The Old Phone Book, With Orr And….

My old Orillia and area phone book that I grabbed years ago, just before my old man threw it out.

Paging through the Orillia section, I see the GM Lightfoot household at 283 Harvey St., where young Gordon grew up. The singer would’ve been about 20 when this phone book came out, and had moved out of the house just the year before.

My good buddies Kerry Baker and Robin Metcalfe also lived on Harvey St, and my dad worked for awhile at a dry cleaners in Orillia with Gordon’s father.

You see the Lightfoot listing halfway down, and further up is former NHLer Rick Ley’s dad Norman at 47 Wyandotte.

The book also features the area surrounding Orillia, including Parry Sound, and I found Bobby Orr’s family home, listed as Douglas Orr, (his dad) at 21 Great North Road. And Bobby’s grandfather, Robert Orr, is at 67 River. Bobby was about 11 at the time of the phone book.

Searching further, I went into the Sundridge pages and found Bucko McDonald on Main St. Bucko had not only been a star in the NHL in the 1930’s and 40’s with Detroit, New York, and Toronto, but had also coached Bobby Orr in squirt and peewee in Parry Sound. Bucko decided to make the young fellow a defenceman even though Bobby was small and had great skills up front. When dad Doug questioned Bucko about this odd decision, Bucko told him “Bobby is born to play defence.”

Sundridge is also where my mother came from.

Also listed in the pages of this old phone book is the Roger Crozier household in Bracebridge, writer Paul Rimstead’s dad’s farm outside of Bracebridge, the family home of respected Canadian writer Roy MacGregor in Huntsville, (who played minor hockey against Orr and the Parry Sound team), and John MacWilliams’ home in Huntsville.

And finally, the old homestead at 5 Elmer Ave.


11 thoughts on “The Old Phone Book, With Orr And….”

  1. Nov. 7, Peter, when the Bruins visit the Bell. Too bad there’s no more Lucic. Blows his mind and costs his team. And our new guy Kassian would have gone up against him. Oh well.

  2. How did the phone numbers work in Sundridge? Was an operator required to call these numbers?

    I assume FA is 32 and would have been called something like FAirview. I remember as i was young, my neighbours using similarly odd names for the exchanges which I only knew by number.

  3. Good question, Christopher. I’ve no idea how the numbers worked. Even in Orillia with Fairview, I don’t know what the purpose was. I wish my dad was still around so I could ask him.

  4. That is so cool Dennis.Being the Arrowhead that I am, I see Orenda Engines in there .they would have been testing the Iroquois engine for the Arrow back then.Thanks for sharing that with us

  5. our first phone # was 91r14—– which was one long ring & 4 short rings with 23 people on our rural line—-Smithfield, Ont ‘tween Brighton & Trenton, 1 mile north of hwy #2. At one time our ring was 3 long & 7 short rings. Now it’s cell phones and drones and spy worlds everywhere. Oh how I wish we could get Big Bird to coach our defense, and traded Emelin for Lucic. Thanks for being alive Dennis!!

  6. You had to be careful what you said, eh Peter, cause someone on the party line might be listening. I’m still getting used to a cell phone, I always forget it, and when it rings I look all over the place for it. Texting can be a good thing sometimes, but I don’t do it a lot. Yes, I’m alive, although sometimes when I sit down it’s a problem getting back up again. And about the Habs, it’s time for Galchenyuk to pick it up and become a star.

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