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Ferguson Highway or Highway 11: Canadian History in Vintage Postcards

Camping Along the Ferguson Highway 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.

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 Ferguson Highway 1 North Bay Ferguson Highway 2

Here’s a c. 1927-1930 view of the entrance to the Ferguson Highway (Highway 11) in North Bay, as the road heads north towards Temagami. Construction began in 1925 to link “New Ontario” and its lumber, mining and agricultural resources with southern Ontario. It was originally a gravel highway, as shown here. Note the sign above the gateway which says: “Stop - Get Your Travel Permit Here,” and the small guard station to the right of the entry. Named for the Honorable G. Howard Ferguson, Premier of Ontario from 1923-1930 and a proponent of northern development, the highway officially opened on 2 July 1927. Later, it became a northern branch of the Trans-Canada. Things still had a wilderness air to them when the sender of the postcard at bottom left mailed it, as he wrote: “This is some place - the last town in the North Country.” The road here is dirt, and the pictured travelers have set up a waterside camp.

North Bay Ferguson Highway Travel Permit 1

A scarce 9 August 1928 Ferguson Highway travel permit, issued by the Ontario Forestry Branch, authorized passage of C. B. Hamilton of Toronto to travel between North Bay and Latchford. Hamilton’s ultimate destination was Cochrane. The permit, signed by “J. Leonard,” notes Hamilton’s license plate number as 71-090. Viewed diagonally below, the permit warns that “Dangerous Fire Hazards and Valuable Timber exist adjacent to this Road. Do Not Throw Lighted Matches, Cigars or other Burning Substances from Cars. Build your lunch fires only in prepared fire places. Be Sure Your Fire is Out Before You Leave. Penalties for Infractions of the Fire Act, up to $300.00 together with imprisonment.” A map on the reverse, with a scale of 1 inch to 12 miles, shows public camp sites and indicates that “lunching places” were spaced approximately every three miles along the road. We have numerous writings and photos from Mr. Hamilton’s Northern Ontario trip and will be adding them to this page.

North Bay Ferguson Highway Travel Permit 2 North Bay Ferguson Highway Travel Permit Map
Camping Along the Ferguson Highway

This scarce 1930 real-photo postcard, which was published for the Temagami Outfitting Co., shows a seated camper at one of the “lunching places”mentioned above. Both a picnic table and a campsite have been provided, with an Ontario Forestry Branch sign posted regarding forest fires. It reads: “Prevent Forest Fires. Build Your Camp Fire Here. See That Your Fire Is Out Before You Leave.”


Angus Lake:

Angus Lake Gas Station

Lowell Lake:

Ferguson Highway Along Lowell Lake, 1920s 1 Log Cabin Cottages at Lowell Lake along the Ferguson Highway Ferguson Highway Along Lowell Lake, 1920s 2  


Tin Lizzie Cruising the Ferguson Highway in Northern Ontario Deer on the Ferguson Highway Near North Bay

Olive Lake:

Ferguson Highway at Olive Lake Camp Richfield at Olive Lake


Wilson Lake:

Wilson Lake, Ferguson Highway

More as time permits, with updated photos and new articles on Bear Island, Bonfield, Callander and Corbeil, Commanda, the Ferguson Highway (Highway 11), Lavigne and Verner, Marten River, Monetville and Noëlville, Powassan and Trout Creek, Sturgeon Falls, Sundridge, North Bay, Alderdale, Nipissing Village, Trout Lake, Restoule, South River, Temagami, Tilden Lake, Dokis, Rutherglen, Tomiko Ontario, Trout Mills and other areas of interest. You might also enjoy the story of Frederic Remington’s moose hunt, the story of a hunting trip which took place more than 100 years ago near Mattawa. See a 19th c. Orangemen parade, and our rare collection of New Ontario Brewery breweriana collectibles.


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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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