Vintage Picture Map Geography of Canada


I recently came across a copy of an old school book, “Picture Map Geography of Canada and Alaska” by Vernon Quinn, that includes charming woodcut picture maps by Bruno da Osimo, a then noted Italian illustrator, for each of the Canadian provinces (other than Nunavut, which was then part of the Northwest Territories).  Originally published in 1944 and updated in 1954, it has a light but well-written chapter devoted to individual provinces.  Each map features animals, plants, activities and industries peculiar to the province depicted.  In addition to the maps (scanned in above and below), the book is adorned throughout with other delightful illustrations by da Osima (some of which I’ll compile in a future post).

alberta british-columbia manitoba-saskatchewan newfoundland nova-scotia-new-brunswick-pei ontario-2 quebec yukon


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41 responses

      • Oh…. bite your tongue! There’s quite a rivalry between the two!

        But I wonder whether, in that stylized map, making Edmonton bigger was to suggest its importance as the provincial capital city, or whether, in the 1950s when this map was illustrated, E-town did have more skyscrapers.

        1954 puts it well into post oil/gas discovery time in Alberta. And it seems to me that Calgary, as the home to many head offices of oil & gas companies and all the industries that support that (from banks and insurances to legal offices) would have begun to develop in that direction by then.

        It’s just a curiosity. I have some old geography elementary school books from the 20’s and 40s at home… now I want to give them a second look!

      • That’s all a good part of the story. I think in the map pictures the provincial capital is noted with a star on the key and the larger cities are listed (1,2,3, etc.) in order of size at that time. So the later oil boom probably caused Calgary to overtake Edmonton not too long after the 1954 update.

    • 🙂 I may spend too much time browsing hither and yon through old bookstores and vintage repositories and am usually alert to old art graphics so this one stood out both for its subject matter and art.

  1. Pingback: Some great old maps from Canada – The Map Den

  2. The animals of each district were my favorite part of the map. I usually draw pen and ink drawings which aren’t always realistic. I like artists who can make animals look realistic as this map artist did, Brett. ~ Robin

  3. Pingback: HISTORY SHARE: VINTAGE PICTURE MAP OF CANADA | Time Travelling With Kids

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