Research Sources

Canadian Cookbooks Online

On Canadian Cookbooks Online we will gradually post the cookbooks that tell us about the foods Canadians cooked, ate and shared in the past. We welcome suggestions.

Individuals and groups are invited to participate by contributing scanned books or pamphlets to the project. These should be Canadian cookbooks that are in the public domain and not available elsewhere online. (Normally, in order for a publication to be in the public domain, the author must have been deceased for at least 50 years.) To ask about contributing a publication, please contact info@culinaryhistorians.ca.

Please Note: Ingredients, methods and cooking times listed in the cookbooks digitized on this website are consistent with the kitchen appliances and techniques that were in use in the period of publication of the various books. Current equipment and supplies may produce different results that are inconsistent with contemporary food safety theories. The Culinary Historians of Canada disclaim any liability in connection with the use of this information, especially for preserving.

Pre-1825

  • See additional resources below for links to early cookbooks published outside Canada.

1825-1876

The Home Cook Book Ladies of Toronto

1877-1899

1900-1919

 

Pamphlets

1920-1929

The Art of Sandwich Making 1926

Pamphlets

1930-1938

New Brunswick Canada Cook Book

Pamphlets

1939-1949

  • United Farmers of Canada Cookbook. United Farmers of Canada, Saskatchewan Section Limited. (Saskatoon, 1940, Driver S82.1). Available via Culinary Historians of Canada.
  • Wartime Canada: A one-stop shop for numerous WWII recipe sources, including:
    • The Victory Cook Book. Navy League Chapter IODE (Victoria, 1941, Driver B109.1)
    • Economy Recipes for Canada’s Housoldiers. Home Service Department, The Canada Starch Company, (Toronto, 1943, Driver Q284.1)
    • The Maritime Cookbook; How to Eat Well Though Rationed by Josephine Gibson (Toronto, 1943, Driver O1074.1)
    • Ration Recipes. Robin Hood Flour Mills Limited.
    • One Hundred-Portion War Time Recipes.

Also:

  • Canadiana.ca: A wide array of historical texts, including books and periodicals in all disciplines, searchable by keyword. It includes such cookbooks as:
    • The Peerless Cook Book by the Ladies of Montreal’s St. James Methodist Church (ca 1888)
    • The Molasses Cookbook. The Dominion Molasses Co. Ltd. (1912)
    • The Modern Cook Book for Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island (ca 1917-1925)
    • The Purity Cook-book. Western Canada Flour Mills Co. of Toronto (ca 1932)
  • Bon Appétit: A Celebration of Canadian Cookbooks/Les livres de cuisine canadiens à l’honneur: An archived online exhibition produced by CHC member Carol Martin for Library and Archives Canada in 2003–04. It includes books, art and artefacts representing Canadian culinary history from aboriginal traditions to modern tastes, as well as two searchable digitized cookbooks:
    • La cuisinière canadienne (Montreal, 1840, Driver Q1.1)
    • A revised edition of The Galt Cook Book (Toronto, 1898, Driver O58.2).
  • Newman Western Canadian Cookbook Collection: Prof. Lenore Newman of the University of the Fraser Valley has compiled a significant collection of online cookbooks dating from 1905 to 1968, including community cookbooks, pamphlets from food companies and related ephemera like a ration card, such as:
    • Recipes for Jam-Making. Canada Food Board (1918)
    • The Secrets of Menu Variety. Canada Starch Company (ca 1923)
    • The B.C. Apple Recipe Book (1946)
    • Damsel’s Delight by Anna Friedgut Chapter of Hadassah, Regina Chapter of Hadassah (1960)
    • Dishes of the Orient by Manitoba Buddhist Association. Maya Club. Ladies’ Auxiliary (1967)
    • Field Handling of Game: How to care for wild meat to prevent spoilage, so your wife likes the flavor. Manitoba Department of Mines and Natural Resources (1967)
    • The Art of Chinese Cooking. Chinese United Church. Ling Jun Unit (1968)
  • McCord Museum: Recipes and Food Collection. The museum holds an extensive collection of Canadian cookbooks and related material, including manuscript recipes, of which some are digitized. In addition, the “What’s Cooking in our Archives!” project documents numerous vintage recipes tested by museum staff.
  • What’s Cooking?: Nova Scotia Archives’ food history site, with 17 digitized cookbooks, including:
    • The Church of England Institute Receipt Book (Halifax, 1888, Driver NS1.1)
    • Elementary Text-book of Cookery (Halifax, 1898, Driver NS4.1)
    • The Bedford Recipe Book by the Ladies of All Saints Church Guild, (Bedford, 1910, Driver NS11.1)
    • The LaHave Cook Book by the Managers’ Auxiliary of St. John’s Church, Bridgewater, N.S. (Bridgewater, 1912, Driver NS 14.1)
    • Grand-Pré Cook Book by Ladies’ Aid of the Grand-Pré United Church (Kentville, 1939, Driver NS52.1)
    • Kitchen Army Nutrition and Receipt Book (Sydney, 1943, Driver NS56.1).
  • Foods of England, an exhaustive research site that provides links to electronic versions of important cookbooks of the past available to Canadian cooks, including (among many others):
    • Acetaria: A Discourse of Sallets by John Evelyn (1699)
    • The Cook’s and Confectioners Dictionary by John Nott (1723)
    • English Housewifry by Elizabeth Moxon (1764)
    • The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse (1747)
    • A New and Easy Method of Cookery by Elizabeth Cleland (1755)
    • The Experienced English Housekeeper by Elizabeth Raffald (1769)
    • The Complete Confectioner by Frederick Nutt (1789)
    • The Art of Cookery Made Easy and Refined by John Mollard (1802)
    • A New System Of Domestic Cookery by Maria Rundell (1807)
    • The London Art of Cookery by John Farley (1811)
    • The Practice of Cookery by Mrs. Dalgairns (1830)
    • The Cook’s Oracle by William Kitchiner (1830)
    • Modern Cookery for Private Families by Eliza Acton (1845)
    • Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery by Auguste Escoffier (1903)
  • Recipes from Scotland, 1680s to 1940s: An attractive and useful (though somewhat difficult to navigate) compilation from the National Library of Scotland, which includes commentary and recipes from published books and manuscript cookbooks.
  • Cookbooks and Home Economics Collection: More than 3,800 downloadable and printable books from the Young Research Library Department of Special Collections at UCLA, the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Prelinger Library available through the Internet Archive, including such classics as Mrs. Beeton’s Household ManagementThe Cook’s Oracle by William Kitchiner and The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook by Fannie Farmer.
  • Feeding America: A digital collection of over 75 of the most important American cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th centuries, based at Michigan State University Library. Several of the featured books were commonly used in Upper Canada.
  • What America Ate: An interactive website and online archive about food in the Great Depression, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, based on sources from the America Eats Project, which documented American eating across the country, including almost 200 community cookbooks and thousands of food-advertising materials from the 1930s.
  • The Sifter: A searchable database designed to assist people with food-related questions that includes over 5,000 authors and 5,000 works with details about the authors and about the contents of the works.

Suggestions for Further Reading

Periodicals

  • Canadian Living (1975-  )
  • Chatelaine (1928-  )
  • “Cooking Chat” columns by Mrs. William Wallace (née Thompson) writing as “Marie Holmes” in the Toronto Daily Star (1934-1947)
  • “Three Meals a Day” columns by Jessie Read in the Evening Telegram (1930s)
  • Columns by Margo Oliver in Weekend (1959-1982), a newspaper supplement that merged with The Canadian in 1979 to become, briefly, Today.

1930s

  • Three Meals a Day Cookbook by Jessie Read (1938)

1940s

  • Cooking…with an Accent by Helen Gougeon (1946)
  • Kate Aitken’s Canadian Cook Book (1945)

1950s

  • Secrets et recettes du cahier de ma grand’mère by Jehane Benoît (1959)

1960s

  • L’encylopédie de la cuisine canadienne / The Encyclopedia of Canadian Cuisine by Jehane Benoît (1963)
  • Second Helpings Please! by Norene Gilletz & Harriet Nussbaum (1968)
  • Food That Really Schmecks by Edna Staebler (1969)
  • The Graham Kerr Cookbook, by the Galloping Gourmet (1969)
  • The Laura Secord Canadian Cook Book by Laura Secord Candy Shops (1966)
  • Pierre and Janet Berton’s Canadian Food Guide (1966, revised 1974)

1970s

  • The Canadiana Cookbook: A Complete Heritage of Canadian Cooking by Jehane Benoît (1975)
  • The Christmas Cookbook: Great Canadian Recipes by Rose Murray (1979)
  • Classic Canadian Cooking by Elizabeth Baird (1974)
  • Cooking with Mona by Mona Brun (1977)
  • Ginger Tea Makes Friends by James Barber (1971)
  • Madame Benoît’s Microwave Cook Book by Jehane Benoît (1975)
  • More Food That Really Schmecks by Edna Staebler (1979)
  • Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens by Marie Nightingale (1970)

1980s

  • Across the Table, An Indulgent Look at Food in Canada by Cynthia Berney Wine (1985)
  • Canadian Family Cooking, Best of Regional Recipes by Norman Kolpas (1986)
  • The Canadian Living Cookbook by Carol Ferguson and the food writers of Canadian Living Magazine (1987)
  • The Canadian Living Microwave Cookbook, by Margaret Fraser and the food writers of Canadian Living Magazine (1988)
  • The Canadian Living Rush Hour Cookbook by Margaret Fraser and the food writers of Canadian Living Magazine (1989)
  • Coast to Coast, A Province by Province Guide to Easily Prepared Canadian Gourmet Meals by Sheila Shepherd (1984)
  • From the Kitchens of the World: A Canadian Feast by Val Clery & Jack Jensen (1981)
  • The Great Canadian Cookbook: A Celebration Of Canadian Traditions and Cooking by Bunny Barss (1987)
  • James Barber’s Immodest but Honest Good Eating Cookbook (1986)
  • Lucy Waverman’s Seasonal Canadian Cookbook (1989)
  • Rose Murray’s Vegetable Cookbook (1983)
  • Wok with Yan Television Cookbook by Stephen Yan (1988)

1990s

  • The BamBoo Cooks! Recipes from the Legendary Nightclub by Richard O’Brien and Patty Habib (1997)
  • Byron’s New Home Cooking by Byron Ayanoglu (1993)
  • The Canadian Living Entertaining Cookbook by Carol Ferguson and the food writers of Canadian Living magazine (1990)
  • A Century of Canadian Home Cooking by Carol Ferguson & Marg Fraser (1992)
  • The Dave Nichols Cookbook (1993)
  • Marie Nightingale’s Favourite Recipes (1993)
  • The New Canadian Basics Cookbook by Carol Ferguson (1999)
  • The Ontario Harvest Cookbook, An Exploration of Feasts and Flavours by Julia Aitken and Anita Stewart (1996)
  • The President’s Choice Barbeque Cookbook, 150 Great Tastes of Summer (1995)
  • Rose Murray’s New Casseroles and Other One-Dish Meals (1996)
  • A Taste of Quebec by Julian Armstrong (1990, revised 2001)
  • The Urban Peasant: Recipes from the Popular Television Cooking Series by James Barber (1994)