I have lived in North Bay most of my life. Yes I trudged off down south for my schooling and even lived out west for a while, but I was born, christened, married and had my daughter in North Bay. I grew up on Trout Lake on One Mile Bay, when it was not fashionable to live by the lake; we were the third family to live year around on Milne Road now called Peninsula Road. My parents purchased a cottage at 15 Milne Road when I was three years old. One of my first memories is of Dad driving his blue station wagon down the hilly driveway to our new home. With boxes of food in the back I can vividly remember Dad backing the car up to the cottage so it would be easier for unpacking. I even remember walking into the cottage made of brown round core logs that one could barely drive a nail through for hanging things. The floor was a type of synthetic tile that eventually was peeled off in anticipation of new flooring over the years. Left behind by the previous owner was a desk, which has since been recovered more than once and now sits in my entry, along with a small shelving end table of sorts, which I believe my sister has in her home in St. Jacobs. I remember the first piece of plaster board to be put up in the house, as I, along with my mother and brother helped dad put up on the living room ceiling. Over the 48 years of my parents living there, the cottage was transformed from a one level home into a raised bungalow with a circular driveway. Fond memories of swimming, boating, fishing, berry picking, tromping through the bush to build tree forts, playing baseball where the hydro plant now sits near Hwy 63, bonfires, skating, skiing and tobogganing all flicker through my mind; moving on meant creating a new home.
Of course I lived in a few places while going to school; renting a room in an older woman’s home in Rexdale Ontario while attending Humber College for Graphic Arts, living in a huge family home in Etobicoke, Ontario as a live in Nanny, residence, a basement apartment and a room in a house full of female students while attending the University of Guelph (where I eventually obtained my BASc in Human Nutrition) and living in a basement apartment and an attic apartment while attending the University of Alberta all come to mind, but those were temporary stays while I finished my schooling and eventually married my husband. The home my husband and I lived for the first 10 years of our marriage was the home my husband grew up in on Copeland Street. It was a spacious side split with a carport and fenced in backyard. There were three bedrooms and three bathrooms. It had three living areas, a formal living room/dinning room, a family room with wood paneling and a finished basement with room for a pool table. The decision to move was purely based on location for my daughter to access more children her age in a newer neighbourhood. The house sold within a month and not being able to find a house that suited us we found a piece of property with a view of the city of North Bay in Birchaven and decided to build a home to suit.
My family all got involved in the design phase with my dad designing the house, my sister in-law making suggestions (both being in the architectural field). My sister and mom added their touches with eye appealing designs for the living room including a gas fire place with the piping to the chimney as one of the unique features one sees upon entering the room; mom mentioned a skylight, which is located in the ensuite of the master bedroom overhead of the large Jacuzzi tub; on starlit nights this view is amazing while soaking in the warm and soothing bubbles. I of course had my list of unique features that were included in the building of this cozy home with sun filled rooms and large windows. Bamboo flooring seemed environmentally friendly and easy to keep; a theme that would be carried outdoors with the distinctive flare of a natural setting offset by a one of a kind landscaping scheme to suit both the city and country dweller. Pocket doors throughout the upper level, reminiscent of my Grandparents home, give this house an open feeling one could not achieve with regular doors. Three cedar balconies give breathtaking views of the double lot the house is situated on reaching far beyond to the ski hill and several surrounding lakes close by, not to mention the abundance of trees and greenery that gives you a sense of peace and tranquility in a city suburb. In the summer one feels as if they live in a luxurious tree house and in the winter a fancy ski chalet. With all amenities on one floor, it has the feel of a condo with all the perks. A wood stove in the downstairs family room adds to the quaint cozy feel on a cold winter’s night. Alas, my husband’s new employment in southern Ontario has brought us to a new phase in our lives. We must now sell our latest house, passing it on to a new family who will, I am sure, enjoy it as much as we have. What new home awaits us, only time will tell.
Documenting the homes one has lived in is all part of the genealogical journey. Of course land records, maps, city directories and pictures can help preserve the houses we have lived in, but it is the task of the family historian to document as much as they can about the homes they have lived in and will live in as well as keeping track of the details of the homes their ancestors lived in. I have shared a rare glimpse into the homes I have lived in and hope this encourages you to share on paper and pen all the homes you and your ancestors have occupied.
“MAY ALL YOUR GENEALOGICAL DREAMS COME TRUE!!!”
Tammy Tipler-Priolo BASc, PLCGS
The Ancestor Investigator is also the Ancestor Whisperer!