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Roaring Twenties

Urbanization

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In the 1920’s people continued to move into Canada’s cities. Most of which we farm hands and their children. As a result of new machinery, fewer hands were needed on farms. Land was no longer readily available at cheap prices, and many couldn’t find land to buy near their families farms. They, farmers and young people, left the countryside and moved to the towns and cities looking for new jobs and opportunities. The Prairies were also less profitable for many because of the high costs for machinery, risin freight rates, and poor wheat crops in the early ‘20’s.

Rising unemployment forced many to leave the region of the Maritimes for cities further west. Central Canada had become the popular place for many industries. The motor boat, refrigerators, and other new technology meant that fewer fishery workers were needed, and many fishers went to work in factories in the city.

The economic boom, in the late 1920’s, and promise of growing industries drew people into the cities. So by 1931 over 52 percent of Canada’s total population lived in cities or towns. The interior cities were extremely full and thriving. Montreal grew by 38 percent, Toronto by 32 percent, and Vancouver by 48 percent. Vancouver now surpassed Winnipeg as Canada’s third largest city.

Vancouver was emerging as a majoy port for world trade, because of the Panama Canal, ships could now travel between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans without having to go around South America. In Ontario thousands of people herded to Windsor to work in the growing automobile industry.

In the major cities, skyscrapers began to appear. In Toronto, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce moved into a 32-storey tower, the tallest in the British Empire. Also residing in impressive office towers were The Canadian Pacific Railway, and Dominion Bank.

The automobile had a large impact on the urbanization of Canada. Cars made it possible for people to live farther from their work place. Many sought out green open spaces for their houses, and suburbs started to spread out on the outskirts of many cities. A house without a garage and driveway were very hard to sell. As a result to more people moving into cities, there were mounting demands for additional schools, housing, hospitials, and social services.

silverghost.jpg
1920's automobile

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