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North Bay, Ontario Education: Canadian History in Vintage Postcards


North Bay, Patriotic Postcard of St. Mary's Separate School Have a seat and relax! Here are some interesting vintage Canadian postcards of North Bay, Ontario. This website highlights in vintage postcards the history of towns and townships in the greater Lake Nipissing and Lake Temagami areas of Northern Ontario, Canada, including the Nipissing District and portions of the Parry Sound district which are in the “Blue Sky Region.” These Canadian postcards are shown in digital, virtual museum format for educational purposes, and are not for sale. If you have images or historical information which you’d like to share with our virtual museum, feel free to do so. To navigate these pages, mouse over the top navigation bar. Drop-down menus will appear of the areas of interest. Click on the thumbnails for larger images. Close the larger image before opening another thumbnail. The occasional duplicates for sale can be found using the search box on the main (home) page of This is an ongoing project; comments and questions to the webmaster at webmaster - at sign - are welcome.


Please note that while you are certainly welcome to visit the virtual museum as often as you’d like (and we encourage you to do so), these scans are owned by and, as such, they are not to be re-used or re-purposed in any way, for any other reason — including use on another website, on social networking websites, in brochures or print-outs, etc. — without our prior express written permission. Under the terms of the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act), such use without permission constitutes copyright infringement and intellectual property theft. We hate to have to make that so clear, as we want you to enjoy the museum and we put these images up due to our love of Canada, but the actions of a few have prompted this notice. For further information, please see the footer of this page.

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North Bay, Worthington St. School 1

Ever the benefactor, Mayor Ferguson, a prominent local businessmn, donated a lot of land for churches and schools. Some of the early schools included the Worthington St. school, built in 1891, and seen to the left and right, in nicely detailed postcards. Other Worthington St. school images are seen below.

North Bay, Worthington St. School 2
North Bay Worthington St. School 3 North Bay Side View, Worthington St. School 4 Side View, Worthington St. School 5 North Bay, Patriotic Worthington St. School North Bay, Sideview, Worthington St. School 3

As seen above, left to right, the first image shows young students posing outside the Worthington St. school on a snowy day, with some Worthington St. homes seen as well. A 1909 side view of the school is second from left. This postcard is interesting from a social history standpoint in that it was mailed by Lois Rorabeck, wife of postcard publisher A. C. Rorabeck. She speaks of attending a tea party. The senior Mrs. Rorabeck was in Blind River and, based upon the postmarks, it only took one day for mail to travel 184 miles west to Blind River. A striking 1907-1915 patriotic postcard of the 1891 Worthington St. school, published by the Thomas Co., is seen second from right, and is indicative of the great pride that the community took in this particular school. A scarce 1911 E. E. Sieber side view is at far right, marked on the reverse as “E. E. S. 4008.”

North Bay Normal School 1 North Bay Normal School RPPC

The Normal School on First Ave., later known as the Teachers’ College, is depicted to the left in a c. 1909-1915 postcard and in a 1918 real-photo postcard by an unknown photographer. Provincially mandated, it opened in 1909 to train teachers for Northern and Northwestern Ontario. While initial enrollment was only 25, over 7,000 teachers graduated in the first 50 years. The nicely detailed Pugh postcard at top right was published c. 1915-1930, while the Dole postcard at bottom right, c. 1909-1915, flies the Union Jack and shows some modest neighborhood homes. The North Bay Normal School opened in 1909. In 1953, it became the North Bay Teachers’ College, and is now the Faculty of Education at Nipissing University

North Bay Normal School 2 North Bay Normal School 3
North Bay, McIntyre St. School

This charming c. 1910 postcard of the McIntyre St. public school shows many students posing out front for the picture. The school was located where the public library is now. (The public library faces on Worthington St.; it was built in the old school yard behind the McIntyre St. school, which was then demolished.)


North Bay School

Does anyone know the name of this unidentified public school? The unknown public school postcard has interesting information on the reverse concerning agricultural practices of the time. Writing to her sister, Clara Brandenburg of Eganville, which is in the Bonnechere Valley in eastern Ontario, the sender (whose name appears to be Hattie) wrote: “I must let you know that we received the card you sent me and the butter, too. It came by express. There were 42 cents paid. It was cheaper than from Golden Lake. We paid 60 cents on every 30-lb. tub last summer and 90 cents on a 50-lb. tub.” Postmarked in 1912, the card was printed by Campbell of North Bay.

North Bay High School 1 North Bay High School 2

The city’s first high school, located at Jane St. and Algonquin where the Ecole Secondaire is now (555 Algonquin Ave.), looked like this (top left) on a snowy day in 1908. The hill where the first Separate School was originally located was known as “Priest’s Hill” at one time, due to the location of Bishop Scollard’s home there. The E. E. Sieber private postcard at bottom left shows a larger, more detailed view of the high school and its surroundings. Priest’s Hill, the first Separate School and other buildings are seen. St. Joseph’s Hospital now occupies the Priest’s Hill property. Magnus McLeod addressed the Sieber card to his cousin, Alfred Beckett of Dunmore, Ontario. The c. 1906 private post card to the right showing the high school is the third of four patriotic postcards published in a series by the Young Bros. of Toronto for jeweler E. W. Ross of North Bay. The series, with a native American motif, was called “Original Owners of Our Country.”

North Bay High School 3

A 1908 Campbell postcard with a view looking north on Murray St. shows the first Separate School in the distance beyond the large white home at the corner of Copeland and Murray which was owned by William Milne. Milne operated the William Milne & Sons Company, a lumber firm active in Trout Mills which also had a Temagami operation as of 1935. Milne, a Presbyterian, was prominent in North Bay politics, serving as mayor in 1907 and as chief magistrate from 1907 to 1908. Milne’s sons, William Harcourt Milne and Frederick Milne, took over the business in 1935. A horse logging real-photo postcard showing Milne activities is also seen below. Milne & Sons remained active in Temagami until 1990. Some sort of road work appears to be going on to the right of the Milne home and in front of the high school.

North Bay High School 2 Temagami, Milne Lumber Co. Horse Logging
North Bay St. Mary, Separate School

Students at St. Mary’s Separate School are seen outside on an equally wintry day. Do you recognize any of the students? The date of construction, 1904, is carved in the portico. The school was on First Ave. W. at Commercial St. The second postcard (right) of St. Mary’s, postmarked in 1905, is a scarce patriotic postcard from “The Original Owners of Our Country” series, depicting native Americans. It was published by the Young Bros. of Toronto for jeweler E. W. Ross of North Bay. The Sisters of St. Joseph arrived in Canada in 1851, from Philadelphia. Five of them settled in Toronto, before branches were established in North Bay, Peterborough, Hamilton, London and Pembroke. Each branch had its own administration and Motherhouse. Were the sisters’ activities absorbed by St. Joseph’s and the Collegiate Institute and/or Scollard Hall activities? When did they cease to be a presence in North Bay? St. Mary’s Cemetery is on Golf Course Rd.

North Bay, Patriotic Postcard of St. Mary's Separate School

The origin of the Sisters can be traced to 1650 in Lepuy, France and Jean-Pierre Médaill, a Jesuit priest who established the order based on principles of unity, reconciliation and healing. Five of the sisters were guillotined during the French Revolution. Having fled to London and at the request of Bishop Rosati of St. Louis, Missouri, they established themselves in 1836 at Carondolet, near St. Louis, to help teach deaf mutes in the diocese. From there, the sisters established a Philadelphia convent and from that branch house, expanded to Canada. The Ontario branch of the Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada is headquartered in Toronto.

North Bay King George School

The King George V public school at 550 Harvey St., built in 1912, is shown in a 1907-1915 postcard, Union Jack proudly flying. It’s thought to be Northern Ontario’s oldest active school.


North Bay Collegiate 1 The Collegiate Institute on Algonquin is seen in a handsome divided-back postcard postmarked in 1914. This view, in which the Union Jack flies prominently, was published by Jackman’s Book Store of North Bay. Oral history kindly provided by Jackman’s Florist President Barry Pond and his wife Marcia, owners of Jackman’s since 1978, indicates that the original Jackman’s Flower Shop was downtown on Oak St. At the Oak St. location, which was begun in 1908, it is said that Jackman’s offered both flowers and ice cream for sale, and also served as a “lending library.” The scope and duration of the lending library is unknown, but this is perhaps where the Book Store publication reference came from. Mr. Jackman was a British immigrant and a bachelor, and there are no known descendants to provide additional history. The card was sent to Miss Mary Stockdale of Mattawa. The sender, Dick M., wrote: “I guess you didn’t meet me at the station. I arrived at 11 p.m. last night. I don’t suppose you will be here until Christmas. Will see you then. Let me know when you are coming and I will meet you. Any dances down there? I guess I will have to go back to Saskatchewan for the dancing.”

North Bay Collegiate 2

A 1917 real-photo postcard of Collegiate is to the left. The Collegiate entry is attractively framed in the c. 1925-1949 Azo RPPC to the right. F. D. Wallace was a well-known principal at Collegiate. In the postcard at bottom left, one sees Collegiate with the Vocational School. The 1935 view at bottom right describes the vocational school as a technical school and as a “new wing” of Collegiate.

North Bay Collegiate Entry
North Bay Collegiate 3 North Bay Technical School
North Bay, St. Joseph's School 1

St. Joseph Separate School, a modest two-story brick building, was located on First Avenue E., between Regina and Second, and was demolished in the late 1960s or early 1970s. It’s seen to the left in a c. 1920s postcard published by Valentine & Sons. A second view of the school is seen to the right.

North Bay, St. Joseph's School 2

Other schools shown below include a later version of the Worthington St. School (also known as the Queen Victoria School) at the corner of Ferguson and Worthington in 1923; St. Joseph’s Girls College; Scollard Hall c. 1948; and another view of Scollard Hall in the c. 1940s Forder real-photo postcard. The Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Saulte Ste. Marie and St. Joseph Girl’s College is shown on the shore of Lake Nipissing, in the Oakman postcard at far right.

North Bay Worthington St. School North Bay St. Joseph's Girls College North Bay Scollard Hall 1 North Bay Scollard Hall 2 North Bay, Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Saulte Ste. Marie and St. Joseph Girl's College

Back to the main North Bay, Ontario page.

North Bay Public Library

Students young and old could avail themselves of the books available in the Neoclassically styled public library, shown in a c. 1920s Heliotype postcard, which was at Wyld and McIntyre where City Hall is now located. The library has since relocated to 271 Worthington St. E. Many thanks to Bob McEvilla of Toronto Postcard Club fame for this postcard contribution.


You might also enjoy visits to our Alderdale, Bear Island, Bonfield and Rutherglen, Callander and Corbeil, Commanda, Dokis, Ferguson Highway (Highway 11), Lavigne and Verner, Marten River, Monetville and Noëlville, Nipissing Village and Restoule, Powassan and Trout Creek, South River, Sturgeon Falls, Sundridge, Temagami, Tilden Lake, Tomiko Ontario, Trout Lake and Trout Mills pages. Enjoy the story of Frederic Remington's Moose Hunt near Mattawa over 100 years ago. See an 1884 Orangemen parade, and visit our rare New Ontario Brewery breweriana collectibles.

Learn more about collecting vintage postcards on the reference, Northern Ontario Postcard Photographers, and Canadiana pages, and more about the author on the page About Us.


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For collectors of vintage postcards, old postcards and the antique postcard. Deltiology, the hobby of collecting vintage postcards, is one of the fastest-growing collectibles hobbies. Old postcard collections interest collectors of antiques, memorabilia and ephemera; collectables such as old vintage postcards are used by museums and historians to document what was.

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