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North Bay, Ontario Winter Sports: Canadian History in Vintage Postcards

Canadian Winter Girl Highlighting 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. 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. Both the “Canadian Winter Girl” (left) and the “Canadian Skating Girl” (right) are from 1906, from publisher Valentine’s “Artotype” series. The skating girl is signed by an apparently previously undocumented artist named W. Sampson. More information on this artist is sought.

Canadian Skating Girl

The tobogganer seen below, c. 1880s, is an unusual example of Victorian ephemera, both in its subject matter, the numerous colors, and the wearing of a Hudson Bay coat. He smiles and waves to us over distance and time.

Toboggan in Winter, Man Wearing Hudson Bay Coat, c. 1880s

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 Fur Carnival Duke the Toque North Bay Fur Carnival Log Chopping

In a tribute to the area’s heritage, the North Bay Winter Fur Carnival, billed as being Canada’s largest winter carnival, ran from 1965 to 1996 and was held lakeside at Sunset Park during the first weekend in March. Preston R. Quirt took these four photos, with Duke the Toque, the carnival mascot, and a view of the log chopping contest to the left. To the right are views of the International Sled Dog Derby. Top teams from Québec, Ontario and the United States competed in this dog sledding derby, the biggest race of its kind at the time. Festivities were held the first weekend in March. Snow machine races and sky diving were some of the other activities.

North Bay Fur Carnival Sled Dog Derby 1 North Bay Fur Carnival Sled Dog Derby 2
North Bay Snow Queen Contestants

A predecessor to the Fur Carnival was the North Bay Winter Carnival. The Snow Queen contestants of 1946, seen in the Velox real-photo postcard done by Railton Photography, were (left to right) Joan White, Fran Frair, Helene Jewell and Barbara White. Joan White was the wife of author and historian Cup Gunning.

Miss Canada Celebrating Ice Hockey

Two other all-time favorite winter activities are ice hockey and tobogganing. A previously undocumented artist-signed postcard by Archie Gunn depicts Miss Canada ready to play ice hockey, while a 1909 postcard from Valentine & Sons Canadian Winter Sports’ series shows “The Toboggan Girl.” We’d love to feature some North Bay hockey postcards if you have any to share.

The Toboggan Girl

Back to the main North Bay, Ontario page.


Speaking of snow, here’s a sharply focused c. 1940s to 1950s Velox real-photo postcard by Forder of skiers at the log Laurentian Ski Club building, since covered in siding. The Ski Club was founded in 1925. The area is now known as the Laurentian Ski Hill. To the right are four c. 1937 PECO postcards which we think are additional Laurentian views. The center images show a Christie turn and skiers tracking, while the view at far right shows the “arrival of the ski train.” The skiers are wearing identifying numbers, as if preparing for a cross-country race. The events are probably part of the Ontario Ski Meet, first hosted in North Bay in 1937 by the Laurentian Ski Club.

North Bay Laurentian Ski Club North Bay Skiing North Bay Christie Turn North Bay Skiers Tracking North Bay Ski Train Arrival
North Bay, Ontario Dog Sled

A means of winter transportation — and some fun — was travel by dog sled, as seen in this the c. 1930s PECO vintage postcard to the left. The huskies are ready to go, with one person sitting on the sled in this attractive winter scene. A 1940s CKC real-photo postcard to the right shows another team of Siberian huskies.

North Bay, Ontario, Siberian Huskies, c. 1940s
North Bay Sleigh Ride

Does any recognize the location of this c. 1960s wintry sleigh riding scene? Deceptively simple in appearance and reminiscent of Norman Rockwell images, the chrome postcard bears greetings from North Bay on the reverse and was published by Forder but, surprisingly, was photographed by one of the great photographers of the 20th century, the legendary Ozzie Sweet.


Many of Sweet’s images have appeared on Newsweek magazine covers and his subjects have included Ingrid Bergman (a 1947 Newsweek cover), Grace Kelly, Joe DiMaggio, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ernest Hemingway (a Cat Fancy magazine cover), John Wayne, Bob Hope, Sandy Koufax, football great Johnny Unitas, Jimmy Durante, Jackie Gleason, Ted Williams, baseball player Yogi Berra, Soviet Union leader Andrei Gromyko and Alfred Einstein, for a Time magazine cover photo honoring Einstein as “Person of the Century.” See the Northern Ontario Postcard Photographers page for more information about Ozzie Sweet.


Here are some interesting vintage Canadian postcards of North Bay, Ontario. These old postcards from the Nipissing District and that part of the Parry Sound District which is in the “Blue Sky Region,” are shown for educational purposes. If you have images or historical information which you’d like to share with our digital virtual museum, feel free to do so. You might also enjoy visits to our Alderdale, Bonfield and Rutherglen, Bear Island, 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 over 100 years ago near Mattawa, or see an 1880s Orangemen parade from over a century ago. See also our collection of rare New Ontario Brewery.

Learn more about collecting vintage postcards on the postcard collecting, 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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