World War 2
WW2 Homefront
Canada in WW2

How did World War 2 affect the homefront economy in Canada?

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July 15, 2015 9:50PM

It sent Canada into a new economic cycle. Since weapons and mitilia were needed overseas, factories needed to hire more workers.

It helped to make the economy stronger knowing that we helped in the wars and are able to keep the economy together.

IN 1939, Canada was a mainly agricultural country with over 60 percent of the population living in rural towns or on farms. The industrial sector was concentrated in Quebec and Ontario, and most exports were raw materials from the forests, and mines.

The need to clothe, feed and equip the Canadian armed forces required a complete overhaul of Canadian manufacturing plants and processes. Many smaller towns became regional centers of manufacturing, based on what was needed by the military. Railway lines that were all ready in existence were designated as places that factories would be built beside.

With so many men going into the service, women were ecouraged to go to work in "war factories" where they learned completely new skills and got paid well, too. Soon things were operating around the clock, with three shifts, six days a week. Kids were brought to work, and care centres at the plant were normal. Teen agers were allowed to go to full time work at age 14, to supplement the work force.

Building of new military bases, as well as air fields, and ship yards, brought the need for more lumber, steel, and asphalt, and concrete supplies, as well as construction equipment. Making a simple thing like a naval life jacket produced many small companies in small towns. Sone of them are still in business.

Food production was increased, and so was the out put of home gardens. People were encouraged to grow their own vegetables.

Production of consumer goods stopped, and the factories were conveted to war production. For example, Inglis Appliances, in Toronto made Bren Machine Guns, and Sten sub Machine guns, and General Electric made search lights and radar for ships. Canadian Steel Car in Hamilton switched from making freight cars , to making fighter planes. General Motors in Oshawa, made over ONE MILLION trucks in WW2.