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Social Science Human Geography

The People and the Bay

A Social and Environmental History of Hamilton Harbour

by (author) Nancy B. Bouchier & Ken Cruikshank

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Jan 2016
Human Geography, General, Urban
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2016
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 2016
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2016
    List Price

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This book 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.

About the authors

Nancy B. Bouchier, professor of history at McMaster, explores issues of locality, gender, social class and the environment in the history of sport and physical activity. She is author of For Love of the Game: Amateur Sport in Small Town Ontario 1838–1895.

Nancy B. Bouchier's profile page

Ken Cruikshank, professor of history and former dean of Humanities at McMaster, works on the history of business and of the administrative state in Canada and the United States, particularly between the 1880s and World War II. He is the author of Close Ties: Railways, Government and the Board of Railway Commissioners, 1851–1933.

As long-time research collaborators, Ken and Nancy have focused on the state, the environment and recreation in the history of Hamilton Harbour. In 2016 UBC Press published their The People and the Bay: A Social and Environmental History of Hamilton Harbour, which won the Canadian Historical Association’s 2017 Clio Prize for Ontario regional history.

Ken Cruikshank's profile page


  • Winner, CLIO Prize for Ontario, Canadian Historical Association

Editorial Reviews

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.

Ontario History

Other titles by Nancy B. Bouchier

Other titles by Ken Cruikshank