South Hill Street, Thunder Bay

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Hill Street South neighbourhood

Hill Street South, or South Hill Street (laid down in 1909), is the name designating a 1.6-km length of two-laned road in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Hill Street South is one of 14 streets in the Mariday Park neighbourhood. It runs north-south along Hill Street South from Red River Road in the north to the Canada Games Complex (1981 - present) in the south.


The land now occupied by South Hill Street was forest until about 1870, and then a cow pasture until 1909.

In September of 1909 the cow pasture was purchased by developer J.J. Carrick. He named it Mariday Park, created 13 macadamized streets, including Hill Street, and subdivided the land and built homes and sold them. In 1913 a "South Belt extension" of the cable car service along Arthur Street (renamed in 1970 to Red River Road), began, serving all of Mariday Park. This service ran up and down South Hill Street.

Over the course of the next fifty years, almost all the lots on South Hill Street were developed into homes.

South Hill Street at John Street, circa 2019. The difference in quality between the former Fort Street segment and the Mariday Park segment is clear to this day.

The road segment south of John Street was not part of J. J. Carrick's development and it is significantly lower in quality, in terms of road, the houses on either side, and it even lacks sidewalks on both sides. In fact this 0.6-km segment was originally named Fort Street until in 1956 it was renamed South Hill Street to match the street it was a continuation of. [3]

As of 2020, Hill Street South has about 152 houses, including 111 houses within Mariday Park, and 41 outside it. The street runs about 1 kilometre (250 metres per block) from Red River Road to John Street, then another 600 metres to the Complex. Including the two sidewalks on both sides, the width is approximately 15 metres, meaning the entire street has an area of 24,000 square metres, or 2.4% of a square kilometre.

Intersecting Streets

From north to south, the intersecting streets are:

  1. Red River Road (start of Mariday Park section)
  2. Beresford Street
  3. Bay Street
  4. Cornwall Avenue
  5. Whitney Street
  6. John Street (end of Mariday Park section)
  7. Oliver Road
  8. Markland Street (only on East)
  9. Queen Street (West and East do not line up)
  10. Duluth Street (the Canada Games Complex)

House count:

  • 20 to Beresford
  • 25 to Bay
  • 25 to Cornwall
  • 20 to Whitney
  • 21 to John
  • And 12 + 12 + 17 = 41 south of John

Snapshot: 1996

From 1993 to 1996, Michael Currie delivered papers for the Chronicle-Journal to fifty houses from Red River Road to Bay Street. He succeeded John Clouthier, his classmate Katherine Clouthier's older brother, in this assignment. The houses were all in the P7B postal code prefix, which is mostly south of Red River Road. Six suffix codes, from north to south:

Section Northern Boundary Southern Boundary West Suffix East Suffix West Houses East Houses Total Houses
Red River Road (South Side) n/a n/a 1H2 1H1 4 1 5
Upper Block Red River Road Beresford Street 3T5 3T6 10 10 20
Lower Block Beresford Street Bay Street 3T8 3T7 13 12 25

P7B 1H2: South Side of Red River Road between Rupert and Hill

  • (565 Red River Road: The building containing Carmen's Barber Shop and Thumbusters. I did not deliver to this one.)
  • 563 Red River Road: J. MacKinnon? A 20-something drinking house
  • 561 Red River Road: M.J. Kusznier?
  • 559 Red River Road: Grant Walsh and A.I. Walsh. A house with a big unlocked front porch. A 40-something woman paid me.
  • 555 Red River Road: Dan Dacey (d. 1994) and Salome Dacey (1922 - 2009) [1]. Caitlin Dacey's grandmother and grandfather.

P7B 1H1: South Side of Red River Road between Hill and Winnipeg

  • 553 Red River Road: These people complained once or twice that flyers were not delivered.
  • (Michael made no further deliveries to houses east of this point)

Hill Street South Between Beresford Street and Red River Road

3T5, NW of Beresford Name Notes 3T6, NE of Beresford Name Notes
12 Jill Biggs [2] [3] [4] and family Husband died in snowmobiling accident in about 1995. She is now a therapy dog trainer and secretary of the Thunder Bay Shutzhund Club. 13 Melvin Grottenberg (1912 - 2010) and wife Mae (1912 - 2004) House built between 1994 and 1995? Next door to Melvin's daughter Marilyn. Moved away in 2004 to Vernon to be closer to family. Melvin was a gentle man. (Michael remembers this)
16 C. Bruni 15 Marilyn Ann Arthur (nee Grottenberg) (1948 - 2014) and husband Paddy Arthur and son Deven. They built a house for Marilyn's parents on their lot. Moved to Vernon in 2001 for work.
18 Ian Dennis 17 Rob E. Colquhoun
22 Peter Doig and Mary Lou Doig, and daughter Jeannie Doig Jeannie taught Michael piano at this home from 1994 to 1995 or so. 19 M. Page
26 Tony Colistro 23 D.W. Houston Chain-smoking man who did jigsaw puzzles and couldn't keep his neck up
28 Gerry White and L. Palermo-White 27 S. Robinson Kathy Guisewite-like woman and her husband
34 Joanne Foster Michael Currie babysat her dogs in about 1995 29 D. Cevero ?
36 Patrick Bocking, wife, and two daughters, daughters born circa 1982 Patrick became an elementary school principal with Lakehead Schools, and left in 2007 to serve as a superintendent in North Bay, then in 2011 to British Columbia. [5]. He had a boat in the driveway. 35 Gerald and Stella Marsh According to voter lists in 1974, the Marshes lived there, a stationary engineer and stenographer, respectively, with their voting-age children Leslie and Rodney.
40 Pentti Rintala (1924 - 2007) [6] and Dolores Rintala Yapping tiny dog with vocal cords cut 39 James B. McLeod and wife He complimented my early deliveries in my first year
44 Anita Roy (possibly this person (1906 - 2008), whose details all agree except the name of the husband: [7]) No papers, but saw her at halloween once. Big trees. According to voter lists, she lived at the house since at least 1963, by which time her husband Joseph Roy was already retired. By 1968 she was listed as living alone and widowed so her husband had died between 1963 and 1968. The house doesn't appear at all on the 1957 list so they probably had it built. 45 Don Watson The house on the corner with the columns. Don was Director of Computing Services at Lakehead University until retiring in 1996

Hill Street South Between Bay Street and Beresford Street

3T8, NW of Bay Name Notes 3T7, NE of Bay Name Notes
50 Betty Burke (2 April 1923 - 21 July 2018) [8] Her husband George died in 1986. She loved to garden her flowers, and she sent Michael a congratulations letter in 2001. 49 Gordon "Gordie" Kyle (1930 - 2017) House on the corner, with strange car.
54 Alan Thomas Sumner (7 January 1923 - 7 January 2004) and wife Barbara Patricia Sumner (13 October 1924 - 24 February 2007). Their son Scott founded the Thunder Bay Business publication in 1984 [9] [10]. 53 Edward C. "Ted" Miller (postal carrier), wife Pam Miller (ER nurse), and children, Tracy, Andrew, Eric.
58 Dr. David G. Frood (1924 - 8 March 2001) and wife Sheelagh Frood (died 23 July 2003) Dr. Frood smoked a pipe I think, and had an accent? 57 Alan "Al" Harper and his wife Nancy Harper (who was sick with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), 16 Nov 1941 – 27 June 2018) [11] Harper is Treasurer as of 2019 with CP Pensioners Associations, Inc. Tel: (807) 345-9403
60, 62, or 64 Mark Simic, Ejia Simic, and daughter Jennifer Simic. Mark immigrated from Croatia at age 6 and was a little league baseball champion. Friends with Aldo Ruberto. 61 Dr. Virgetis, a physician at the cancer clinic, his wife, Ruci, and daughter, Johanna Moved away in about 1999. The names are not attested anywhere on the web so they are likely, at minimum, misspelled.
66 Rob Lyon, L.M. Lyon, daughters Lauren, Marielle "Mar", and son. Moved into house about 1990. Rob was with Thunder Bay Police, now teaches policing at Confederation College. Daughter Mar, cheerleader for Argos 2016-2018. 67 Dr. Donald Hood, wife Nancy Greenwald, and children Jeremy and Arleigh Dr. Hood was an audiologist who left in about 1991.
72 Bill Bissonnette (1921 - 2016) and his wife Mary 71 Curries: Ron, Mary Ann, Carolyn, Michael
76 Malcolm, A.L. Divorced mother? In the 1960s and 70s it was owned by restaurant operator Harry and Zena "Lillian" Wong 75 Steeles: Doug, wife Tracy, and children Matthew, Kristin
80 Don Johnstone and wife Martha. Left about 2014? 79 Wayne Davidson
84 Elizabeth "Liz" Shanks and ex-husband and daughter Brittney Husband is a lawyer 81 Judith Rudd (1913 - 2009) and husband George Rudd (died before 2009) Mr. Rudd tuned pianos. Elderly couple, no newspaper - or they paid annually or something? The Rudds’ daughter once lived across the street at 84 Hill Street South, where Liz Shanks is/was.
86 (Alberta and Blanche Kelly as of 1974) Maybe no paper subscription in 1994? 85 Mrs. Pudas (1920 - 2007) Left in 2004 due to dimensia
90 R. F. Colquhoun (old lady in 1994) 89 Willson B. Moody, Junior and wife LaRea Moody LaRea was librarian at Law Association's library. They had a large German shepherd dog.
94 Harris, D., including children Leigh Harris (friends with Arleigh Hood), and younger brother Neil, and also a step-brother Family (no house is here; the Moodys at 89 had a double lot)
96 John L. "Les" Siddall (d. 1999) and Alice Siddall (8 March 1924 - 7 March 2016) Lived in this house until 2014. 97 A young family Did not subscribe to the paper in 1994


Jill Biggs, 12 Hill Street South
Marilyn Arthur (nee Grottenberg) (1948 - 2014), 15 Hill Street South
Mary Lou Doig, 22 Hill Street South
Jeannie Doig, 22 Hill Street South
Don Watson, 45 Hill Street South. Former Director of Computing Services, Lakehead University
Gordon "Gordie" Kyle (1930 - 2017), 49 Hill Street South
Betty Burke (1923 - 2018), 50 Hill Street South
Alan Sumner (1923 - 2004), 54 Hill Street South
Nancy Harper (1941 - 2018), 57 Hill Street South
Mark Simic, 60, 62, or 64 Hill Street South
Rob Lyon, 66 Hill Street South
Nancy Greenwald, 67 Hill Street South
Ron and Mary Ann Currie, 71 Hill Street South
Bill Bissonnette (1921 - 2016), 72 Hill Street South
Steeles, 75 Hill Street South
Betty Pudas (1916 - 2007), 83 Hill Street South
LaRea Moody, 89 Hill Street South
Alice Siddall (1924 - 2016), 96 Hill Street South

Notable Residences On Hill, South of Bay Street

  • Jordan Lester and family, between Bay and Cornwall
  • 136 Hill Street South: Richard Kamo, wife Ruth Kamo, and three children.
  • 140 Hill Street South: Katherine Clouthier, parents, and siblings (her brother John delivered papers on the South Hill Street Upper Blocks route before Michael)
  • Another hair stylist from Shear Heaven who was in a Klingon fan movie, between John Street and Oliver Road
  • Ron Currie's family's rented home for one year in 1963, between Cornwall and Bay
  • 443 John Street: Laundromat Express, the only business along Hill Street South, on John Street.
  • A 2-storey apartment building and two duplexes before Duluth Street (the only buildings besides Laundromat Express that are not detached houses)

Hill Street North

North of Red River Road, Hill Street North extends one kilometre to River Street, where it terminates. Hill Street North intersects with the following streets, from north to south:

  • River Street
  • Dawson Street
  • Tupper Street
  • Van Norman Street
  • Elizabeth Street
  • Red River Road

This street's most prominent building is at 87 Hill Street North, the headquarters for Thunder Bay's local TV news, CKPR, which broadcasts from here since it is the highest point in the area. [12]

Snapshot: 1963

In 1963, the voter list provides a view of who lived on the street. Of all the houses on the upper two blocks, the only residents to remain the same through 1994 are:

  • 35: Marsh, Gerald and Stella (not sure if these people were around in 1994 however)
  • 50: George Burke, jeweler, and wife Betty
  • 72: William Bissonnette, manager, and wife Marian
  • 75: Robert Steele, school inspector, and wife Margaret
  • 81: George Rudd, salesman, and wife Judith

Bissonnette lasted until his death in 2018, and Steele's son is still in the house. (A total of at least 58 years)

In 1957, 71 Hill Street South belonged to Norman Harrison, "agri. representative", and wife Christine. Steele and Rudd are there also, but the others on the even side of the road cannot be determined because that side was not apparently surveyed.

Norman Harrison died in 1976. Christine, the widow Harrison, sold her home to a young couple, Ron Currie and his wife Mary Ann Currie. Source: Harrison, Norman Walter, age 73. Died 9 Jun 1976. Thunder Bay newspaper, 10 Jun 1976, p.35.

Snapshot: 1974

By 1974, the Siddalls had moved into 96 South Hill Street.

Also, David Gordon Frood had moved in to 58 South Hill Street, with "Mrs. Maureen V. Frood" and "Miss Verna L. Frood", student.

George Burke had retired, and Betty is now an "accounts keeper", and they are living with presumably their now-adult daughter, Charlotte Burke, an "actress".

Brian Foster, a school counsellor, and Joan Foster, teacher, have moved into 34 South Hill Street.

Dolores and Pentti Rintala are in 40 South Hill Street.

Bill Bissonnette's wife died, since he is listed as a "parts manager" now living only with Ray, his "apprentice". This list only shows people of voting age so his other children are also likely living at home.


Blue Pages; Professionally Speaking (The Publication of the Ontario College of Teachers), December 2004 [13]

[2] Canada, Voters Lists, 1935-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: Voters Lists, Federal Elections, 1935–1980. R1003-6-3-E (RG113-B). Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Name Robert Steele Occupation Super Of Schools Year 1968 Location Ontario,Canada,Port Arthur Electoral District Port Arthur, slide 451 of 523

[3] In 1956 according to Diane Grant, the name was formerly Fort Street and changed to Hill Street. However, a 1909 advertisement by Carrick already used the Hill Street name. Another source from Facebook Memories group contended that the portion south of John Street was the segment formerly named Fort Street and was renamed in 1956 to synchronize with the rest of South Hill Street.

HILL STREET - Running north up the hill from the intercity area this street [the segment south of John Street] was formerly known as Fort Street and changed to Hill Street in 1956.

— Street Names of Thunder Bay, by Diane Grant (1999) [14]