official Song” written by Ernie Mills with music by Bill Davis is one of the few items of ephemera produced during Old Home Week.





List of Visitors from the Nugget Personals

Approximately 20,000 people attended the OHW celebrations of 1935, many of them visitors. The 159th Battalion reunion brought many veterans together again. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen also chose to have their 50th anniversary reunion during OHW thereby bringing many of the original railroaders to town. Many other Old Timers were present and the Nugget featured some of them in its pages. Locals also called the paper with the names of those who were visiting and these were published in the personals, as they were year-round. Of those listed, more came from Toronto and Sudbury than anywhere else.

List of OHW Visitors Listed in Nugget Personal Ads in 1935