Builders of British Columbia: An Industrial History


231 pages
Contains Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-919203-22-1






Reviewed by Gerald J. Stortz

Gerald J. Stortz is an assistant professor of history at St. Jerome’s
College, University of Waterloo.


A former accountant and business analyst, Geoffrey Taylor has written a most interesting and worthwhile chronicle of the growth of British Columbia. Virtually every aspect of the province’s economy from road building to urban development is chronicled. Much of what is analyzed (usually in great detail) is interesting and often surprising. For example, camels were used as pack animals during the Cariboo gold rush, and doctors and lawyers were among those most reluctant to use the early telephone. In the case of the latter, they felt it beneath their dignity; in the case of the former, they were afraid they could not charge.

This is not to say the book is perfect. Prose at times is stilted, perhaps because the author found it necessary to include every fact pertaining to B.C’s economic heritage. On the whole, however, these minor problems are offset by excellent illustrations, extensive research and excellent biographical sketches.


Taylor, G.W., “Builders of British Columbia: An Industrial History,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed December 7, 2023,