Purchasing Power: Women and the Rise of Canadian Consumer Culture
Toronto: University of Toronto Press, March 2020.

Why do Canadians consume? This book answers this question by bringing housewives' consumer interests to the fore. At the beginning of the 1900s, most women were excluded from both formal politics and paid employment.  As a result, many turned toward shopping and consumption. They sought solutions in material goods to isolation, unhappiness, and hardship. Along the way, they politicized consumption.


Yet if many women viewed consumption as a tool of empowerment, so did they see it as a tool of exclusion. As Purchasing Power reveals, Canadian women of privileged status sometimes made fun of lower income women’s consumer habits. In this way they constructed notions of taste that defined who – and who did not – belong in the modern Canadian nation.



Retail Nation: Department Stores and the Making of Modern Canada
Vancouver: UBC Press, 2011.


This book charts how mass retail emerged in modern Canada.  Exploring the histories of Eaton's, Simpson's, and the Hudson's Bay Company's department stores, as well as such regional stores as Woodward's and the Dupuis Freres, this book offers a comprehensive history of Canada's biggest retailers.


*Winner, Pierre Savard Award in Canadian Studies, International Council for Canadian Studies

*Winner, Best Book in Canadian Studies, Canadian Studies Network

*Honourable Mention, Sir John A. MacDonald Prize, Canadian Historical Association.

*Shortlist, John W. Dafoe Book Prize, J. W. Dafoe Foundation




Canadian Sugar: A History
In Progess.


From cane sugar's first appearance in northern North America during the 1500s, to the emergence of the beet sugar industry in the early 20th century, to the current health critique of sugar today, this book traces Canadians' long relationship with sweet.  It asks: why are Canadians' among the world's leading sugar consumers? And, what are the consequences of Canadian sugar consumption?