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

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Episode 1: The Environmental History of the Don River

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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


Jennifer Bonnell

Adam Crymble

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:

Revolve by hisboyelroy

Yage Cameras (hbe’s fractured rework)” by hisboyelroy

Photo Credit:

Waterfront at Don River looking north” Source: City of Toronto Archives/Fonds 200, Series 1465, File 536, Item 2


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

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Sean Kheraj

Associate Professor and Vice-Provost Academic at Toronto Metropolitan University
Sean Kheraj is a member of the executive committee of the Network in Canadian History and Environment. He's an associate professor in the Department of History and Vice-Provost Academic at Toronto Metropolitan University. His research and teaching focuses on environmental and Canadian history. He is also the host and producer of Nature's Past, NiCHE's audio podcast series and he blogs at


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