IA Book of the Week: Ontario, Premier Province of Canada

Each week, the Fisher Library highlights an item from one of its many digitized collections available to all for free on the Internet Archive. This week, Rachael takes a look at a book from our Canadiana Collection.

With the weather warming and it feeling more and more like summer, a lot of us are itching to travel and spend time outdoors. In 1923, the Province of Ontario attempted to entice visitors to the area with a 71-page travel brochure titled, “Ontario, Premier Province of Canada: the Lakeland Playground.” It was produced by the License Commissioners Board and the Government of Ontario. The Introduction begins by stating that the book was created so that those seeking “healthful rest and recreation” will have all the information they need about why they should travel to Ontario. “Nature has dealt most beautifully with this Province. In its fresh-water lakes and rivers, its pure bracing, health-giving air, Ontario is unexcelled. These first few sentences of the book implore that Ontario is a forested paradise. Not only is the province a veritable playground for outdoor enthusiasts, it also has “roadways of varied excellence.” Following this boastful introduction, there is a brief Foreword that continues to sing its praises.

There is no Table of Contents to be found in the brochure, so interested readers are meant to flip through all of the pages and browse the entire book’s contents instead of just skipping to the section they want to read. By doing so, the reader will perhaps come across a chapter they did not anticipate and could subsequently come across a part of Ontario they knew nothing about.

The areas of Ontario included in this book are Niagara, “The Lake Erie Area of South and South-Western Ontario” which highlights Port Dover, London, and Kingsville, Toronto, the Huron region, Frontenac, The Thousand Islands and more. It is interesting to note that in the sections of the book on Toronto and South and South Western Ontario there are more highlights on the urban attributes of these areas than other regions in the book.

The outdoorsy reader can rest assured though that most sections highlight Ontario's spacious green parks, fish filled lakes, and extensive wildlife. So take a look through "Ontario, Premier Province of Canada," and get excited to get out and explore the province.

- Rachael Fraser, TALint student