Gerald Hallowell was born in Port Hope, Ontario, and grew up on a farm in nearby Crooked Creek. For over twenty years he worked as an editor at the University of Toronto Press, retiring as senior editor, Canadian history, in 2000. In 1996 he was elected to the council of the Canadian Historical Association. He edited The Oxford Companion to Canadian History, published in 2004. Since 1989 he has lived in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.