Candymaking in Canada


124 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Bibliography
ISBN 1-55002-395-0
DDC 338.4'7664153'0971






Reviewed by J.H. Galloway

J.H. Galloway is a professor of geography at the University of Toronto.


Despite the title, this book is largely about the making of chocolate in
Canada. Carr begins with a very rushed chapter on the history of
chocolate, in which he discusses the central-American origins of
chocolate, its introduction to Europe by the Spanish, and its gradual
acceptance there. He ends this chapter with disappointingly few
paragraphs on the advances in manufacturing technology in the 19th
century that led not only to improvements in chocolate as a drink but
also to the introduction of “solid” chocolate, to be eaten in bars
and other forms. Some names from this period—van Houten, Fry,
Nestlé—are still with us.

Sixteen chapters follow, all brief, and all but two—the “History of
Sugar Candy” and “Bubble Gum”—deal with the manufacture of
chocolate in Canada. The organization is strictly chronological, from
“Chocolate Arrives in Canada” in the 19th century to the present.
Carr builds his book around the fortunes of individual companies in the
business of chocolate. The reader will learn about the Ganongs of New
Brunswick, the Moirs of Novas Scotia, the Rogerses of Vancouver and
Victoria—the Neilsons of Toronto—not to forget Laura Secord. Foreign
companies arrive with, again, familiar names: Cadbury, Fry, and Rowntree
from England, Hershey from the United States. Toward the end of the
book, companies consolidate; some are swallowed by huge conglomerates
for which the manufacture of chocolate is only a small part of their
activities in the food industry. The book is lavishly illustrated with
photos of the manufacturers, delivery wagons, workers at work, and
advertisements for chocolate.

There is very little here on the economics of the industry, no link to
the literature on the industrial history of Canada, and no discussion of
the role of the family firm in industrialization. Carr has clearly aimed
his book at a popular readership.


Carr, David., “Candymaking in Canada,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 19, 2024,