Imagining Canada Isn’t Your Average Coffee Table Book

I’m a big fan of a beautiful books that can be featured on display when guests walk into your home. Titles that have made the coffee table “spot” in the past have been:

1. Dylan’s Candy Bar
2. At Home with Books

In early meeting discussions about Imagining Canada, I knew that it was going to make the coffee table cut, at first, because I thought the cover was so magnificent. Then I opened it and looked at image after image of how our American neighbors viewed Canadians and I was blown away with each photograph and the touching stories that accompanied each chapter from some of my favorite authors (Ian Brown and Lisa Moore).

As the subtitle suggests, this is “A Century of Photographs Preserved By The New York Times”. Editorial Director and Executive Director of TORO magazine, William Morassutti and Chris Bratty, founder of TORO had a vision when Bratty purchased the images of Canada from The New York Times. As William Morassutti explains in the introduction,

It was fascinating to discover that America has been looking at us for awhile. And not just looking at us but taking photographs of us – documenting Canadians and our Canadian way of life over the course of the entire twentieth century. Further, it hasn’t merely been “America” observing us but America through the lens of The New York Times, arguably the world’s most prestigious journalistic institution.

It’s been a cold and wet weekend here in T.O., so the perfect Saturday afternoon activity was to sit down with this stunning collection and take a photographic journey through Canadian history. You’ll see images of the components that make up the beautiful nation we live in, landscapes, first nations, hockey and icons (including a picture of the ever talented Margaret Atwood in 1986).
Each section is paired with a personal and touching essay from authors, political voices and journalists.

As the title of this post suggests, this book is so much more book decor, it’s a piece of Canadian history.

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