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Canada 150: ‘The Canadian Look’ of the first hundred years

June 30

When I spotted this vintage, 1965 book at a church rummage sale I knew it would be interesting reading. While some of the text sheds light on this still less-than-politically-correct time in Canada’s history, it is an interesting retro look at Canadian style through its first 100 years. Coined as ‘a portable gallery of those peculiar views and objects that identify Canada to us, and stand for Canada in the eyes of outlanders everywhere’, many of theseย  symbols and styles still define us Canadians today, 50 plus years on, at home and abroad.

And a thrifty find it was, as I paid a dollar for it, the same price it originally retailed at Coles (a great Canadian retail establishment)!

(Click on any of the images to see it in greater detail.)

The Canadian Look Book - saf affect

Such a retro, Canadian scene – the ice huts, the massive car, the colours!

The oh so Canadian and recognizable Hudson’s Bay stripes.

Dominion Day, before July 1st became known as Canada Day.

Oh how I would look forward to combing the Eaton’s store catalogue each season. And of course Hockey Night in Canada is well, so Canadian.

I can’t say I had even heard of the Quebec heater before reading this and how it was such a commonly known Canadian shape.

Where’s the toque? ๐Ÿ˜€

While some of these Canadian brands are gone, some live on with similar or revamped insignias and logos.

And sadly, or rather humorously, many of these sights of ‘An American view of Canada’ (dimly seen through the mists of Niagara Falls, no less!) have not really changed. Sigh.

Happy Canada Day! #Canada150




















110 Comments leave one →
  1. August 2 10:32 pm

    This brings back so many memories; I’m from Toronto too – what a great find ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. pandareviewz permalink
    December 2 3:35 am

    Wow..this is such a great read. Being an Indian I find Canada a very friendly and a nice country. My relatives live there and I wish to visit it soon and experience it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. December 4 12:26 am

    This American loves Canada and knows the Canadian Falls are incredible:) Rummage sales are so fun to see the treasures you can find!

  4. December 11 11:43 am

    Hello from a fellow Canadian-er! This book is a great find! I still can’t believe Canada is only 150 years old – such a young country compared to the rest of the world ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. budgettraveltalk permalink
    December 16 5:14 am

    Rummaging through boxes of stuff at garage sales is such an interesting occupation. A little like gambling without the chance of losing a fortune. This is such a trip down the collective memory of Canada!

  6. January 9 9:15 am

    Wow, thats quite interesting book. I always like to peak in the history stuff like this. Great article. Thanks for sharing.

  7. February 13 8:11 am

    That looks like a really interesting book! I don’t see to much about skiing in your photos but at least it mentions Ice Hockey. Great book either way.

    • February 13 9:15 am

      You’ll spy a skier over to the north east of Montreal in the ‘American’s View’ illustration. ๐Ÿ˜€ This is just a sampling of the quite interesting snapshots of Canada over the first 100 years included in the book. Oh how we’ve changing over the last 50 years.

  8. March 1 10:31 am

    I was wondering the same thing haha. Would never have seen it if you didn’t point it out. Great article either way, very insightful to see stuff like this.

  9. Explore with Erin permalink
    March 9 1:02 am

    I adore Canada. I’d love to live there and the Immigration Museum in Nova Scotia was so interesting. Love the bit about Canadian brands!

  10. March 13 7:48 pm

    This is awesome! I found a similar book about New Orleans here in a thrift shop on Magazine Street. It had old ads from the turn of the 20th century. Talk about a jump back in time. Darcee & I got to explore Alberta last year during the Anniversary and we went into several museums to see Canada from back in time. I think Darcee loved it the most as she often jokes about being born in the wrong time for her personality.

  11. mytrampolinekids permalink
    April 6 12:15 am

    Dont you think we are a little too obsessed with political correctness now? Canada just changed their national anthem didnt it, becase it said “man” kind.
    Didnt man kind used to mean, the human race, and now it is a bad word? Sometimes I just wonder if it is all just a little too much.
    (But great find on the book!)

  12. April 12 10:46 pm

    I’m still giggling at the “American View Of Canada” . I truly enjoyed my trip there!

  13. April 17 4:29 pm

    What a cool little book! Canada is so close to the top of my travel bucket list! Thanks for an awesome post ๐Ÿ™‚

    • April 18 1:21 pm

      Canada is definitely worth a visit! And that’s not coming from a biased Canadian, or anything. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. April 19 3:15 pm

    Just discovered your blog. Bringing heritage into the view–what an interesting concept.

  15. May 2 9:42 pm

    Love this! We are fulltime travelers and we decided to drive to Canada. We ended up staying two months in the dead winter. It was definitely an amazing adventure for this Texas native.

    • May 3 11:14 am

      Wow, amazing. And in winter too! You’ll have to come back and experience all of our amazing other 3 seasons. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. May 17 9:30 pm

    I love great vintage book finds! Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Michele Peterson (A Taste for Travel) permalink
    May 17 9:42 pm

    These books bring back great memories of living in Winnipeg when weโ€™d get the Eatonโ€™s catalogue, Sears and the Bay

  18. fabulousandfunlife permalink
    May 18 12:46 am

    What a fascinating book find! I love finding old books like these. I remember as a child seeing books like these on my grandparents bookshelf.

  19. May 18 1:46 am

    I love the retro print of the beach hut. I love browsing books and looking at old photos.

  20. May 18 5:37 am

    Oh wow. What an incredible book. It’s like a time capsule. I haven’t been to Canada yet

  21. Patrick H permalink
    May 18 11:18 am

    So many memories! I need to read this as Iโ€™ve traveled all over the world but neglected a lot of my home country of Canada… great post keep up the good work!

  22. May 20 9:44 am

    Visited Toronto once and always long for time to travel back there. Such a lovely place. I want to read this book before I stepped right back in ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. May 23 10:59 pm

    I still remember the Eaton’s by my house growing up in Edmonton. This makes me a little nostalgic for home, as I live abroad now. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Amรฉlie permalink
    May 31 10:00 am

    I love this. Canada is my happy place since I had the chance to stay there for a couple of months…Need to read that book โค

  25. June 3 6:18 am

    I love when you get a great find like this! Thanks for sharing the pics from it.

  26. June 10 2:39 pm

    Oh Canada, how I love thee. An awesome part of history.

  27. June 27 3:52 am

    What a beautiful book! I love to find beautiful items like this in unexpected places. Makes me want to visit Canada too!

  28. June 29 12:53 am

    I love some good history, I found this super interesting! I look forward to visiting some of these unique sites.

  29. July 24 9:43 pm

    Canada is wonderful! I have lived and traveled extensively in Canada over the past 9 years – now Canada is home. So wonderful to read and view some many beautiful pictures ๐Ÿ’•

    Thanks so much for sharing

  30. August 3 10:30 am

    What a beautiful book! I learned a lot about Canadian history at a museum in Ottawa – fascinating country!

  31. August 3 3:49 pm

    Have huge love for Canada hope to visit someday.

  32. italiantripabroad permalink
    August 10 12:56 pm

    Canada is amazing, I would love to visit it one day. No plan yet for it. It is not a huge travel place, but I still in love with it, the only concerning is about the weather and I will plan this trip really well to avoid it.

    • August 10 2:48 pm

      When you do come, yes plan for which season you prefer. Here in Toronto where I live it can get below -10C in the winter but in the summer it can feel +40C with the humidex! Our climate is one of extremes.

  33. James @ permalink
    August 13 10:12 pm

    This is awesome. I love the way old books are a snapshot of history and the culture at the time. Thanks for sharing.

  34. September 1 5:15 pm

    This is such an interesting read, with lots of snapshots of the countries history and culture.

  35. September 5 6:07 am

    What an amazing book! We were going to emigrate to Canada ten years ago but we ended up in New Zealand instead. (long story!) Canada still holds a very special place in our hearts!

  36. September 6 2:03 pm

    It would be a lot if fun for kids in my classroom to see this book when we’re learning about Canada! ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. September 15 6:50 pm

    Really enjoyed this post. Thank you

  38. September 17 3:57 pm

    What a great find! I am always trying to learn more about Canada but my American view often does get in the way. Can you recommend any good books to learn more that have not been Americanized?

    • September 17 5:57 pm

      Hmmm, as a Canadian I’ve not thought about this! I’ll give it a go and let you know if I come up with any recommendations.

  39. September 18 1:07 am

    Wish I could add this to my book shelf! I love finding historic books ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. September 23 1:27 pm

    This encourages me to go to garage sales and to take my time looking at books- you really never know what you may find! Great story.

  41. September 27 4:54 pm

    What a great blast from the past. I am definitely going to go to more garage sales. Its always interesting to learn about the history of a country. My husband is from Toronto so we are planning to visit in the next few months

  42. November 8 9:28 am

    I’ve never been to Canada but this is seriously making me want to go! It always looks so beautiful.

  43. November 8 9:42 am

    Oh wow what an amazing find. My cousin’s daughter is studying Canadian history and is planning a 6 month trip to Canada as part of her studies, she would love this book!

  44. November 8 11:06 am

    My family and I got to visit Canada last summer (Banff, Yoho, Vancouver BC, etc.) during the big 150 and had an absolutely fantastic time. We all immediately felt a connection to the Canadian vibe. And we got to visit PEI and Nova Scotia this past summer and fell even more in love with it. I could literally spend every summer (and maybe fall) for the rest of my life in Nova Scotia and be a happy camper.

    And yes, the American views of Canada can be disheartening and frustrating sometimes, but you guys keep being you. We love you!

  45. November 8 12:44 pm

    What a cool collection of articles. I can’t believe how young the country is, officially. I cam across this as I’m looking to visit soon, especially Banff an Golden, such a beautiful country,

  46. November 8 1:14 pm

    What a brilliant find, those illustrations are so fantastic!

  47. Admin permalink
    November 8 3:59 pm

    We road tripped across Canada for 150 days for Canada’s 150th, creating a web series out of it on YouTube. Sooooo many things to see and do here….

  48. November 8 8:01 pm

    What a great find! I love vintage books, especially ones that show old ads; it’s like a little peek back into time.

  49. November 10 12:13 pm

    What an amazing find! Love a trip down memory lane.

  50. November 11 2:55 am

    I love Canada and this book looks like a great read! thanks for sharing โค

  51. November 27 10:01 am

    I am a Canadian living Marrakech ( and I miss home so much sometimes. Thank you for posting this! It makes me feel happy inside!

  52. mammainpearls permalink
    November 29 12:44 pm

    I love old books like this! It’s like a window to the past to see the way people thought, spoke, dressed, and lived. I love seeing the differences between then and now but also how similar we still are – it’s a great connection to human history. Thanks for sharing!

  53. December 21 11:19 pm

    Very cool. Inspires another trip to Canada!

  54. December 26 3:38 pm

    Just found this while searching out things on Cananda for a unity study with my 4th Grader! thanks for all the pics – they are great for helping her visualize it!

  55. brittany douglas-clark permalink
    December 27 8:21 pm

    I love old books. There is so much history behind them. Thanks for sharing. I have not yet made a trip to Canada, but am hoping to soon!

  56. January 5 11:22 am

    This is a nice vintage book finding! So nice!

  57. March 30 4:37 am

    This pics are so inviting . Cant wait to plan my canadian Trip

  58. May 4 5:09 am

    What a great find! I always look for those sorts of things at boot sales

  59. May 15 11:19 pm

    Great book find and I now want to plan trip to Canada!

  60. May 16 9:47 am

    It’s great to learn about such things! Especially that we are planing our Canada trip ๐Ÿ™‚
    So excited to have some adventures there ๐Ÿ˜€
    Thanks for sharing!

  61. May 26 9:16 pm

    Absolutely loved our trip to Toronto! Never felt cold like it but it is a beautiful city.

    • May 27 10:25 am

      Glad you enjoyed Toronto!

      It can get wintery cold in, well, the winter. ๐Ÿ™‚ But it can get down right tropical in our hot, humid summers. A climate of contrasts.

  62. May 30 7:29 am

    Beautiful vintage books! Takes me back to our visit to Toronto years ago!

  63. June 26 5:49 am

    I cannot imagine your joy when you found this book! I got as a present a vintage travel book on Vienna, where we live, and was literally in awe at all the photos for a whole week!

    • June 26 1:02 pm

      It’s really something special to be able to look back in time in our home cities that we (think) we know and love so well. ๐Ÿ˜›

  64. June 27 10:10 am

    It is always interesting to see how our cities and people’s lives changed. Here in Hungary, we have a website where anybody can submit their old images. It keeps adding up and right now there is also an exhibition of these photos. People are flocking there to see it.

    • July 2 9:43 pm

      Oooh, what is the URL? I’d love to see that. I’ve been to Budapest a couple of times. And my last name is Forint. Yup! But my family comes from Slovakia. ๐Ÿ™‚

  65. carsbarspars permalink
    July 8 12:59 pm

    I love this. As someone who visits Canada OFTEN, I’m loving the memories that the books have sparked in you.

  66. July 26 8:03 am

    Amazing to see relics of your history!

  67. July 29 1:41 pm

    Something great to know. Thanks for sharing!

  68. Mary Jo Manzanares permalink
    November 14 1:16 am

    I scour sales for vintage book finds, but ever come up with these types of finds. Any tips to help me out?

  69. January 17 3:46 am

    Wow, what an interesting find! Those photos definitely bring back memories. It’s crazy what you can find in garage sales nowadays!

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