Ephemera Party is where I put my favourite public domain finds (as well as images I’ve negotiated reprint rights for) and make them available as fancy art print reproductions via the studio’s fancy art print printer. The selection currently skews heavily towards urbanism, cartography, and history, because that’s what I’ve been studying lately. Whether you’re buying or just browsing, enjoy, and note that all prints include a half-inch margin. 

Official 1966 Tourist Map of Edmonton 24” square print ($40 CAD)
We all know the City of Edmonton occupies about 20 percent of my heart at any given time, and that portion of my heart swelled when I ran into this: a rare actually good-looking map of Edmonton. It’s not too pictorial, but it has the fantastic li’l Klondike Mike at bottom right. It’s not that colourful, but its colours do pop. I harvested the basic map from the Edmonton City Archives here, and it took quite a bit of editing to get it as handsome as it is right now. 

Point St. Charles Bird’s Eye View 24x18” print ($20 CAD)
In 1972 Pieter Sijpkes and Joe Carter made this incredibly detailed map of the Montréal neighbourhood of Point St. Charles as part of their McGill undergrad degrees. Fifty-some years later I’ve been lucky enough to have a coffee with Pieter and received permission to reproduce this at just above cost for anyone in (or from) the neighbourhood. Since my studio’s in the bottom left corner of the map, you can come pick up a copy instead of paying shipping by using the code “pointpickup” at checkout. I’ll e-mail you when it’s ready for you.

The Downtown District of Toronto 24x36” print  ($60 CAD)
If you spent most Friday nights cruising through arcane U of T Map & Data Library websites about the comings of goings of the Toronto Civic Transportation Committee circa 1915, you’d maybe find a yellowed and bent version of this beautiful pre-information age infographic. I did, and I’ve whitened the paper, cleaned it up, and straightened the bends, and what was once a utilitarian chart is now a utopia of organic forms (Queen’s Park) and Mondrianesque gridded lattice (everything else). We’re the only people who’ve seen this in a long, long, time. 

La Cité de Montréal by S. H. Maw 24x18” print ($40 CAD)
S. H. Maw was “a brilliant delineator, etcher, architect, cartographer and designer” who lived everywhere from England to Ontario, and there is not a more colourful, explanatory, or detailed pictorial map of Montréal than this one. It was drawn in 1942 for that city’s tercentenary celebrations, a time when he was teaching Architectural Rendering at McGill. See also Maw’s Ville de Québec in 1932 (very much in the same style) and let me know if you ever find his 1944 Ottawa illustration. 

Tourist Map of the City of Ottawa 36x24" print ($60 CAD) 
Besides being a handsome oversized map of the City of Ottawa made in 1940 by that city's Industrial and Publicity Bureau, that orange line shows a "suggested motor tour" route of Ottawa and Hull, and the box at bottom left gives a list of worthwhile stops. Someone please take the tour route and let me know if it's still fun eighty-some years later. A reproduction of an image I found at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee's map collection, of all places.

The Wonderous Isle of Manhattan 36x24” print ($60 CAD)
Manhattan. Ever heard of it? Me neither.  But according to this C. V. Farrow-designed 1926 map of the place, it’s a truly wonderous 3/4 perspective bird’s eye view crush of orchestrated architecture and careful detail. Find a short Gothamist piece about the thing here, and note that while this thing is gorgeous, it’s not rare. Shop around and you might be able to find a better size or price than this. 

City of Calgary Interim Zoning Guide 24x18” print  ($40 CAD) 
I ’m failing at keeping the Ephemera Party diverse, so here another city planning gem—this one from from the City of Calgary’s 1952 Interim Zoning Guide and drawn by C. G. A. May. I can’t remember much about how I found this, except that it was an accidental online find during a research binge, the colours may have been inverted (white lines on a blue page), it was in bad shape (I fixed it somewhat), and I was completely charmed by the “Types of Residential Buildings” diagram. If you’re a Calgary city planner or architect, why isn’t this on your wall? 

St. John's Coronation Souvenir Map 36x24" print ($60 CAD)
On the 12th of May 1937 George VI and Queen Elizabeth ascended to the throne of the Empire, and three dozen or so St. John's businesses thought it a great time to pool their advertising dollars and make this sweet two-colour map. George and Elizabeth are at top centre, the map is by city engineer W. P. Ryan, and my favourite ad is for H. J. Thomas & Son contractors and builders, who are bragging about having made Cabot Tower in 1901. Second place goes to the "Bert Guzzwell, Direct Importer & General Dealer in Heavy Duty Horses." 

Model Photo of Downtown Plan Winnipeg 18x24” print  ($40 CAD)
In the 1960s Winnipeg planners flirted heavily with the idea of bulldozing their downtown and replacing it with a concrete utopia of towers and rich white people, but thankfully they failed to do that. Also thankfully: they left behind this architectural model dating from 1969. It’s as aesthetically incredible as it is geometric and inhospitable, something I appreciate as an artifact of stylized sci-fi Canadiana rather than a place anyone should be forced to live in. The Legislature is at bottom left, Portage and Broadway cross it sideways, and Main Street is that double road at right. Note that you can read all about Winnipeg city planning history right here.