was born in Kitchener, Ontario, in October 1974, and grew
up in this community. Our family travelled a lot through Ontario
and Quebec while we were kids, so I have a very intimate attachment
to central Canada. I went to high school at St. Jerome’s
and Resurrection Catholic Secondary School before heading
off to do my undergraduate degree at the University of St.
Jerome’s College (now St. Jerome’s University)
at the University of Waterloo.
By the time I was finishing high school, I knew that I wanted
to be an historian. I particularly thank my grandfathers for
that interest: Eddie Lackenbauer got me hooked on stamp collecting
when I was five years old, and my Pepere (Leo Lalonde) was
a marvellous story-teller who captivated me with his reminiscences
of growing up in rural northern Ontario. The rest is history,
so to speak!
Of course, the best thing to ever happen in my life was meeting
my wife, my best friend, and my muse, Jennifer. Jenn has a
B.A. in Political Science from Carleton University and an
M.Sc. in Rural Planning and Development from the University
of Guelph. Her sharp mind and brilliant editorial skills help
to keep me in line.
We love our dog Macy, who is a bundle of energy and source
of endless joy. She likes to eat fruit and vegetables, run
(and run, and run), and cuddle with us in bed. She is strange
indeed – she must take after her adopted parents.
And last, but never least, are Harrison, Rendall and Pierce –
our handsome boys, the centres of our universe.
We are also very fortunate in having wonderful family close
to us. My parents, Paul and Paulette, have always been generous
in their support of my decisions and life-choices. So too
have my parents-in-law, David and Ina. Thanks to them, we
live in a beautiful century farmhouse in southwestern Ontario,
just down the road from where famous Canadian historian Harold
Innis grew up.
I love Canadiana (literature, art, music, movies, board games,
and lots of other odd stuff), hockey, and books. I also enjoy
helping out around the farm, although my self-identification
as “scholar-farmer” is somewhat of a misnomer
– the jobs that they give me around here are pretty
basic! Nevertheless, I get to drive the skid steer from time
to time, and I have become pretty handy with the broom and
feed cart. Every morning before I start work as a professor,
I feed cattle. It’s a pretty neat life
for a former city-boy like me!