Tramping Through the Trilliums: A Satirical History of Ontario


142 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-458-97920-1




Reviewed by Joan McGrath

Joan McGrath is a Toronto Board of Education library consultant.


The history of Ontario is generally conceded to be not exactly the most exciting or colourful in the world; on the other hand, there is a proverb to the effect that “happy is the country that has no history.” Tramping Through the Trilliums does nothing to negate the proverb. A little of this off-the-wall silliness goes a very, very long way — depends on the reader’s tolerance for the trivialization of historical events and of the personal accomplishments and exploits of those of her citizens who have reached the history books (e.g., Laura Secord and her cow both dead drunk and inventing a whopping lie to cover her carousing; the Group of Seven adjured to paint girls: “What makes you think people wanta look at pine trees?”). That’s the flavour of this self-proclaimed “historical romp,” through 142 pages of cartoon-illustrated text. Includes a (naturally) irreverent peek into the future (June 30, 2084), and several screwball lists such as an Origin of Place Names; Successful Military Campaigns of the War of 1812 (the page is blank); Places in Ontario Not Fit for a Queen; Great Ontario Inventions; and a Trivia Quiz.


French, Orland, “Tramping Through the Trilliums: A Satirical History of Ontario,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 12, 2024,