If we shift our gaze away from the global uncertainty, insecurity, and destruction that resulted from World War II, and turn our attention to the “wave of ‘consumerism’ that swept [Canada] in the fifties [making] temples out of the supermarket,” we can understand how the 1950s was a “decade of prosperity for Canada unlike any before—or since” (Sneath 154). As Allen Sneath recounts in his 2001 book, Brewed in Canada, the Fifties was “dubbed the Instant Age and the Jet Age and it saw the birth of suburbia… bikinis, ball point pens, LP records, aerosol containers, birth control pills, television, TV dinners, picture windows, Polaroid cameras, computers, filter tip cigarettes, transistor radios, [and] cars with power steering and automatic transmissions” (154). Sneath is one among many to remember the material prosperity and, in turn, security that Canadians generally enjoyed during the Fifties. The limitations of Canada’s prosperity and security are often overlooked, however. For the sake of a neat and tidy Canadian history that we can celebrate, the grievances, anxieties, fears, and poverty of certain Canadians are silenced. This website seeks to redress this problematic version of Canadian history by exploring the extent to which Canadians enjoyed prosperity and security between 1946 and 1963.
Sneath, Allen Winn. Brewed in Canada: the untold story of Canada’s 350-year-old brewing industry. Dundurn Press: Toronto, 2001. Print.