Laurie Young and Kevin Hurdis

March 2019

“Love is friendship set on fire,” is a quote that seems particularly fitting when it comes to the love story of Laurie Young and Kevin Hurdis. The two were long-time friends before romance entered the picture.

They met in 1999 as colleagues working at the same car dealership in Ottawa. Kevin was the Operations Manager and Laurie worked in accounting. Some years went by, Laurie left that job and got a divorce from a previous marriage, but she and Kevin remained in touch as friends.

“We just kept running into each other,” Laurie tells me. “Then eventually we decided to have dinner together one night.”

During their early days of dating they went snowmobiling and took motorcycle rides together, and Kevin remembers inviting Laurie to a family reunion.

When I ask Kevin if he’d been married before, he tells me that he has not, and that he was “waiting for Laurie.” I tell him that makes for a very sweet quote.

The couple moved into a townhouse together in Ottawa after they had been dating for a few years.

“We would’ve loved at that point to move to the country but in Ottawa it’s really difficult,” Kevin adds.

Kevin’s work was the driving force behind the couple making the move to Thunder Bay. He is currently the General Manager/Partner at Marostica Hyundai.

“I had worked at the Ottawa automotive dealership owned by Suzanne Comuzzi, and we decided to look for a dealership to purchase together. We looked at several stores and this is the one that made sense because of the business growth potential and the size and the community.” It took them about a year to make the final decision to leave Ottawa.

“We were looking for a small town, but it was tough for Laurie because Thunder Bay is further from family.”

Kevin moved up first to transition the sale of the dealership, then Laurie joined him several months later and they bought a house in the country.

“It’s a short drive and it gives us the privacy of being out of the centre of town. You could never find something like this in Ottawa, we could never have the backyard we have now. Our backyard is our detox from the work day and in Ottawa when you get home from work it’s kind of still more hustle and bustle,” says Kevin. “The short commute to work is also a life-changer.”

Laurie and Kevin insist that the winter weather in Ottawa is actually more brutal than it is in Thunder Bay. “It’s so damp there, so it feels colder. Here, it’s a drier cold,” says Laurie.

Since moving here, they’ve taken snowmobiling back up in the winter, and in the summer, the couple enjoys taking motorcycle rides together. Last summer they rode Lake Superior.

“We took a seven-day trip,” says Kevin. “It was beautiful. We stayed in a few places, like White River, Sault Ste. Marie, and Bayfield, Wisconsin, which we loved. Riding the lake was amazing on both sides.”

The couple has also discovered a few favourite restaurant spots in town, but their absolute favourite is Bistro One.

“Our favourite pizza is The Eddy in Kakabeka. They have deep-dish pizza there. It takes about 45 minutes to make, but it is delicious. We just stumbled upon it by accident on one of our motorcycle rides,” Kevin tells me.

The couple has only been living in Thunder Bay for a couple of years and feel they have just scratched the surface on involving themselves in all the happenings of the community.
Laurie, who retired when the couple moved to Thunder Bay, tells me that “everyone has been really welcoming here.”

Laurie and Kevin were married here in Thunder Bay two years ago at City Hall.

“It felt right to get married once we moved since it went hand-in-hand with us starting a new chapter here. We had been engaged for 10 years in Ottawa, so coming here felt like the right time,” says Laurie. “It was very quick and simple. One of Laurie’s daughters came up and acted as our witness,” adds Kevin.

It was not the easiest decision to uproot and move to Thunder Bay, and it’s taken them some time to adjust, but, as Laurie says, “it really is beautiful here. Even in the winter. Just today I was looking out at the snow thinking how beautiful it was.”

Cassandra Blair has a Masters of Arts in English Literature and is a regular contributor to Bayview.

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