A Family Business
Hillside has been owned and operated by the Ducker Family since 1963. Everyday management and staff are asked, “How are you related?” So here’s the who’s who to Hillside along with lots of neat information that we are very proud to share.
It all began in 1963 with the vision of Jack and Tonny Ducker. When they bought the park it had only 7 hydro sites and 25 non hydro sites. Through hard work, a lot of sweat and a few tears, Jack and Tonny, formerly from Maastricht, Holland, along with their 4 children; Yvonne, Edith, Sue and Harry, cleared the land and trees, cut the trees to supply firewood for the campers, and built many, many picnic tables. All the while Jack still worked in a real estate business in Cambridge (Preston).
Tonny and the kids would spend the spring, summer and fall working at the park, staying in their volkswagon van and a tent. Ken Townes (Edith’s boyfriend) came along in 1965 and added a welcome set of hands to the growing operation. Families could come to swim free of charge, or choose to camp for only $1.00 a night. As is the tradition still today, Jack and his family built everything themselves, washrooms with running water was first on their list, along with renovating the existing store and front gate. In time they added a home, along with apartment for the newly married Ken & Edith. Also attached to this structure was a hall for the campers to use, below the hall was the garage, where the existing store and office is now.
The original entrance to Hillside was directly off Spragues Rd. (Regional Road 75/HWY 24A). The entrance was eventually moved from HWY 24A to it’s existing location off of Brant Waterloo Rd.
In 1979 Harry met his future wife, a seasonal camper named June. Together with Jack, Tonny, Ken and Edith the 6 continued to improve and expand upon what the Ducker Family had started. Under their guidance, determination and years of dedication, Hillside Lake Park Family Campground came into existence.