Douglas McCalla, University Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph
Rural Enterprise and Canadian Business History
Until the end of the nineteenth century, a clear majority of people in Canada lived in rural areas. Yet business history has had a mainly urban focus – leading businesses were mainly based in cities. Rural people, when they appear in Canadian business history, tend to be producers or customers rather than active participants in actual businesses. If there has been a systematic account of rural business as such, I am not aware of it. Hence this essay, an attempt at an overview for the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.