Coal in Canada: A look back at major milestones

Since 1639, coal has been mined in Canada. From its expansion out west, to the violent labour disputes of the early 20th century, to its rise as a major energy source and finally its decline, coal has played a large role in Canada. A look back at some of the major points in the history of coal.

After nearly 400 years of mining, coal is coming to an end in many parts of Canada

A group of coal miners with their horses used to pull coal cards at Hillcrest, Alta. in 1920. In Canada, coal has been mined since 1639. (Library and Archives Canada/PA-1)

Coal has a long history in Canada, but with the closing of many coal mines and plants in the country, some of that history is coming to an end.

Since 1639, coal has been mined in the country and the mineral has had its share of ups and downs. Coal was a part of Canada's westward expansion, massive labour disputes, major government legislation and was one of Canada's biggest energy sources.

Today, coal is on somewhat of a decline in usage in Canada. Ontario phased-out coal power in 2014 and Alberta will also do so by 2030. Several coal plants and mines have closed in recent years, both as a result of a decline in Canadian consumption of coal and because of a dip in worldwide demand for it.

Here is a timeline on many of the most significant events and points of Canada's coal history: