Welcome to The Disaster Lab, a historical research project that explores the history of disasters and interrogates the role of migration and citizenship in how state and civil society actors have responded in times of strife.

Building on the Canadian Disaster Database maintained by Public Safety Canada, this project explores how disasters have been perceived, defined and addressed historically by the federal government in Canada while also considering the lived experience of disasters through the eyes of the communities, humanitarians, civil society actors and rescuers who shaped the short and long-term responses to tragedy.

Inspired by very real climate change crisis confronting our global community, and the prospect of hundreds of thousands of environmental refugees in the coming years, this project seeks to learn and better understand historic responses to disasters at the local, provincial, federal and global levels.

Supported by an Early Researcher Award from the Government of Ontario (2021 – 2026), this project invites a dialogue among scholars and communities interested in understanding the impact of disasters historically and how we might reflect upon our current and future circumstances.

Stay tuned for updates as we launch!