Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

History Reference

Patterns of the Past

Interpreting Ontario's History

edited by Roger Hall, William Westfall & Laurel Sefton MacDowell

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Jul 1996
Reference, General, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jul 1996
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jul 1996
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Patterns of the Past has been published to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Ontario Historical Society. Organized on 4 Sept 1888 as the Pioneer Association of Ontario, the Society adopted its current name in 1898. Its objectives, for a century, have been to promote and develop the study of Ontario’s past. The purpose of this book is both to commemorate and to carry on that worthy tradition.
Introduced by Ian Wilson, Archivist of Ontario, and edited by Roger Hall, William Westfall and Laurel Sefton MacDowell, this distinctive volume is a landmark not only in the Society’s history but in the prince’s historiography.
Eighteen scholars have pooled their talents to fashion a volume of fresh interpretive essays that chronicle and analyze the whole scope of Ontario’s rich and varied past. New light is thrown on our understanding of early native peoples, rural life in Upper Canada, the opening of the North, the impact of railways, and the growth of businesses and institutions. And there is much social study here too, especially of the new roles for women in industrial society, of working class experience, of ethnic groups, and of children in our society’s past. As well, there are innovative treatments of the conservation movement, of science’s role in provincial society, and of the relationship between society and culture in small towns. Anyone with an interest in the history of Canada’s most populous province will find much in this comprehensive collection.

About the authors

Roger Hall is professor emeritus of history at Western University and senior fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto. He has been editor of Ontario History and co-editor of The Canadian Review of American Studies. His publications include A Century to Celebrate and The Rising Country. He lives in Toronto.

Roger Hall's profile page

William Westfall is an Associate Professor at York University in both the Department of History, Atkinson College, and the Division of the Humanities, Faculty of Arts.

William Westfall's profile page

Laurel Sefton MacDowell is in the Department of History, Erindale College, University of toronto. MacDowell is the current editor of Ontario History, the quarterly journal of the Ontario Historical Society;

Laurel Sefton MacDowell's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Patterns of the Past is a fine collection worthy of commemorating the one-hundredth anniversary of the Ontario Historical Society."

Ontario History

"... a refreshing range of topics."

British Journal for Canadian Studies

"This varied collection is well edited and interesting. The Ontario Historical Society is to be congratulated."

The Canadian Historical Review

Other titles by Roger Hall

Other titles by William Westfall