Powering Up Canada

The History of Power, Fuel, and Energy from 1600

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R. W. Sandwell is associate professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.

With growing concerns about the security, cost, and ecological consequences of energy use, people around the world are becoming more conscious of the systems that meet their daily needs for food, heat, cooling, light, transportation, communication, waste disposal, medicine, and goods. Powering Up Canada is the first book to examine in detail how various sources of power, fuel, and energy have sustained Canadians over time and played a pivotal role in their history.


"This is a strongly coherent set of essays, reflecting the project's conception as a means of conveying the shifting energy characteristics of the country. These are rich contributions that should stimulate much thought about the ways in which Canadians h

“This fascinating and well-conceived collection brings together an impressive array of scholars to address the evolution of Canada’s energy regimes over the past four centuries. A sustained look at the vitally important field of Canadian energy history, Powering Up Canada will be of interest to anyone grappling with the nature of Canada’s energy transitions. ” Daniel Macfarlane, Western Michigan University

"The essays presented here address these sources of power, energy, and fuel in overviews of locations, production, transport, uses, and economic, social, or environmental impact. They reveal and illuminate additional facets of the Canadian past and offer a wealth of information and synthesis to historians of mining, the economy, and the environment. " The Ormsby Review