Don Hayward was born in Sudbury Ontario in 1946. He grew up at a hydro-electric generating site on the Spanish River, surrounded by the natural world of the Canadian Shield hard rock country. During 1970 – 71 he backpacked and worked in Australia. Returning to Canada to study photography, Don met his wife Diane in Toronto. After living in the city for ten years, they moved to Dufferin County Ontario. The family ran a small part-time farming operation as Don commuted to his job in the electrical industry. Don was active in founding a renewable energy co-operative, and that led him into the issues of peak oil, developing resource scarcity and the instability of the global financial system. Don retired in 2008 and drives a wheel-chair school bus. He is involved in community and family activities. Diane and Don have five children, thirteen grandchildren, and reside in Grey County Ontario.

After the Last Day - a novel by Don Hayward

A story of struggle and survival after a global economic collapse.


As the author, my intention is to stimulate thinking about possible future developments after global economic collapse. Although the setting is as realistic as possible, it is fictional. None of the characters are based on anyone living or dead. Similarly, the use of local place names does not imply that they will see any of the events depicted in this story. This work is not a prediction or a ‘how to’ of what people will need to do in the event of a crisis. The interactions with the native community are intended to emphasize the equality based inter-reliance that will be necessary between all communities if a positive outcome is to be realized. I believe that the native understanding of our relationship to nature will be important in shaping that world. I do not pretend to speak for any native community, but have tried to realistically and respectfully depict rituals only as necessary to the story. I eagerly seek out writing by native authors who may explore some of the same ground from that perspective.

My family, friends and acquaintances have been the source for many of the ideas and generalizations that flow through the story; many may be disappointed that their own view of the future is not depicted here. I do not draw a world of total environmental collapse and the end of the human species. Indeed, my own optimistic view is that people will survive by exploiting the flotsam and jetsam of contracting industrial civilization using their own ingenuity to live locally. A looming climactic catastrophe is only hinted at. Along with the gradual fading of the grief and feelings of loss, these physical shadows of our present world will diminish until future generations will depend upon new, sustainable resources and be unburdened by memories of ‘the way it was’. This work began as an attempt to sort out my own confused understanding of possibilities. In the end, I think it is an interesting story.

I wish to acknowledge the comments and criticisms of my friends and family. I especially wish to thank my wife, Diane, for her wonderful and patient editing and her, perhaps futile attempts to draw my ‘old fashioned’ writing style into the Twenty-first Century. I take full responsibility for all of the short-comings in the text. In addition, her delicious scratch cooking gives me a glimpse into the wonderful possibilities of the Longview kitchen.

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