Tag Archives: Lake Couchiching

Stevie L

From that fine part-time Orillia boy Stephen Leacock.

“In a land so inescapably and inhospitably cold, hockey is the chance of life, and an affirmation that despite the deathly chill of winter…we are alive.”

Leacock was, of course, a world-renown humorist who in 1912 upset a bunch of locals after he’d made fun of the barber and undertaker and others in his book about Orillia called Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town. My parents used to see his son Stephen Junior walking around town.

His beautiful Oriilia summer home, now a museum, sits on the shores of Lake Couchiching, a nice lake full of sunfish, perch and wee little bass, and where the odd time over the years someone would tell the newspaper they saw a sea serpent.

And although Stephen was originally from England, he seemed to get what hockey meant to many Canadians. He could’ve even been a Habs fan and followed the exploits of Vezina, Lalonde, Joliat, and Morenz and the boys when he was a professor and lecturer at McGill University in Montreal from 1900 to 1936.

Heck, he might have even taken a stroll to the Forum and watched the Montreal Maroons in 1934-35 when a young Toe Blake played eight games for them.

Stephen died in March of 1944,  and if he could’ve held on for another fifteen years or so, he might have seen me and my friends out on Lake Couchiching, whether it was swimming and fishing in summer or skating on the frozen lake in winter.

He might have made fun of us in a book like he did with the barber and undertaker and the rest in Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town. Maybe called it Sunshine Sketches of a Little Team.




All Together Now! “Couchiching, Couchiching, By Lake Couchiching”

From my 1959 Orillia and area phone book (which includes Bobby Orr’s family in Parry Sound), you can see the Lightfoot family on Harvey. Above that, as an added bonus, is Norman Ley, father of Rick Ley, former defenseman with the Leafs and the WHA New England Whalers, and coach in Hartford, Toronto and Vancouver. My mother went to school with Norman.

Not only that, as another extra bonus, there’s the Liberty Cafe, which was a restaurant on Orillia’s main drag where my dad would buy a bag full of hamburgers on special occasions, bring them home, and we’d sit and watch old war and gangster movies.

Okay, sing along – “Couchiching, Couchiching, by Lake Couchiching.”

A Couple Of Thoughts About The Winter Classic At Wrigley

The Bridgestone Winter Classic took place on New Year’s Day at Wrigley Field in Chicago between the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks.


You already know this.


But were you at all wondering how the Bridgestone tire company got it’s name? Probably not, but I’m going to tell you anyway. Founder Shojiro Ishibashi’s last name translates as “bridge of stone.”


Those folks in some of parts of the bleachers were so far away, they needed a telescope, not binoculars, to see what was going on.


What actually happens if the weather doesn’t co-operate? What if unexpected warm weather arrived and the ice started to melt? Or the game got a foot of snow dumped on it? Ot winds picked up and the players couldn’t skate against them? Or freezing rain fell? What would happen? Is it re-scheduled? And what if it was and the weather didn’t co-operate again? So far they’ve dodged the bullet in Edmonton, although it was freezing cold; in Buffalo, where it snowed; and now Chicago. But can they dodge a bullet forever?


Why don’t they think about planning one of these things for an area where there’s no NHL hockey. Like Saskatchewan? Or Yellowknife? Or on Lake Couchiching in Orillia.


Bobby Hull and Ted Lindsay dropped the ceremonial pucks. Hull wore really girly leopard skin earmuffs.


What if one of the players gets his tongue stuck to the goalpost?


In sub-zero weather, is cold beer still eight bucks or do they lower the price?