Wallpaper Canada

wallpaper canada

The well-stocked shelves and stylish sample boards in Fig. 1 suggest that wallpaper was a popular choice in Canadian homes in the past. However, a study of wallpaper consumption in Canada has yet to emerge. It is not merely that the major North American texts, such as Wallpaper in America (1980) and The Papered Wall (2005, 2nd ed), fail to mention this important topic; rather it appears that the study of wallpaper canada has largely been ignored by wallpaper historians.

It is possible, however, to reconstruct the story of Canadian wallpaper production and use. This article does so by examining the domestic market from the start of cylinder printing until 1935. It also examines the patterns of trade with Canada’s chief rival and trading partner, the United States.

Wall-to-Wall Elegance: The Allure of Wallpaper in Canada

In the early years, the growth of the industry was heavily dependent on imports. But by the mid-19th century, Canadian manufacturers were able to establish dominance of their home market. This was primarily because of the development of retail selling methods, such as sample books and postcards that enabled retailers to order room-lots of paper in advance of visits from commercial travellers. Eaton’s department store of Toronto even built a large wallpaper factory to produce goods destined mostly for mail-order customers.

During the 1860s to 1935 period, four major Canadian factories achieved this remarkable achievement by producing low-to middle-grade wallpapers at affordable prices. This was no small achievement, and it deserves better study than it has received.