The Canada Directory 1853/54


Cat No.:   CA0088:

Robert W. S. MacKay's second edition of Lovell's commercial guide and information handbook to the newly Confederated (1841) Provinces of Lower and Upper Canada (known as Canada East - C.E. and Canada West - C.W. in this directory.) The information it contains was current to November 1853 but the Directory was not published until 1854. Please note the Directory ONLY covers the areas which are approximated by today's Quebec and Ontario Provinces.

The Directory itself claims to contain the "Names of the Professional and Business men of every description in the Cities, Towns and Villages of Canada." Indeed, the listings include villages with only about a hundred inhabitants. Each entry is accompanied with a short description of the place's location, its distance to the nearest principal cities and in many cases the normal stage or steamboat fare to get there. The directory makes no distinction between Professional and Business men so, for instance, ministers & doctors will all be found listed side by side with innkeepers and carpenters. For the larger cities the description is enlarged to include some of the history and important events while the listing is expanded to include all sorts of resident officials and government appointed agents. There are also many engraved advertisements for the local businesses. For the Major cities, like Quebec, Toronto and Montreal, this can expand the city's listing to cover several tens of pages.

These listings are further enhanced by an Appendix giving the information on "newly" formed villages and providing new and updated information on those places already listed.

There is also a large section of the book devoted to "Miscellaneous Matters" whose scope defies a full description but which contains such useful information as: the names of the ministers of ALL of the churches, the population of towns, counties and cities taken from the Census of 1850, and a directory to ALL the post offices in the Confederation. The book is completed with a large section of advertisements for businesses in the Eastern and Central United States of America.

This is a very rare directory, in fact we couldn't even find a copy of this edition listed in the holdings of the Library and Archives of Canada. They have copies of the previous (and we believe 1st) 1851 edition, and the later (3rd) 1857 edition. We were looking for another copy because we discovered that six pages have been carefully cut from our copy and we wanted to try and complete it. Only four of the pages are actually in the directory section, two each in the Toronto and Montreal sections. It's possible to determine what was on the missing pages and from this it can be concluded that the pages were removed by someone wanting them to make a journey to the US to look for work. We will continue to look for these pages and will publish them for free downloading when we have found them. If you have, or know of anyone who has, a copy of this 1853 edition please contact us.

The book numbers 691 pages and is packed with useful information from cover to cover. As the cities, towns and villages are listed alphabetically, and the book contains several indices, it is very easy to find your way around in it. We have, however, formatted our copy on CD for text searches using the free download pdf interpreter programs like Adobe Reader™.

No. of CDs is:  1 ;   Format is:  PDF ;   Searchable?:  YES;

FastFind:  No;  ISBN No.:   1-897338-30-9;