By picturing our own people, the broad dominion they possess, its resources and progress, its monuments and industry, its great men and great events, such a paper would teach them to know and love it better, and by it they would feel still prouder of the proud Canadian name.”                                                                          Canadian Illustrated News,30 October 1869:16. Facsimile edition 1970.

First published by George Edward Desbarats, 30 October 1869, just two years after Confederation, this is Canada’s first national magazine. It is the first magazine in the world to successfully publish photographs by using half tone printing, an invention by William Leggo also of Québec. It was the earliest magazine to consistently publish editorial cartoons. Its French language sister magazine was L’Opinion publique, was launched a few months later on 1 January 1870, making Desbarats company the prototype for bilingual publishing in Canada.

It covered the major events in Canada, was critical of lackluster patriotism, was more oriented towards Europe than the U.S. and in these days of Britain’s less than enthusiastic support of Canada when annexation by the U.S. was a real threat, it thought of “Uncle Sam” or “Brother Jonathon” as a cunning creature of questionable trustworthiness. See JACK CANUCK.

The last issue appeared 29 December 1883, just a couple of years short of the Northwest Rebellion.


Article book:

The Canadian Encyclopedia A-For. Hurtig Publishers Ltd., 1985: “Cartoons.” Writ., Peter Desbarats: 299-300.

The Hecklers. Writ. & Ed.., Peter Desbarates & Terry Mosher. McClelland and Stewart Ltd., 1979: 30.


Canadian Illustrated News, A Commemorative Portfolio Selected and Introduced By Peter Desbarats. Ed., & Writ., Peter Desbarats. McClelland & Stewart Ltd., 1970.


C:\Users\Robert\Documents\CARTOONING ILLUSTRATION ANIMATION\IMAGE CARTOON C\CANADIAN ILLUSTRATED NEWS, 23 July 1870, 16.jpgCanadian Illustrated News, 23 July 1870: 16, Facsimile edition.