The Bookmarks

The Bookmarks


The Bookmarks

The Bookmarks

Read Your Way Across Canada

Canada is a nation of stories and storytellers—from St. John’s harbour to the islands of Haida Gwaii, from our populous southern border to the land above the treeline. Project Bookmark Canada exists to mark our stories in our spaces, by placing fiction and poetry in the exact Canadian locations where literary scenes are set. 

What do you see when you visit a Bookmark? Up to 500 words from a story or poem on a poster-sized plaque that you read while standing in the characters’ footsteps. 

Project Bookmark Canada is the only national, site-specific literary exhibit in the world. It’s a one-of-a-kind Canadian innovation—a nation-wide trail of our country’s literature, so that you can read your way across Canada.

Explore the Bookmarks

UNVEILING 1 pm, MAY 25, 2019

#24 Le cœur découvert, by Michel Tremblay

Montréal, Québec
Boulevard Saint-Laurent et Rue Prince Arthur
La Maison Leméac

Unveiling Early 2019 (TBD):

#23 If I Die Before I Wake: The Flu Epidemic Diary of Fiona Macgregor, by Jean Little

Toronto, Ontario
Collier Street at Church
Scholastic Canada

#22 Love Enough, by Dionne Brand

Toronto, Ontario
Sir Casimir Gzowski Park, Lakeshore Boulevard West
Alfred A. Knopf Canada, a division of Random House Canada

#21 “The Gable Window,” by L.M. Montgomery

Cavendish, Prince Edward Island
The Macneill Homestead, Cavendish Road
From The Poetry of Lucy Maud Montgomery,
Fitzhenry & Whiteside


#20 The City Still Breathing, by Matthew Heiti

Sudbury, Ontario
Townehouse Tavern, Elgin and Grey Streets
Coach House Books

#19 Barometer Rising, by Hugh MacLennan

Halifax, Nova Scotia
Citadel Hill
McClelland & Stewart

#18 The Convict Lover, by Merilyn Simonds

Kingston, Ontario
Garrigan Park, Church Street
ECW Press

#17 The Cat and the Wizard, by Dennis Lee, 
with Illustrations by Gillian Johnson

Toronto, Ontario
Casa Loma
HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd.

#16 The Fishers of Paradise, by Rachael Preston

Hamilton, Ontario
Desjardins Trail, harbour side, at the edge of the floating bridge
Wolsak and Wynn

#15 Any Known Blood, by Lawrence Hill

Oakville, Ontario
King and Navy Streets

#14 No Great Mischief, by Alistair MacLeod

Port Hastings, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia Visitor Centre
McClelland & Stewart

#13 The Republic of Love, by Carol Shields

Winnipeg, Manitoba
Intersection of River and Osborne, at The Gas Station Arts Centre
Random House of Canada, Ltd.

#12 The Jade Peony, by Wayson Choy

Vancouver, British Columbia
Intersection of Pender and Gore, in the heart of Chinatown
Douglas & McIntyre

#11 "The Sea Breeze Lounge," by Al Pittman

Woody Point (in Gros Morne National Park), Newfoundland
Seaside Suites, adjacent to the harbour
From Thirty-for-Sixty, Breakwater Books

#10 Sailor Girl, by Sheree-Lee Olson

Port Colborne, Ontario
Lock 8 Park, Welland Canal
The Porcupine’s Quill

#9 "Giants," by John Terpstra

Hamilton, Ontario
Sam Lawrence Park
From Two or Three Guitars, Gaspereau Press

#8 The Queen of Unforgetting, by Sylvia Maultash Warsh

Midland, Ontario
Little Lake Park
Cormorant Books

#7 "Song for the Field Behind Mississauga Valley Public School," by Jeff Latosik

Mississauga, Ontario
Mississauga Valleys Park footpath (east end) near Central Parkway East and Bloor Street
From Tiny, Frantic, Stronger, Insomniac Press

#6 Fugitive Pieces, by Anne Michaels

Toronto, Ontario
College and Manning Streets
McClelland & Stewart

#5 Garbo Laughs, by Elizabeth Hay

Ottawa, Ontario
Bronson Place, West side (near Fulton) at Colonel By Drive
McClelland & Stewart

#4 "Essentialist," by Ken Babstock

Toronto, Ontario
St. George and Bloor Streets, opposite the subway station
From Airstream Land Yacht, House of Anansi

#3 "Mexican Sunsets," by Bronwen Wallace

Kingston, Ontario
Princess and Clergy Streets
From Common Magic, Oberon Press

#2 Rogues' Wedding, by Terry Griggs

Owen Sound
Waterfront Trail
Random House of Canada, Ltd.

#1 In the Skin of a Lion, by Michael Ondaatje

Toronto, Ontario
Bloor Street Viaduct
McClelland & Stewart

Download the Bookmark Map


Build a Bookmark

Build a Bookmark

A Great Canadian Legacy

Project Bookmark Canada gratefully accepts undesignated gifts and designated gifts.

Undesignated contributions are vital to create the organizational infrastructure to support this great big, country-wide initiative. Make a gift today to blaze Canada’s literary trail.

Designated gifts are directly used to build the Bookmarks.


Either way, when you make a gift to Project Bookmark Canada, you’re joining an inspired group of readers and trailblazers who are building a legacy for all Canadians.

Project Bookmark Canada is a nationally registered charitable organization, CRA #82725 7569 RR0001. 

Charitable tax receipts are issued for all donations of $50 or more.


Build Bookmarks!

Project Bookmark Canada is adding stops on Canada’s literary trail – and you can help! Explore our current campaigns to make an investment in a upcoming Bookmarks. Project Bookmark Canada is a nationally registered charitable organization, CRA #82725 7569 RR0001. 

Commemorating Significant Canadian Anniversaries with Four Bilingual Bookmarks on the CanLit Trail

In 2018 and 2019 Project Bookmark Canada will unveil four bilingual Bookmarks that feature writing by acclaimed authors Jean Little, Michel Tremblay, Danny Schur with Rick Chafe, and Gregory Scofield, in Toronto, Montréal, Winnipeg and Batoche. Your contribution will help us create immersive exhibits for these Bookmarks commemorating historic events across Canada.

Read more about our anniversary Bookmarks, made possible in part by the Government of Canada with financial assistance from the Commemorate Canada Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage


Collier Street at church Street, Toronto, Ontario

If I Die Before I Wake: The Flu Epidemic Diary of Fiona Macgregor
by Jean Little

Animate this Anniversary Bookmark

A Bookmark on the CanLit Trail marking a nationally significant anniversary in Canadian history.


Jean Little’s novel, If I Die Before I Wake, tells the story of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic through the eyes of a 12-year-old girl who lives in Toronto. Fiona Macgregor details her daily life in diary entries that chronicle both the flu outbreak and its impact on her family, and a time of great change in social attitudes and customs.

This special Bookmark is the first in an Commemorate Canada Anniversary Series and marks the 100th anniversary of the Spanish Flu Pandemic in Canada. The bilingual plaques were previewed on December 10, 2018 at an event generously hosted by the Yorkville Library, with President Elect Hughena Matheson and Board member Susan Lightstone welcoming author Jean Little and her sister, Patricia, to the Library. A class of children, the same age as the character Fiona in the novel, also attended from Jesse Ketchum School. Publisher Scholastic Canada gave each student a book of their own to take home!

Jean Little herself attended the Jesse Ketchum School, and warmly answered the children’s many questions about growing up in Toronto one hundred years ago during a war and the nation’s first pandemic. The passage, in French and English, depicts a scene from Fiona’s diary at the location on Collier Street where it is set.

The installation of the Jean Little Bookmark at the foot of the historical Collier Street is scheduled for warmer temperatures this Spring! Project Bookmark Canada is grateful to the City of Toronto Transportation Department, to the Department of Canadian Heritage Commemorate Canada Program and individual donors for their support of this plaque.

Boulevard Saint Laurent & Rue Prince Arthur, Montréal, Québec

Le cœur découvert
by Michel Tremblay

Unveiling: 1 p.m. Saturday, May 25, 2019
Boulevard Saint Laurent & Rue Prince Arthur, Montréal, Québec

Michel Tremblay is a Québec novelist and playwright whose work has long enjoyed remarkable international popularity. Project Bookmark Canada commemorates the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality with the passage of Bill C-150, on May 14, 1969,  with a scene from Tremblay’s novel, The Heart Laid Bare, set in Montréal, Québec. 

Join acclaimed author Michel Tremblay and Project Bookmark Canada for a viewing of the plaques, and a reading of the passage. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Oirginally published as Le cœur découvert (Leméac, 1986), the book was published in English as The Heart Laid Bare with translation by Sheila Fischman (McClelland & Stewart, 1989), and was reissued by Talonbooks in 2002.

Animate this Anniversary Bookmark

A Bookmark on the CanLit Trail marking a nationally significant anniversary in Canadian history.


Batoche National Historic Site, Batoche, Saskatchewan

“The Sewing Circle,” from Louis: The Heretic Poems
by Gregory Scofield

Animate this Anniversary Bookmark

June 21, 2019 Batoche National Historic Site
Batoche, Saskatchewan

Louis Riel is one of the most controversial figures in Canadian history. During his short life, he headed a provisional government that led to the founding of Manitoba, and in efforts to preserve Métis rights and culture, he led resistances against the Canadian government of the day. Project Bookmark Canada commemorates the 175th anniversary of Riel’s birth (1844) with Gregory Scofield’s poem “The Sewing Circle,” which is narrated by an older woman to her fellow mothers and wives on the last day of the 1885 Resistance, at the Battle of Batoche.

Join Project Bookmark Canada and the Friends of Batoche Historic Site for the unveiling of bilingual plaques, a reading of the passage, and festivities celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Calgary’s East Village, Alberta

“Walking with Walt Whitman Through Calgary’s Eastside on a Winter Day,” from Yes, by Rosemary Griebel

On September 28, 2019, Rosemary Griebel’s poem will be unveiled as Alberta’s first Bookmark on the Canadian Literary Trail, at Loft 112, 8th Avenue SE, a literary and creative hub in the East Village. “Walking with Walt Whitman Through Calgary’s Eastside on a Winter Day” is published in Griebel’s poetry collection Yes (Frontenac House, 2011).

“When we first heard about Project Bookmark Canada and the Ondaatje Bookmark, and its work of commemorating locations where literary works are set, we were excited by the idea. Canadian landscapes, cities, and towns truly are the stuff of great literature.  Project Bookmark makes that point by physically marking the places that have touched the hearts and imaginations of writers and readers.” 

~ Glasswaters Foundation

glasswaters foundation logo.jpg
Donate to this Calgary Bookmark

Project Bookmark Canada is a nationally registered charitable organization, CRA #82725 7569 RR0001. Charitable tax receipts are issued for all donations of $50 or more.