Abstract: Recent work in the international field of energy history emphasizes the diversity that defines industrialization around the world, and even within different energy sectors of the same country. Energy history is a newly emerging field in Canada, and one where recent preliminary research now makes it possible to venture into the area of comparative energy studies. This paper provides a preliminary reconnaissance of the emergence of modern lighting in Canada, situating its history within the countryâs larger idiosyncratic transition from the organic to the mineral energy regime. Canadians have always been among the world's highest energy consumers per capita, and they made a relatively late transition to the industrial regime. The countryâs cold environment, its dispersed settlement patterns, the persistence of a distinct rural political economy supported by an abundance of energy from the organic regime, as well as the absence of cheap coal in Central Canada, help to explain the countryâs distinctive characteristics. The history of lighting, however, is an exception within Canadian energy history: locally available, petroleum-based illuminating oil and stateowned hydroelectricity were adopted relatively early, comprising an exception within Canadaâs late-modernizing trend: lighting, and not heat or power, led the countryâs transition to the modern energy regime.