Magazines, Travel and Middlebrow Culture in Canada 1925-1960

Magazine name: Chatelaine
Years: 1928-present
City: Toronto
Publisher: Maclean Publishing Company (Maclean-Hunter Publishing Company from 1945); currently published by Rogers Communications
Language: English

Downloadable files:
Table of contents, June, 1928. Link to PDF (~1mb)
Table of contents, January, 1929. Link to PDF (~1mb)
Table of contents, January, 1930. Link to PDF (~1mb)
Table of contents, November, 1931. Link to PDF (~1mb)
Index of advertisers, November, 1931. Link to PDF (~1mb)
Index of advertisers, March, 1934. Link to PDF (~1mb)
Index of advertisers, December, 1935. Link to PDF (~1mb)
Full issue, June, 1928. Link to PDF (23.5mb) 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.

Chatelaine (1928-) would prove to be the Maclean Publishing Company’s third, and last, new mainstream title launched in the 1920s. It arrived in homes, and on news-stands, in March 1928, four years after Canadian Homes and Gardens had been established, and just ten months after Mayfair’s appearance. Like its immediate predecessor, Chatelaine declared a clear purpose for itself: it would serve the needs of the Canadian woman. Whilst the editorial content discussed this figure in what appeared to be broadly inclusive terms, citing a desire to reach readers coast-to-coast, whether living in remote farms or urban centres, silently present was the notion that the Canadian woman was white, middle-class, and heterosexual, and that her chief preoccupations were marriage, child-rearing, and home management. Whilst these were the magazine's overarching concerns, Chatelaine also constructed its readers as women who were concerned with health and beauty, and wished to keep up with current events and engage with Canada’s arts and letters.

Byrne Hope Sanders led the magazine from 1930-52. During her editorship, Chatelaine focused on domesticity, yet many articles and advertisements in Chatelaine looked away from the home in their discussions of both travel to Europe and travel within Canada. These articles rarely presented travel as a fantasy in the way that Mayfair pieces did. Rather, they dealt with the work entailed for a wife and mother in managing a holiday, and offered advice on everything from immunising children to planning meals to packing clothes. The emphasis in these pieces was on economy rather than extravagance.

Chatelaine’s original price was ten cents per copy, and this price did not change until 1950, when it increased to fifteen cents. From its inception until the 1960s, Chatelaine’s circulation grew year on year, from a base of 57 000 subscribers in 1928 to 122 000 in 1930 to 180 000 by 1935. By 1951, the magazine had a circulation of 374 000, and this number increased to 400 000 by 1953. In 1958, Chatelaine was merged with its competitor, Canadian Home Journal, bringing the total circulation up to 746 000. The merger followed soon after Doris Anderson was appointed as Chatelaine’s editor, making her the director of Canada’s only mainstream women’s magazine, a post she held from 1957-77. She famously revamped Chatelaine into a periodical devoted to second-wave feminism, ensuring that the magazine was attuned to the times and so continued to attract readers. Since Anderson’s departure, Chatelaine has become a much more frothy production, heavily focused on cooking, health, and beauty.

For full references, see our Bibliography page

Please see our timeline to learn more about Chatelaine’s editors and owners.

Accessing the magazine

Among the libraries which hold hard copy are Library and Archives Canada (a relatively complete and well preserved run, in bound volumes, held in Special Collections), the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto (an almost complete run in bound volumes), the Robarts library, University of Toronto (assorted unbound issues, in poor condition but easily accessible), and the Toronto Reference Library (incomplete run). Microfilm copies are available in several Canadian research libraries.

  • Chatelaine, July 1929, cover.
    July 1929
  • Chatelaine, August 1929, cover.
    August 1929
   Search our site:
 
Arts and Humanities Research CouncilUniversity of Strathclyde CWRC