The panoramic camera, invented in the late 19th century, allowed photographers to take very wide pictures because the camera itself moved and the film was not all exposed at once. For more information on how the camera worked, see the Archives on Ontario exhibit on Thomas and J.R. Connon. This technique was used extensively in the first half of the 20th century to take photographs of large groups of people. In North Bay, most of these photographs originated from Noel Studio, located on Main Street J.A. Noel was usually the photographer but other members of the family worked in the studio. The most famous North Bay panorama, that from Old Home Week in 1925, however, was taken by the Adamson Studio of Toronto. Clearly people took advantage of the availability of this service by having photographs taken at important gatherings such as the Chapleau Jubilee and the meeting of the Loyal Orange Benevolent Association below. It was also used to record whole groups such as the Normal School class of 1929 and the Algonquin Regiment while in training at Winnipeg.



Granting of City Charter, Old Home Week, North Bay, 3 August 1925

This is a panoramic view of the crowd at Memorial Park on August 3rd, 1925 was taken around noon, by Milton Adamson of Adamson Studio, 416 Yonge Street, Toronto, moments after the official ceremony in which North Bay was granted its official charter. This ceremony was incorporated into a week of celebrations, North Bay's first Old Home Week. Old Timers from across Canada and the U.S. came to be part of the celebrations and the official chair of the Old Home Week Committee was John Fersuson himself. A grand pageant parade was held showing the history of North Bay back to 1615 when Champlain stopped at Lake Nipissing. One of the floats from the parade can be seen on the far right. Some of the pageant members in costume can be seen in the crowd. Copy courtesy of Ann Smith.



Christmas Pageant Scene, ca. 1931

This digital copy of an original Noel Studio panoramic view has been retouched to reduce the worse of the cracks and stains in the original. It shows a creche scene made up of Mary and Joseph, 3 persons in a darker costume [the wise men?], and a multitude of angels. Some of the students in the pageant were from St Mary's School on First Avenue. The pageant was part of the annual Christmas concert put on in the basement of the church. To the left of the post, LtoR, back row: unknown, Betty Smith (Valin), Thelma O'Shea (Cummings); middle row: Anna Smith, Doreen Ralston (Prentice) ? [dark costume], unknown, Marg McParland (Ayotte) [dark costume], Sheila Watkins ? [on box]; front row: Barbara Smith, unknown, unknown. Creche scene around back LtoR, unknown [Joseph], Ruth Foster (Sayers), Irene McKenna (Lyons), unknown, Maureen Mulligan (Chappell), Faye Mulligan (Rivet), Anne Baldasaro (Hicks) [virgin]; center front: Doris Rading (Keiswater), Marg Rading (Demers). To the right of the creche, back row high LtoR: Corrine Fisher, unknown, unknown; middle row: Shirley Nicolson (Brazeau), Bernie Walsh (Gartier), unknown; front row: Mary Underwood [on box], unknown [dark costume], Helen Sullivan (McIsaac). Thanks to Helen McIsaac for letting us copy her original and for supplying most of the names, and to Shirley Brazeau and Anne Hicks for talking to me about the event.


The North Bay Normal School Class of 1929

The North Bay Normal School opened in 1909. Each year students came from Northern Ontaria and nearby districts to the south to attend for one year before going out to teach. There were always more women than men as this picture shows. The school later changed its name to the North Bay Teachers' College and that institution became the Faculty of Education at Nipissing University College, now Nipissing University. This very large panorama of the students and staff at the North Bay Normal School appears to be of the class of 1929. The staff still includes Casselman who left the following year. Yet it is surprisingly difficult to identify the students based on their year book pictures where they don't appear quite as casual as they do here. There seems little doubt, however, that the young man fifth to the right of Casselman is P. Spence, Treasurer of the Literary Society that year. (Click here for photo.) This photo by Noel Studio was taken on the west side of the Normal School building and Memorial Park is to the far left. The original of this photo was donated to our archives by the Salvation Army store at the request of Stephen Tomlinson who found it there. For more information on the Normal School see our current projects and check out the year books. Many of them are now online.



Jubilee Celebration for Rev. Father J.A. Chapleau, October 29, 1929

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This image by J.A. Noel Studio in North Bay shows the priests who gathered to celebrate the jubilee or 25th anniversary of the ordination of The Reverend Father J.A. Chapleau on 29 October 1929. They came from both Quebec and Ontario for a three day social and religious event which included a concert and a play. The location appears to be along the side of the episcopal palace. Rt. Rev. D.J. Scollard, Bishop of Sault Ste. Marie is seated in the center and the Rector of Pro-Cathedral, Reverend Kennedy is standing in the back row, 10th from the left. The other priests have not been identified, but the Nugget article on the event (25 October 1929) lists the following as having attended: Mons.J.A. Lecuyer, V.G., Sturgeon Falls; Very Rev. Dean T.J. Crowley, Sault Ste. Marie; Rev. A. Papineau, Montreal; Rev. E. Gobien, Montreal; Rev. Armour Hebert, superior of St. Therese College, Montreal; Rev. R. Durocher, superior of Sacred Heart College, Sudbury; Rev. O. Lalonde, rector of the Basilica, Ottawa; Rev. J. Kimplon, P.P., Vanton, Quebec; Rev. J Cote, Portage du Fort; Rev. R. Gaston, Chapleau; Rev. S. Cote, Chelmsford; Rev. J.J. O'Leary, Copper Cliff; Rev. A. Chapleau, Cobalt; Rev. E. Mailhot, Sudbury; Rev. L.P. Theriault, Cache Bay; Rev. P. Lacelle, Sudbury; Rev. F. H. Grenier, Astorville; Rev. A. Pellietier, Rouyn, Quebec; Rev. O. Kennedy, North Bay; Rev. J. McNally, Bonfield; Rev. M.R. Flanery, Cartier; Rev. O. Racette, Verner; Rev. J.L. Kennedy, North Bay; Rev. P. Rousell, Verner; Rev. L. Sequin, Lavigne; Rev. J. Gravelle, Chiswick; Rev. L. Bourassa? Sturgeon Falls, Rev. P. McHugh, Sturgeon Falls; Rev. A. Baker, Warren; Rev. J. Raymond, Elk Lake; Rev. P. Batmann, Sudbury; Rev. E. E. Bunyan, Callander; Rev. A. Filiatrault, Field; Rev. J. Marchand, Blizard Valley; Rev. A.J. Murray, North Bay; Rev. J. Dwyer?, Pembroke, and Rev. J.H. Bruneau, Warren. Relatives of Father Chaplean, not shown, who attended, included His Honor Judge Proulx of Sudbury, Mr. and Mrs. P. Lam? of Montreal, and Miss A. Chapleau of Cobalt. Click on an individual head for a close up image. If you can put a name to a face, please let us know. [Please note that the microfilm copy of the Nugget used for the list of names is very light and errors may have crept into the spelling of names.]


Roman Catholic Church in Feronia, Ontario, 1934

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This image is a copy of a copy still hanging in the Feronia Church in 2006. The church is now closed. It was taken in celebration of the completion of the construction of the church in 1934. Local knowledge has it that a group of people coming through on the train were included in the picture. The original was taken by Noel's Studio, North Bay, Ontario. If anyone has an original please let us know.



Algonquin Regiment, 1st Anniversary, Camp Shilo, Manitoba, 1941


The Algonquin Regiment, with headquarters in North Bay since 1936, recruited from an area extending from Bracebridge and Parry Sound to the south and to Timmins and Cochrane in the north. When war broke out recruitment and training was the first order of the day and it was not until 22 July 1940 that the Regiment went into active service. As Camp Borden in North Bay did not have enough space for training exercises, they were moved first to Port Arthur and on 4 June 1941 to Camp Shilo in Manitoba, “the ‘Borden of the West' where sand and gophers abounded, and ‘where seldom was heard an encouraging word.” So it was that the first anniversary of their active service found them at Camp Shilo. Plans were made for a gala sports day and Open House, but first they were to have a “full-dress battalion parade during which pictures would be taken.” Liquid entertainment and a free-for-all talent show were to be the highlight of the day. Cassidy, in Warpath , describes the day thus:


The regiment went on to active service overseas, fought in Normandy and participated in the liberation of Holland . From 1940 to 1946, 175 officers and 3,995 of other ranks served with the battalion; 341 were killed or died of wounds and 959 were listed as wounded or missing.

For the full story of the Algonquin Regiment during the war, see Major G.L. Cassidy, D.S.O., Warpath: The Story of the Algonquin Regiment 1939-1945 , (Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1948).

Thanks to Stephen Tomlinson for allowing us to copy the original.

Lt.-Col. Stewart began the day by serving what can only be termed “atomic cocktails” to all the officers, while they were still in bed. The effect of this was to start the great “mustache removal” tradition. Lieut. Maurice Belanger bears the honour of beginning this tradition, albeit the removal was accidental and due to his shaking hand. By parade time, no officer save two had his mustache intact. The movement grew during the day, and it was a strange-looking regiment that greeted its guests in the evening. The parade was a huge success in spite of the strange appearance of the officers, and the panoramic photo taken that day is one of the best ever, in the writer's opinion. The day's events went off as scheduled, and when the regiment retired in fairly good order that night, everyone felt that a pleasant milestone had been reached. (Cassidy, Warpath.)