The People and the Bay
344 pages, 6 x 9
47 illustrations, 6 maps, 9 tables
Paperback
Release Date:01 Jul 2016
ISBN:9780774830423
Hardcover
Release Date:15 Jan 2016
ISBN:9780774830416
PDF
Release Date:15 Jan 2016
ISBN:9780774830430
EPUB
Release Date:15 Jan 2016
ISBN:9780774830447
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The People and the Bay

A Social and Environmental History of Hamilton Harbour

UBC Press

Far more than a local history, this book invites readers to consider how the choices they make about the natural world today will shape the cities and communities of tomorrow.

In 1865, John Smoke braved the ice on Hamilton Harbour, Ontario, to spear some bass for dinner and, he hoped, get a few extra to sell on the side. The local fishery inspector, eager to protect the area’s dwindling fish stocks, arrested him. The local magistrate then convicted Smoke for fishing on the Sabbath and chastised him for thinking he was at liberty to do as he pleased “with Her Majesty’s property.”

With this anecdote, Nancy Bouchier and Ken Cruikshank launch their history of the complicated relationship between Hamilton Harbour and the people who came to reside on its shores. From the time of European settlement through to the city’s rise as an industrial power, townsfolk struggled with nature, and with one another, to champion their particular vision of “the bay” as a place to live, work, and play. The outcomes of those struggles reflected the changing nature of power in an industrial city. From efforts to conserve the fishery in the 1860s to current attempts to revitalize a seriously polluted harbour, each generation has sought to create what it believed would be a livable and prosperous city. Bouchier and Cruikshank bring the dynamics of this history to life by drawing on a treasure trove of archival materials enriched with colourful anecdotes from the city’s past.

This highly readable book will appeal to urban planners; students and scholars interested in environmental history, social history, urban studies, sport history, and sociology; and anyone interested in the history of Hamilton, Ontario, or the Great Lakes region.

Awards

  • 2017, Winner - CLIO Prize for Ontario, Canadian Historical Association
Working in Hamilton, Bouchier and Cruikshank are able to draw on a powerful collection of sources—oral, textual, and photographic—that track the efforts of different civic, government or industrial bodies as they tried to control, study, transform or remediate the places and people of the bay. But the authors also humanize the ideologies that were in play by seeing how they coalesced within individual actors … The work is unabashedly focused on the Hamilton environment and will be a joy to people looking for an intimate understanding of their own community. It also plays a critical role in expanding the repertoire of environmental and urban histories in Canada. Dale Barbour, Ontario History
This book is a significant addition to the still thin literature on the environmental history of Canadian cities ... The People and the Bay offers important perspectives on the challenges involved in trying to grasp and mark the significance of environmental and social change in Canada and beyond. Sean Kheraj, author of Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History
This book is a significant addition to the still thin literature on the environmental history of Canadian cities ... The People and the Bay offers important perspectives on the challenges involved in trying to grasp and mark the significance of environmental and social change in Canada and beyond. from the foreword by Graeme Wynn

Nancy B. Bouchier is an active member of the North American Society for Sport History and the author of For the Love of the Game: Amateur Sport in Small-Town Ontario, 1838–1895. An associate professor of history and an associate member of the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University, she teaches courses in Canadian, sport, and exercise history.

Ken Cruikshank is an active member of the Network in Canadian History and Environment, a past editor of the Canadian Historical Review, and author of Close Ties: Railways, Government, and the Board of Railway Commissioners, 1851–1933. A professor of history and the dean of humanities at McMaster University, he teaches courses in Canadian, environmental, and business history.

Foreword: Down by the Bay / Graeme Wynn

Introduction: Whose Harbour?

1 Civilizing Nature: Community Property Transformed, 1823–95

2 Conserving Nature: The Education of John William Kerr, 1864–88

3 Boosting Nature: The Contradictions of Industrial Promotion, 1892–1932

4 Organizing Nature: The Search for Recreational Order, 1900–30

5 Planning Nature: The Waterfront Legacy of T.B McQuesten, 1917–40

6 Confining Nature: The Bay as Harbour, 1931–59

7 Unchaining Nature: Gillian Simmons’s Backyard, 1958–85

8 Remediating Nature: Hamilton Harbour as an Area of Concern, 1981–2015

Conclusion: Choosing Nature

Notes; Index

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