An Environmental History of Canada
352 pages, 8 x 10
65 b&w photos, 16 maps, 13 graphs
Release Date:25 Jul 2012
Release Date:01 Jul 2012
Release Date:31 Jul 2012

An Environmental History of Canada

UBC Press
  • Traces how Canada’s colonial and national development contributed to modern environmental problems such as urban sprawl, the collapse of fisheries, and climate change
  • Includes over 200 photographs, maps, figures, and sidebar discussions on key figures, concepts, and cases
  • Offers concise definitions of environmental concepts
  • Ties Canadian history to issues relevant to contemporary society
  • Introduces students to a new, dynamic approach to the past

Throughout history most people have associated northern North America with wilderness -- with snow-capped mountains, endless forest and prairie, myriad lakes, and abundant fish and game.  Canada’s contemporary picture gallery, however, contains more disturbing images -- melting ice caps, deforestation, polluted waterways, and depleted fisheries. Adopting both a chronological and thematic approach, Laurel Sefton MacDowell explores human interactions with the land, and the origins of our current environmental crisis, from first peoples to the Kyoto Protocol. This richly illustrated exploration of the past from an environmental perspective will change the way Canadians and others around the world think about -- and look at -- Canada.

This book is essential reading for teachers, students, scholars, and anyone interested in Canadian history, the environment, and building sustainable communities.

MacDowell…mounts an impressive summary of how Canadian history has been rethought from an environment perspective over the last 40 years. She demonstrates this with a copiously illustrated and well-referenced exploration of the evolution of Canada’s landscape over millennia…a very accessible text for students and general readers, with excellent maps, illustrations, information boxes, and rich bibliographies for each chapter. Highly recommended. B. Osborne, Queen's University at Kingston, Choice
Laurel Sefton MacDowell is a professor of history in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Toronto.


Part 1: Aboriginal Peoples and Settlers

1 Encountering a New Land

2 Settling the Land and Transforming the “Wilderness”

Part 2: Industrialism, Reform, and Infrastructure

3 Early Cities and Urban Reform

4 The Conservation Movement

5 Mining Resources

6 Cars, Consumerism, and Suburbs

Part 3: Harnessing Nature, Harming Nature

7 Changing Energy Regimes

8 Water

9 The Contested World of Food and Agriculture

Part 4: The Environmental Era

10 The Environmental Movement and Public Policy

11 Parks and Wildlife

12 Coastal Fisheries

13 The North and Climate Change



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