1950s & 1960s Changes for Canada Mr. Parr’s Summary The Baby Boom The Baby Boom • Birth rate rapidly increased after WWII • By the mid-1960s half of the population was below the age of 25 • Massive growth in schools occurred during this period – requiring governments to spend more tax dollars in this area – Education was seen as a “right” • Students stayed in school longer, more graduated high school, and more colleges & universities were built to accommodate the growth Urban Life Urban Life • The development of better cars in the 1950s led to the birth of the “commuter age” • These new cars became a new focus of society (house with a garage, more roads, parking, etc.) • The first suburbs began to emerge to the north and east of Toronto (York, North York &Scarborough) • This began to change cities into the urban/suburban layout we have today Household Life • After WWII women were again expected to return to work in the household. Many did, but as with WWI, many did not. • The single-income family was considered typical • There was pressure to “maintain appearances” within your town, so more families attended church, community social functions, etc. • Mothers, on average, did 99 hours of housework each week. Entertainment Entertainment • Television was emerging in the 1950s – show like Hockey Night in Canada and Front Page Challenge were popular • TV dramas and comedies, like Father Knows Best and Leave It To Beaver re-enforced the idea of a nuclear family and gender stereotypes. • Drive-in movie theatres became widely popular in the 1950s through to the 1970s • Drive-thru restaurants became very popular Rock and Roll Music • The early 1950s saw a period of conservative, traditional music • By the mid-1950s Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and Paul Anka had introduced “Rock and Roll” • This began the “generation gap” phenomenon • By the 1960s the impact of Rock Music had become far more widespread with Neal Young, Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot. (The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, etc.) • Rock counter-culture became a source of social protest and social unrest (hippies, psychedelic movement, peace protesters rejecting nuclear weapons & Vietnam War) Questions • How will we cope with aging baby boomers (health care, pensions, their sense of entitlement) • What urban planning problems arise from the boom and post-boom period? • What about the “Boom Echo” – that’s you people?