Canadian Women in the Sky


How a few women fought to board planes, then fly them, and finally to break through earth’s atmosphere into space.

The story of how women in Canada, from Newfoundland to British Columbia, struggled to win a place in the world of air travel, first as passengers, then as flight attendants and pilots, and, finally, as astronauts. Anecdotes, sometimes humourous and always amazing, trace these women’s challenges and successes, their slow march over 100 years from scandal to acceptance, whether in Second World War skies, in hostile northern bush country, and even beyond Earth’s atmosphere.

From the time the first woman climbed on board a flying machine as a passenger to the moment a Canadian woman astronaut visited the International Space Station, this is an account of how the sky-blue glass ceiling eventually cracked, allowing passionate and determined “air-crazy” women the opportunity to fly.


This is a timely book. As a Canadian astronaut, I have had the privilege of working with astronauts Roberta Bondar and Julie Payette. I am proud to have worked with such accomplished women and I am delighted that Elizabeth Muir has penned this timely tribute to Canadian women in the sky, including two who made it all the way to space. Along the way, these women made all Canadians proud. True pioneers, everyone of them.

Marc Garneau, MP, former astronaut

This is a lot of material to pack into 175 pages and so the stories told about each person are short and to the point. The book makes for fast-paced reading and, while it can easily be read by teens and adults, it might almost be ideal for bed-time stories read to a young aspiring aviator.

COPA Flight

Offer[s] fascinating insights into an industry that has
revolutionized many aspects of life in Canada.

About the Author

Elizabeth Gillan Muir

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014
Elizabeth Gillan Muir photo

Elizabeth Gillan Muir

Elizabeth Gillan Muir has taught Canadian history at University of Waterloo and the University of Toronto. She has written extensively about women in Upper Canada and recently published a history of Riverdale, Toronto. Elizabeth holds degrees from Queen’s University, the Harvard Business School, and a PhD from McGill University. She lives in Toronto.