Symbols of Canada

Symbols of Canada

  • history-politics-current-affairs
  • pop-culture
  • wilderness-outdoors-nature

From Timbits to totem poles, Canada is boiled down to its syrupy core in symbolic forms that are reproduced not only on t-shirts, television, and tattoos but in classrooms, museums, and courtrooms too. They can be found in every home and in every public space. They come in many forms, from objects — like the red-uniformed Mountie, the maple leaf, and the beaver — to concepts — like public healthcare, peacekeeping, and saying “eh?”.

But where did these symbols come from, what do they mean, and how have their meanings changed over time? Symbols of Canada gives us the real and surprising truth behind the most iconic Canadian symbols revealing their contentious and often contested histories. With nearly 200 images, this book thoroughly explores Canada’s true self while highlighting the unexpected twists and turns that have marked each symbol’s history.


Donald Wright, editor

Donald Wright is a professor of political science at the University of New Brunswick.

Catherine Gidney, editor

Catherine Gidney is a professor of history at St. Thomas University. She writes about youth culture and students in revolt over everything from vending machines to curfews to war. She is the author of Tending the Student Body: Health, Youth and the Rise of the Modern University, 1900-1960 and A Long Eclipse: The Liberal Protestant Establishment and the English-Canadian University Campus, 1920-1970.

Michael Dawson, editor

Michael Dawson is Professor of History at St. Thomas University where he teaches courses on Canadian History, the global history of sport and tourism, and the comparative history of national identity and popular culture in Canada, New Zealand and Australia. In 2014 he was elected to the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.


  • "Symbols of Canada" offers intriguing and eye-opening context for commonly known parts of Canadian identity. - Maria Alejandra, Ottawa Life Magazine Link to review

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: Between the Lines



rights available: World

Additional Information

age range: Adult

number of pages: 256

publication date: 10/01/2018

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: finished book

Additional Materials: Includes nearly 200 images