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CANADIAN HISTORY 1201. Unit 3: The Prosperity of the 20s. When and why did the Post-War Economic slump end?. By 1923-24 the economic slump was over The boom was mostly experienced in Central and Western Canada World’s economy improved

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Canadian history 1201


Unit 3:

The Prosperity of the 20s

When and why did the post war economic slump end
When and why did the Post-War Economic slump end?

  • By 1923-24 the economic slump was over

  • The boom was mostly experienced in Central and Western Canada

  • World’s economy improved

  • Demand for Canadian goods rose again (metals and wheat especially)

  • Pulp and paper industries expanded due to American demand

  • Automobile industry rapidly grew

  • New demand and production of household products (radios, record players, appliances)


  • Concentrated in Toronto and Montreal

  • Value rose by 700% since 1914

  • Hamilton – Steel and Iron

  • Kitchener – Rubber and furniture

  • Windsor - Automobile

Automotive production

  • Windsor grew alongside the center of the automotive industry, Detroit, which was on the other side of the Detroit River

  • Branch plants were set up in Canada

    • Could avoid the import tariffs

    • Could be shipped throughout the British Empire at preferred rates

      * Cars were a rarity before the War because they were expensive, flimsy and there weren’t as many roads.


  • Wheat farmers earners record amounts by the mid-20s

  • High cost of machinery cut into profits

  • Many people from eastern Canada migrated to the west to start farms (they were inexperienced and tended to exhaust the soil)

  • Many other farmers gave up their lifestyle looking for better lives in the growing cities.

The maritimes

  • Some growth in pulp and paper industries and some places (Annapolis Valley, Halifax and Saint John) did experience some economic growth.

  • Overall, the Maritimes were in economic decline.

  • The coal mining industry was negatively affected by the shift from coal to oil and electricity.

  • The steel boom in central Canada and the US took away from that industry in the Maritimes

  • Federal government reduced railway rates in the Maritimes were also abandoned, making it expensive to ship goods out

The good times of the 20s

  • Many people moved into the cities to work in factories

  • Many people also worked in the growing tertiary (service) industry (transportation, finance, public administration and hospitality).

  • Wages were rising and people could buy items on CREDIT for the first time.

Lifestyle changes of the 20s

  • Workers had more money to spend on luxury items such as cars, radios and electrical appliances (stoves, irons, vacuum cleaners, toasters and sewing machines)

  • Telephones, radios and cars greatly reduced isolation of the rural population

  • People could socialize more and participate in leisure activities because of the new-found FREE TIME and ease of travel

  • Products could be moved easier (cars, train links, airmail (new in 1927))

  • Most people had radios that they tuned into for information and entertainment, but most of the programs were American.

Canadian history 1201