Magazines, Travel and Middlebrow Culture in Canada 1925-1960

Project Themes: Travel

Some of the most sumptuous advertisements to appear from 1925-60 in the mainstream magazines represented were for travel.  Advertisers were keen to target the emerging middle class of Canada, the members of which had more wealth and free time than previous generations had had.  The question for each individual belonging to, or aspiring to belong to, this class was how best to spend their time and money.  As the advertisements featured here suggest, travel offered more than the enjoyment provided by fine food, sports and dancing, and tours of foreign cities.  Beyond providing immediate pleasure, travel was construed as a long-term investment: to have gone on a journey, as many travel-themed articles and works of fiction in the magazines attest, marked one out as cultured and refined.  Moreover, travel was a means of connecting with personages one might not otherwise encounter – on a cruise ship, a bank manager from a small town could rub shoulders with a captain of industry, and who knew where such social affiliations could lead, personally or professionally?  In response to this question, advertisers were quick to supply a host of fantasies, as their images of luxury overlapped with solutions to readers’ presumed desire for upward mobility.

Links to our resources:

Selected travel articles


Gallery of all travel ads (not divided by company)

Gallery of Canada Steamship ads

Gallery of Canadian National ads

Gallery of Canadian Pacific ads

Gallery of travel-themed covers

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Arts and Humanities Research CouncilUniversity of Strathclyde CWRC