Bill Freeman


Bill Freeman grew up in London, Ontario and was raised in a family of teachers. After high school he worked in Western Canada for a year and then traveled extensively in Europe. He returned to Canada to attend Acadia University in Nova Scotia. After graduating he worked as a Probation Officer and then did graduate work in sociology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, finally completing his PhD in 1980.

From 1976 to 1986 Bill lived in Montreal and taught at Vanier College. Since returning to Toronto in 1986, he has been a freelancer working as a writer on books, plays, educational television and television programs for children and adults.

It was while living in Hamilton that Freeman began to write the Bains Series of books for young adults. There are now nine books in the series. Each focuses on a different setting in Canada in the 1870s and explores child labour that was common during that period. The first book in the series, Shantymen of Cache Lake, received the Canada Council Children’s Literature Prize for 1975 and several of the other books have received awards.

Bill’s books for adults follow political and social themes. Local 1005 is a political study of a Steelworkers’ local in Hamilton. Their Town, co-authored with Marsha Hewitt, is an analysis of Hamilton city politics and Hamilton: a People’s History, traces the development of the political and social life of the city. Freeman also authored a social and pictorial history of Toronto Island, where he now lives, called A Magical Place and another pictorial history, Casa Loma, Toronto’s Fairy-Tale Castle and its Owner, Sir Henry Pellatt.

While working in the film industry Bill co-authored Far From Home, Canadians in the First World War, with Richard Nielsen. This book emerged from an extensive three hour documentary film project of the same name, produced by Nielsen. It was this book that led Bill to research and write The End of War.

Film projects have occupied much of Freeman’s career. He was the researcher, writer and co-producer of an extensive series of science educational videos for the high school market called the Elements of Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences. Bill’s partner on these educational videos was the well-known Canadian children’s film producer Wendy Loten. The two went on to work together on Loten’s Mighty Machines 2 and 3 that has been shown extensively on television in Canada and around the world.

Bill also wrote two plays. Ghosts of the Madawaska is a children’s play commissioned and performed by the Great Canadian Theatre Company in Ottawa, and Glory Days, a play about the 1946 Stelco strike in Hamilton, has been performed by Theatre Aquarius.

Today Bill Freeman lives on Toronto Island with his partner Paulette Pelletier-Kelly. The two of them share seven children and five grandchildren.

Where to find Bill Freeman online


This member has not published any books.