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Life in the Suburbs

Life in the Suburbs

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Life in the Suburbs

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  1. 1950s Life in the Suburbs

  2. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants came to Canada between the end of the war and 1960 • At the same time, there was a sharp increase in the number of babies born (baby boom) • It became a problem….. Where were all these people to live? Population boom= housing shortage

  3. Planned communities were developed in the outskirts or suburbs of major cities • These included: • Bedford Basin (Halifax) • Don Mills (Toronto) • Fraserview (Vancouver) • Wildwood (Winnipeg) Canada “discovers” Suburbia

  4. This was a departure from the past, when expansion of the cities just “happened” • Cities were • Overcrowded • Full of old houses and apartments • Dirty • Lacking in parking and green spaces • Experiencing high taxes What’s wrong with the city?

  5. A typical suburb

  6. These communities were laid out: • with ample parkland • schools and libraries • curved streets • buried telephone wires • wide lots for a less congested lifestyle • In eastern Toronto, one could buy a brand new, 4 bedroom, split level, 2 bath home for $16,300 The suburban difference

  7. By 1954 a quarter of a million Canadian families had moved to suburban communities • Most enjoyed the new suburban lifestyle, preferring to live in green, open, and quiet areas outside congested city centres • They hoped the suburbs would give them and their children a better life

  8. Most couples were young • Everyone had children • Many husbands were war veterans • They had to cope with the same issues and problems, like a lack of bus service A common experience

  9. Little boxes on the hillside,Little boxes made of ticky tacky,1Little boxes on the hillside,Little boxes all the same.There's a green one and a pink one And a blue one and a yellow one,And they're all made out of ticky tackyAnd they all look just the same. • And the people in the housesAll went to the university,Where they were put in boxesAnd they came out all the same,And there's doctors and lawyers,And business executives,And they're all made out of ticky tackyAnd they all look just the same. • And they all play on the golf courseAnd drink their martinis dry,And they all have pretty childrenAnd the children go to school,And the children go to summer campAnd then to the university,Where they are put in boxesAnd they come out all the same. • And the boys go into businessAnd marry and raise a familyIn boxes made of ticky tacky And they all look just the same.There's a green one and a pink oneAnd a blue one and a yellow one,And they're all made out of ticky tackyAnd they all look just the same. • (inspired by Daly City, California) Little Boxes by Malvina Reynolds 1962

  10. The suburbs were residential areas, not business or industrial • This meant that the “man of the house”, the “breadwinner”, had to leave the area in order to go to work • For this, he relied on his car (or station wagon) • With far more cars on the roads, traffic jams and air pollution became commonplace Reliance on the automobile

  11. Perfect match: car and mall

  12. Shopping malls, like Square One in Mississauga, were built to provide one-stop shopping convenience for suburbanites, as people who lived in the suburbs were called. • With the advent of these conveniences, suburbanites could avoid having to drive “downtown” for shopping and other services, thus reducing traffic congestion. • However, there were no “corner shops” or convenience stores It’s all here…

  13. The suburbs were also a trap for women • Left behind during the day with no car, and usually no bus service, many suburban women felt bored and isolated • There was nothing to do once the house was clean, except drink coffee and gossip with the neighbours Isolation

  14. There’s a green one and a pink one and a blue one and a yellow one… And they all look just the same