Magazines, Travel and Middlebrow Culture in Canada 1925-1960

Magazine name: Canadian Home Journal
Years: 1905-1958
City: Toronto
Publisher: Consolidated Press Ltd.
Language: English

Downloadable files:
Table of contents, September, 1930. Link to PDF (~1mb)
Table of contents, January, 1931. Link to PDF (~1mb)
Table of contents, March, 1932. Link to PDF (~1mb)
Table of contents, April, 1932. Link to PDF (~1mb)
Index of advertisers, August, 1951. Link to PDF (~1mb)
Full issue, August, 1932. Link to PDF (28mb) Note: As the pdf contains internal links, it is best viewed in Adobe Reader (Win/Mac) or Preview (Mac). Right-click on the PDF to download it and view it this way. See also our Canadian Home Journal materials on the CWRC repository.

The Canadian Home Journal (1910-1958, published as The Home Journal 1905-1910) is less famous than Chatelaine, yet it offers fascinating insights into how mainstream periodicals addressed female readers, promoted Canadian authors, and circulated advertisements for consumer products.  Whilst the layout, selection of contents, and advertisements in the Journal and Chatelaine were nearly identical, the way in which the Journal addressed its readers suggests that it appealed primarily to residents of Ontario, and that it aimed to reach an older demographic.  The Journal was also more overtly religious, publishing pieces by ministers and referring to religious authorities regarding questions of child-rearing, marriage, and community.  Like Chatelaine, the Journal  was strongly committed to promoting the works of Canadian authors, although its importance to literary history has been rather underestimated. It published many authors who were popular novelists in their own time (such as Louis Arthur Cunningham and Leslie Gordon Barnard), as well as several who have since become part of the Canadian canon (Mazo de la Roche, L.M. Montgomery, Martha Ostenso).

The Canadian Home Journal had a variety of owners in its early years, but eventually became part of Consolidated Press, which also published Saturday Night. It had a healthy readership: in 1925, the Journal had 68 000 net paid subscribers (Sutherland 156), and this number doubled to 132 000 by 1930 (Sutherland 160).  In 1940, monthly circulation was listed as 260 000 (‘Twenty-five Years Ago!’ Nov. 1940 2), and this figure rose to roughly 500 000 households throughout the 1950s (Sutherland 249). The periodical consistently attracted the advertising it needed to stay in print, but its profits did not satisfy multi-millionaire Jack Kent Cooke, who purchased the magazine in 1952 only to sell it to the Maclean Publishing Co. in 1958.

In comparison with the other three Anglophone magazines included in this project, the Journal, was less focused on travel—yet, ideas about foreign cultures did figure prominently, most notably through features on the Royal Family.  The 1949 piece “They’re a Happy Family,” by Mollie McGee, showcased the royal family at home in Buckingham Palace, whilst the 1947 article “Princess Elizabeth Comes of Age” by Grace Garner, discussed the princess’s wardrobe for a trip to South Africa.  In both instances, visiting a faraway place was presented as a fantasy, one that was underwritten by notions of class and comfort.  Moreover, the Journal hinted that desire to be well-dressed or spend a few quiet hours with one’s family in the garden were desires shared by readers and Royals alike, thus rendering the foreign familiar—even domestic.

For full references, see our Bibliography page

Please see our timeline to learn more about Canadian Home Journal’s editors and owners

 

Accessing the magazine

Relatively complete print runs of the Canadian Home Journal are available at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (University of Toronto) and at Library and Archives Canada.  Full runs on microfilm are available at both of these libraries, amongst others.  Print copies dating from 1938-58 are also available in the stacks at Robarts Library (University of Toronto). Some issues from 1909-12 and 1918-22 are online in the Internet Archive. See also the issues and selections we have uploaded to the CWRC repository.


  • August 1930

  • September 1930

  • October 1930

  • November 1930

  • December 1930

  • June 1931
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