Born in Toronto, Ontario, artist Kim Ondaatje attended school in Toronto then studied at the Ontario College of Art, McGill University, and Queen's University. Ondaatje is a writer as well as a visual artist. She completed a Master's degree in English at Queen's, and she spent some time teaching English. In 1966, she began practicing visual art again. Ondaatje has pursued a variety of interests within the landscape style. She produced a series of paintings called the "Hill Series," because of her attraction for the silence of the Canadian forests and lakes. But she was also interested in recording things such as industrial activities that damage the landscape, and in the 1970s this interest led her to create work such as a series titled "Factory."
Inco Slag Train also shows similiar concern. Created in the 1970s, the painting shows that industry is a part of the Canadian landscape, and that contemporary ways of living and working depend on and change the landscapes around us.