"By picturing to our own people the broad dominion they possess, its resources and progress, its monuments and industry, its great men and great events, such a paper would teach them to know and love it better, and by it they would learn to feel still prouder of the proud Canadian name."
George Edward Desbarats
Proprieter and Publisher
Canadian Illustrated News
George Edward Desbarats (1838-1893) was born in Quebec City, about 300 kilometres from Montreal, where the offices of the Canadian Illustrated News would be located. Desbarats came from a family of master printers that could be traced back more than two centuries.
Early in his life, it seemed that young Desbarats would not be following in his family's footsteps. At Holy Cross College, he was recorded as having difficulties with English and French. It was apparent that he had trouble separating the two in his writing. However, in pursuing his education at Holy Cross College and Montreal's Collège St-Marie, he eventually mastered the languages. He went on to successfully complete his studies in law at Laval University. After finishing his term with a law firm, Desbarats put off practicing to take a trip to Europe, where he saw the original family printing office. He at once experienced a great sense of tradition, and his true passion was awakened. From then on, George Edward Desbarats's life would be dedicated to setting new standards for Canadian printers.