“With Peace our fighting men and women will return to happy homes and loving arms and peaceful work. This rich land will be developed to its full, to give each one a life of content in the midst of plenty.”

Macleans’ Magazine, January 15, 1945

When the war began in 1939, Canada was in the midst of a depression. Although the war years brought pain, hardship, suffering, and loss they also brought profound changes to the Canadian economy and society. Canada had grown from a resource-based economy to a manufacturing economy, producing goods and products for a world market.

Veterans returned to a changed Canada. Women had assumed new roles in society, and although many were prepared to return to their traditional roles, others welcomed the new challenges and responsibilities. After years of saving and rationing, Canadians were keen to spend their earnings on new homes, start families, and build a better life. There was a sense of hope for the future, and a tacit agreement that Canada had earned the right to recreate itself as the New North.

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