15 Must-Read Books Set in Canada

There’s a lot to love about Canada. From its pristine wilderness and stunning landscapes to its friendly, down-to-earth people,…

This post may contain affiliate links that earn me a commission at no additional cost to you.

There’s a lot to love about Canada. From its pristine wilderness and stunning landscapes to its friendly, down-to-earth people, Canada is a place that’s hard not to fall for. Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure or just want to relax in a picturesque town, Canada has it all!

From the bustling cities of Toronto and Vancouver to the stunning natural beauty of Niagara Falls and the Rocky Mountains, there’s something for everyone in Canada.

Canada’s beautiful landscape and years of history have inspired novels and nonfiction by authors from around the world.

So if you want to know what Canada feels like, we invite you to choose a book from this list to read.


Grab your favorite Canadian books here:

Novels and Fiction set in Canada

The Blind Assassin

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

With this story, Atwood takes you back in time to the 1930s and 1940s.

At the center of the story is her fascinating narrator, Iris, whose memoirs are mixed with press clippings about her family and a book also called “The Blind Assassin,” the masterpiece for which her sister Laura is remembered.

Iris, who is now an old woman, decides to tell her life story and in it, the war, the secrets, the conspiracies, the loves, and the revenge marked the destiny of the Chase Family.

To find out what is hidden behind “The Blind Assassin” enjoy reading this wonderful book by Margaret Atwood.

Buy on Amazon | View in Goodreads

a place called winter

A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale

Inspired by a real-life family mystery of a family member who emigrated to Canada, this book tells a story of self-discovery and hope, but it is also a story of loss and endurance.

Harry Crane is a family man, living quietly and unassumingly with his wife Winnie Wells and their young son in 1900s London. But when life gets tough, Harry is forced to leave everything behind and emigrate to Winter, Canada, a place of prairies, to work as a farmer.

The author has taken a personal family story and has turned this into something poetic and haunting.

Buy on Amazon | View in Goodreads

Lives of Girls and Women

Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro

The book chronicles the growth of Del Jordan, a girl in rural Ontario in the 1940s, but when she begins to spend more time in the city, she surrounds herself with women: her mother, her mother’s houseguest, and her best friend.

Through these unwitting mentors and in her own encounters with sex, birth, and death, Del explores the bright and dark sides of womanhood.

Although it is classified as a novel, this book is a collection of short stories about the same character, Del.

Buy on Amazon | View in Goodreads

girls fall down

Girls Fall Down by Maggie Helwig

People collapse all over the city in subways, trams, and shopping malls, always provoked, they say, by some unidentifiable smell.

Panic quickly spreads throughout Toronto and words like poisoning and terrorism are broadcast through the air.

“Girls Fall Down” will make you think; it will make you feel and make you question your own purpose.

It is a novel steeped in romance and politics, utterly compelling in its portrayal of our social and individual instability, and steadfast in its belief in redemption.

Buy on Amazon | View in Goodreads

Life of Pi 1

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The protagonist, Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, a Tamil boy from Pondicherry survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

“Life of Pi” is divided into three sections. The story tells from Pi’s childhood to his adult life. He goes through moments of his life in his father’s zoo, the trip to Canada with his family, his effort to survive in the lifeboat, among the animals, and delusions due to thirst and hunger.

It’s a transformational novel about faith and inner strength that will surprise you if you can grasp the depth of his story.

Buy on Amazon | View in Goodreads

The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

This is one of Jack London’s most famous books, “The Call of the Wild”. It is a short novel written in 1903.

The book is set in Yukon, Canada during the Klondike Gold Rush in the 1890s, a time when sled dogs were in high demand. The novel revolves around a dog named Buck and his literal and metaphorical journey.

From being stolen and sold as a sled dog to surviving in the harsh frozen environment, Buck eventually sheds the veneer of civilization and emerges as a leader in the wild.

Buy on Amazon | View in Goodreads

Non-fiction books about Canada

the day the world came to town

The Day the World Came to Town by Jim DeFede

This book is the true story of what happened in a small town in Canada during 9/11.

On 9/11, 38 passenger planes bound for the United States were forced to land at Gander International Airport in Newfoundland, Canada. This is the inspiring story of how the people of Gander treated nearly 7,000 passengers with gestures of friendship and acts of goodwill.

If you’re looking for an inspiring non-fiction story to read I’m sure this is the one for you, it’s a candid account of humanity at its best during its darkest hours.

Buy on Amazon | View in Goodreads

Alias Grace

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

The book tells the story of the life of Grace Marks, one of Canada’s more infamous killers.

Grace Marks was barely 16 when she and James McDermott were arrested in 1843 for the brutal murder of their employer Thomas Kinnear and his pregnant housekeeper Nancy Montgomery.

McDermott was hanged, and Grace was given the dubious mercy of life imprisonment.

Some people are of the opinion Grace was insane, others hold her completely responsible for the crime, while others believed she may have been manipulated to commit the crime.

But Grace does not remember the murders, she has lost her memory and Atwood builds a narrative with Dr. Simon Jordan, who investigates the case to determine if she is a true murderer or if she is a good-hearted woman, a victim of circumstances.

Atwood not only crafts an eerie, unsettling tale of murder and obsession, but also a stunning portrait of the lives of women in another time.

Buy on Amazon | View in Goodreads

saga boy

Saga Boy by Antonio Michael Downing

Antonio Michael Downing wrote a memoir that will get under your skin and stay there.

Raised by his grandmother in the lush rainforest of southern Trinidad, Downing, at age 11, is uprooted to Canada when she dies. He and his older brother are sent to live with his stern, evangelical Aunt Joan, in Wabigoon, a tiny northern Ontario community where they are the only black children in the town.

In this wilderness, he begins his journey as an immigrant minority, using music and performance to transform himself.

Saga Boy is a heart-wrenching but moving story of an immigrant boy who overcomes adversity and abandonment to reclaim his black identity and embrace a rich heritage.

Buy on Amazon | View in Goodreads

extraordinary canadians

Extraordinary Canadians: Stories from the Heart of Our Nation by Peter Mansbridge

This book encompasses a collection of first-person stories about notable Canadians who embody great values of this nation – kindness, compassion, courage, and freedom – to inspire us to take the same actions.

Without a doubt, these people are making Canada a better place. From the young woman living with Crohn’s disease and proudly modeling her ostomy bag to the rabbi whose family fled Nazi Germany, and who now gives the benediction on Parliament Hill each Remembrance Day.

Extraordinary Canadians celebrate the people who have overcome adversity and broken down barriers to champion the rights and freedoms of everyone who calls Canada home.

Buy on Amazon | View in Goodreads

Children’s books set in Canada

the secret life of owen skye

The Secret Life of Owen Skye by Alan Cumyn

Middle child Owen and his two brothers live in a small town in Ontario with their parents and uncle and have a knack for getting themselves into ridiculous spots of trouble.

Owen’s days are magical and full of adventures with his brothers as they observe the curious world of adults and ponder the secret mysteries of life, death, and love.

Buy on Amazon | View in Goodreads

ABC of Canada

ABC of Canada by Kim Bellefontaine

From the Arctic to Zamboni, kids can follow the alphabet on a colorful tour across Canada. On their journey, they’ll visit Canadian landmarks, including Jasper National Park and Peggy’s Cove. They’ll also meet friendly characters enjoying Canadian pastimes.

Vivid illustrations and simple language guarantee that even the youngest traveler will enjoy this trip!

Buy on Amazon | View in Goodreads

canada year by year

Canada Year by Year by Elizabeth MacLeod

The year-by-year journey through Canada’s fascinating history highlights a milestone for each year, from the country’s founding in 1867 to its 150th anniversary in 2017.

Coverage ranges from politics, sports, business, arts, and culture, and includes significant events in both the country and world affairs.

The topics chosen offer an inclusive historical perspective, incorporating women, Aboriginal peoples, and people with disabilities into Canada’s rich and diverse narrative.

Buy on Amazon | View in Goodreads

Young adult books set in Canada

anne of green gables

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Since the death of her parents, Anne Shirley has never known family life, only living in foster homes and orphanages.

At age 11, she is mistakenly sent to live with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert in a country house called Green Gables. But Anne was not the child they hoped to adopt to help them with the farm.

This classic is set in Prince Edward Island and while it’s now considered a read for kids and teens, it’s great for adults too. It is a story of love, friendship, and mischief in which Anne wins the hearts of the Cuthberts and the readers as well.

Buy on Amazon | View in Goodreads

emily of new moon

Emily of New Moon by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Emily Starr never knew what it was to be lonely until her beloved father died. Now, Emily is an orphan and will have to live with Elizabeth and Laura, her spinster aunts. Laura is sweet and easy-going, but Elizabeth is stubborn and demanding, which makes her one of Emily’s biggest challenges.

She’s sure she won’t be happy, but soon, she will find that New Moon is a lovely place and her life will change together with her new friends from school.

Buy on Amazon | View in Goodreads

More Books Set in Canada on my tBR List

What Are Your Favorite Books Set In Canada?

Have you read any of these books set in Canada? Do you have any favorite books set in Canada that I should add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

Where Next?

Start with this list of the very best travel adventure books. It includes great reads that will fuel your wanderlust and have you staying up late to finish them. You should also check out the following series of book lists set in other North American destinations:

New YorkFloridaOntario

Know someone else who wants to read books set in Canada? Then please pin this post.

books set in canada
books set in canada pin
Was this page helpful?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *