In the tough Depression years, a newly hired 16-year-old working at Dare’s Kitchener factory was paid 17 cents an hour. Ontario’s minimum wage for adults was 22 cents an hour!
Food line at the Yonge Street Mission, 381 Yonge Street, Toronto, Canada, during the Great Depression in the 1930s.
The worldwide Great Depression that started in the United States in late 1929 quickly reached Canada, and was hit hard. Between 1929 and 1939, the gross national product dropped 40% (compared to 37% in the US). Unemployment reached 27% at the depth of the Depression in 1933. Many businesses closed, as corporate profits of $398 million in 1929 turned into losses of $98 million as prices fell. Farmers in the Prairies were especially hard hit by the collapse of wheat prices. The Depression ended in 1939 as World War II began.
Denyse Baillargeon, historian and author, uses oral histories from 30…
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