Chapter 10 IntroductionHochelaga 1500-1642Ville-Marie 1642-1665French Empire 1699-1763Small French Town 1665-1760Conquered City 1760-1800British Commercial Takeover 1800-1850Industrial City 1850-1896Canada's Metropolis 1896-1914North-American City 1914-1929Depression and War 1930-1945Modern City 1945-1960Québec's Metropolis 1960-1992ConclusionQuizEducational Resources

The Great

A destabilized

A city in trouble

The Second World

Chapter 10 / DEPRESSION AND WAR / The Great Depression  Previous pageNext page

Starting in 1930, Montréal underwent a period of disruption that would last fifteen odd years. The Great Depression put an abrupt end to the hopes of the preceeding decade, plunging the city into an economic crisis that would affect the entire population to varying degrees. This unrelenting depression was followed by the Second World War, which, though it brought prosperity, was nonetheless an exception that further delayed a return to normal life.

The Great Depression
The Crash of 1929 officially signalled the beginning of the Great Depression. From 1930 to 1933, the economy suffered a rapid collapse, and the recovery that eventually followed would be hopelessly slow.

Montréal was broadsided by this recession, which particularly affected the international commercialization of natural resources. The industries that depended on these sectors ground to a halt, and the ensuing domino effect spread to other sectors of the economy. Workers’ resources were quickly depleted, leaving them unable to contribute to economic recovery through consumer buying.

Charities were soon overwhelmed. The City created an unemployment commission to distribute government aid, or “direct relief,” to workers. It also created public works programs that hired several thousand unemployed workers.


Soup kitchen

Soup kitchen
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Burial of electric wires

Burial of electric wires
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