Canadian World War II Posters Gallery

 War posters were a key part of the Canadian government campaign to stimulate support for World War II amongst Canadians. Canadian war posters were also used to recruit, to encourage wartime productivity and to raise money through Victory Bonds and other savings programs. Some World War II posters were also produced by private companies to encourage production.

Produced first by the Bureau of Public Information and later in World War II by the Wartime Information Board (WIB), Canadian war posters were fairly cheap to produce, could be created quickly and got a wide, sustained exposure.

01
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The Torch - Be Yours to Hold it High!

The Torch - Canadian World War II Poster
The Torch - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada C-087137

Canadian war posters in World War II were colorful, dramatic, and immediate. They were displayed in a variety of sizes just about anywhere you could imagine - on billboards, buses, in theatres, in the workplace and even on matchbox covers. These simple advertising vehicles give a quick glimpse of wartime life in Canada during World War II.

This Canadian World War II poster uses the poem "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae and the Vimy Memorial in France to evoke memories of Canadian sacrifices in war.

02
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It's Our War

It's Our War - Canadian World War II Poster
It's Our War - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-215

This Canadian World War II poster showing a strong arm holding a mallet was created by Flight Lieutenant Eric Aldwinckle. The arm and hammer depict strength and resilience in times of war. 

03
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Lick Them Over There

Lick Them Over There - Canadian World War II Poster
Lick Them Over There - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-236

This Canadian World War II recruiting poster was used to encourage Canadians to enlist and fight overseas. Showing a towering Canadian soldier, it demonstrates with its moving energy towards Europe the urgent need for enlistment volunteers.

04
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To Victory

To Victory - Canadian World War II Poster
To Victory - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-243

In this Canadian World War II poster the British lion and the Canadian beaver are armed with swords as they march together to victory. This demonstrates a united Allied front. Though Canada was not subject to direct invasion attempts by Nazi Germany, the British were frequently and decisively the subject of attack.

05
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Attack on All Fronts

Attack on All Fronts - Canadian World War II Poster
Attack on All Fronts - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1987-72-105 The Hubert Rogers Collection

This Canadian World War II poster shows a soldier with a machine gun, a worker with a rivet gun, and a woman with a hoe to encourage workers on the home front.

06
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Allons-y Canadiens

Allons-y Canadiens - Canadian World War II Poster
Allons-y Canadiens - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-245

The French version of this Canadian World War II poster urges French Canadians to enlist using the images of soldier and flag. This was an especially powerful message after the invasion of France.  

07
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Pour Vaincre

Pour Vaincre - Canadian World War II Poster
Pour Vaincre - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-254

This French Canadian World War II poster evokes the sinking of a German U-boat by the Canadian corvette HMCS Oakville in the Caribbean in 1942.

08
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Get Ready to Beat Hitler

Get Ready to Beat Hitler - Canadian World War II Poster
Get Ready to Beat Hitler - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-122

This Canadian World War II poster uses the image of a stoplight changing to green to encourage men to enlist.

09
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Canada's New Army

Canada's New Army - Canadian World War II Poster
Canada's New Army - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-303

Soldiers on motorcycles are superimposed on a crusader on a horse to illustrate Canada's new army in this Canadian World War II recruiting poster. 

10
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Come on Pal Enlist

Come on Pal Enlist - Canadian World War II Poster
Come on Pal Enlist - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1977-64-11

This is a good example of a Canadian recruitment poster from World War II. Depicting a friendly army officer, this poster was likely intended to lessen the fear associated with war. 

11
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Save Coal

Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-32
Save Coal - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada C-087524

This World War II poster urging Canadians to save coal was part of the Canadian government's campaign to encourage the public to be frugal.

12
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Get Your Teeth Into the Job

Get Your Teeth Into the Job - Canadian World War II Poster
Get Your Teeth Into the Job - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-59

This Canadian World War II poster uses a cartoon of a beaver chewing down a tree with Hitler clinging at the top to encourage the Canadian war effort. The Beaver is the Canadian national animal. 

13
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Dig In and Dig Out the Scrap

Dig In and Dig Out the Scrap - Canadian World War II Poster
Dig In and Dig Out the Scrap - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-62

This Canadian World War II poster encourages scrap recycling to help the Canadian war effort.

14
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This Is Our Strength - Electric Power

This Is Our Strength - Electric Power - Canadian World War II Poster
This Is Our Strength - Electric Power - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-103

The image of a strong hand grasping a waterfall is used on this Canadian World War II poster to promote the strength of electric power in the war effort.

15
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Only You Can Give Them Wings

Only You Can Give Them Wings - Canadian World War II Poster
Only You Can Give Them Wings - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-106

A line of war pilots is used to dramatize the call for war production from Canadians in this Canadian World War II poster.

16
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This Is Our Strength - Labour and Management

This Is Our Strength - Labour and Management - Canadian World War II Poster
This Is Our Strength - Labour and Management - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-219

The hands of a worker and businessman holding a factory are used to promote the strength of labour and management in the war effort and peace.

17
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On demande de la ferraille

On demande de la ferraille - Canadian World War II Poster
On demande de la ferraille - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-36

The image of a tank is used to demonstrate the need for scrap iron for the Canadian war effort in this Canadian World War II poster.

18
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Notre réponse - Production Maximum

Notre réponse - Production Maximum - Canadian World War II Poster
Notre réponse - Production Maximum - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-20

This Canadian World War II poster urges maximum industrial production for the war effort. Part of the war effort was making sure the Allied armies had resources to withstand the brutal conditions on the front line

19
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La vie de ces hommes

La vie de ces hommes - Canadian World War II Poster
La vie de ces hommes - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-40

This French Canadian World War II Poster says "the life of these men depends on your work" in an emotional appeal to the Canadian workforce.

20
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Careless Talk Brings Tragedy in Wartime

Careless Talk Brings Tragedy in Wartime - Canadian World War II Poster
Careless Talk Brings Tragedy in Wartime - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-128

A warning to Canadians to be careful about passing along information in wartime, this poster shows the beginnings of the atmosphere of fear that would define the Cold War

21
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She Sails at Midnight

She Sails at Midnight - Canadian World War II Poster
She Sails at Midnight - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-158

Again reflecting a sense of secrecy, ​the "She Sails at Midnight" Canadian World War II poster is a reminder that information in the wrong hands in wartime can cost lives.

22
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For Your Future Good Fortune

For Your Future Good Fortune - Canadian World War II Poster
For Your Future Good Fortune - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-573

This Canadian World War II poster used the image of four women in uniform looking into a crystal ball to sell Victory Bonds. Victory Bonds were incrementally priced bonds that were designed to be paid back to the purchaser at a greater price when the war was won. 

23
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Save to Beat the Devil

Save to Beat the Devil - Canadian World War II Poster
Save to Beat the Devil - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-1220

A cartoon image of Hitler as the Devil is used on this Canadian World War II poster to sell Victory Bonds.

24
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You've Got a Date With a Bond

You've Got a Date With a Bond - Canadian World War II Poster
You've Got a Date With a Bond - Canadian World War II Poster. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-1221

This Canadian World War II poster used the image of an attractive blonde to sell Victory Bonds.