Nature’s Past – Episode 1: The Environmental History of the Don River

Nature’s Past Episode  01 – click to play | right click, ‘save as’ to download

On this pilot episode of the show, we introduce listeners to the study environmental history by speaking with Jennifer Bonnell, a graduate student at the University of Toronto who is researching the history of Toronto’s Don River. Jennifer’s research spans the long history of the Don River and its place in the social and environmental history of the city. From nineteenth-century grist mills to Depression-era hobo jungles to Hurricane Hazel in 1954, we find out more about this river valley on Toronto’s eastside.

Also, we speak with Adam Crymble, the website administrator for the Network in Canadian History & Environment, about web resources for environmental history at

Works Cited:

  • Nash, Roderick. Wilderness and the American Mind. 4th ed. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001.
  • Worster, Donald, ed. The Ends of the Earth: Perspectives on Modern Environmental History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
  • Crosby, Alfred W. “The Past and Present of Environmental History.” American Historical Review 100 (1995): 1177-89.

Music Credits:

Other Contributor(s): 
  • Jennifer Bonnell
  • Adam Crymble

Kheraj, Sean. “Episode 1: The Environmental History of the Don River.” Nature’s Past. 10 December 2008

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Sean Kheraj is an associate professor in the Department of History at York University. He researches and teaches in the areas of environmental and Canadian history. In addition to being a co-editor of, he is also the host and producer of Nature's Past, NiCHE's audio podcast series and he blogs at