P. G. Downes' Photographs

The following photographs can be found in the McGahern Stewart Publishing edition of Sleeping Island by P. G. Downes.

These photographs are presented, many appearing here in their original colour, as they were originally taken by Downes. His colour photographs were some of the first ever taken in the North.

Downes ’ photos help to document his inland travels in the sub-Arctic north from 1936 to 1947, including the summer of 1939 in which Sleeping Island takes place. He took rolls of black and white film on all his journeys except that of 1947, and colour photos from 1938 through 1947. Kodachrome was not invented until 1935 and did not come into widespread use for some time thereafter. Downes’ colour transparencies were among the first ever taken in northern Canada. His 1938 Kodachrome pictures have faded badly, but those from 1939, 1940, and 1947, preserved with care by his family, have lost none of their evocative detail.

Additional photographs taken by Downes will be added to this website. We also invite submissions of photographs that document the areas Downes travelled and invite any additional information. Please contact us at mcspublishing@gmail.com.


Photographs courtesy of Mrs. E. G. Downes and R. H. Cockburn. Photographs other than Downes’ are credited in captions and are used with permission.

Click on any photograph.