Childhood and Family in Canadian History


221 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography
ISBN 0-7710-6938-3




Edited by Joy Parr
Reviewed by George E. McElroy

George F. McElroy was a freelance reviewer living in Oakville, Ontario.


This collection of original essays by nine eminent Canadian authorities describes childhood and child-rearing methods in Canada from the seventeenth century to the present, including child labour practices, family structure, effects of economic conditions, and the lives of children in and outside of institutions. Edited by Dr. Joy Parr, who teaches history at Queen’s University, the essays are based on archaeological evidence, paintings, photographs, census records, case files, and parish rolls. The book is one of the Canadian Social History Series devoted to in-depth studies of major themes in our history, exploring neglected areas in the day-to-day existence of Canadians.

The essays cover such subjects as “The Children of New France”; “Children of the Early Fur Trades”; “Schooling, the Economy and Rural Society in Nineteenth Century Ontario”; “Family Strategies in the Face of Death, Illness, and Poverty, Montreal 1860-1885”; “Juvenile Delinquents in Toronto”; “The Working Young of Edmonton, 1921-1931”; and “Intruders in the Nursery: Childcare Professionals Reshape the Years One to Five, 1920-1940.” The book contains many insights into the root causes of our present-day child-rearing problems as well as possible solutions. It will be of interest to the general reader and students of social history and should prove invaluable to everyone concerned with the care, behaviour, and education of children.


“Childhood and Family in Canadian History,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed December 3, 2021,