The Economic Development of Canada


216 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-458-94730-X




Reviewed by Kenneth M. Glazier

Kenneth M. Glazier was Chief Librarian Emeritus at the University of Calgary, Alberta.


Reading this book is like “looking it up in the Yellow Pages” under the appropriate subject heading. The range of subjects dealt with is so wide and varied that only brief comments are devoted to any one. The main subjects are history, under which comes American Independence; economic theories, with an explanation of the Staple Theory; statistical evidence, with mention of Canadian Census Data; government policy, with everything from Canadian tariff schedules to freight rates; industrialization, from manufacturing industry to cheese making; financial system, including the decline and rise of chartered banks; and business cycles, including the Depression of the 1930s. There is a subject index and a limited bibliography. Numerous statistical charts and maps are additional aids. The use of the bibliography would have been further enhanced if the further reading material had been arranged as useful to particular chapters.

The author is on the faculty of Concordia University and the study was completed while he was at the Johns Hopkins University Bologna Center. Sometimes the prose reflects the style of the academic economist, but on the whole the treatise is easy to read. It is not meant to be a profound, detailed study of one major factor on the Canadian economy, such as Harold A. Innis’s The Fur Trade in Canada, but it is rather an introduction to and interpretation of the development of the Canadian economy since European settlement. And for this purpose the author succeeds.


Pomfret, Richard, “The Economic Development of Canada,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 21, 2024,