M9188.8.131.52 | Romance. Mrs. J. at Cacouna
Romance. Mrs. J. at Cacouna
John Henry Walker (1831-1899)
1869, 19th century
31.4 x 46 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Cartoon (19139) , Print (10661)
Keys to History
Vacations were all about seeking the beauty of nature, charming landscapes, the sweetness of life. Come summer, it was the rare wealthy family that did not flee the city heat, in search of the verdant countryside and water for swimming. Most packed their trunks with summer clothes, supplies and equipment of all sorts, and left behind the daily routine for the annual summer vacation. The men often had to return to the city during the summer to take care of business, but the women usually stayed in the country with the children for the entire summer season.
By making travel easier, Canada's many railroads helped to develop the vacation resort industry in the late 19th century.
The setting of this engraving is Cacouna, in the Lower St. Lawrence region, a favoured vacation destination. In the background, boats ply the river waters.
Until the early 20th century, and the introduction to Canada of the sport of skiing, the summer was the preferred vacation time.
In the 19th century, only well-to-do families could vacation at the waterfront resorts such as those along the St. Lawrence River or in the mountains of Quebec and elsewhere. Some families stayed in the numerous hotels and inns that catered to vacationers, while the most fortunate built their own summer homes.