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The People and the Bay: A Social and Environmental History of Hamilton Harbour

Series: Nature, History, Society Series

By: Nancy B Bouchier(Author), Ken Cruikshank(Author), Graeme Wynn(Foreword By)

352 pages, 47 illustrations, 6 maps, 9 tables

University of British Columbia Press

Paperback | Jun 2016 | #231308 | ISBN-13: 9780774830423
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £30.99 $40/€35 approx
Hardback | Dec 2015 | #225909 | ISBN-13: 9780774830416
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £81.99 $105/€91 approx

About this book

The People and the Bay explores the complicated relationship between Hamilton Harbour and the people who came to reside on its shores. From the time of European settlement through to Hamilton's rise as an industrial city, townsfolk struggled with nature, and with one another, to champion their vision of "the bay" as a place to live, work, and play. The authors bring to life the personalities and power struggles, drawing on a rich collection of archival materials. Along the way, they challenge readers to consider how moral and political choices being made about the natural world today will shape the cities of tomorrow.

"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

"For anyone who has struggled to access Hamilton Harbour and wondered how it came to be so polluted, The People and the Bay will answer many troubling questions. This engaging and thought-provoking account of Hamilton and its bay will stand as the definitive history for a long time to come."
– Sean Kheraj, author of Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental 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


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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.


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