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The years between the Great War and the beginning of the Depression saw significant changes in the history of Owen Sound. A generation joined the armed forces and headed off to war; many did not return. Those who made it back found Owen Sound was a different place. Officially a City as of 1920, Owen Sound had compensated for the loss of the CPR in 1911 with steady growth in manufacturing; horses had been replaced by cars; and the boom years of the roaring 20's were just around the corner. 

Owen Sound: From the Great War to the Depression chronicles the challenges and opportunities found in this growing community.  

Owen Sound 1929-1939: The Depression Years


The worldwide Great Depression of the early 1930's was a social and economic shock that left millions of Canadians unemployed, hungry and often homeless. Few countries were affected as severely as Canada during what became known as the "Dirty Thirties," due to our heavy dependence on raw material and farm exports, combined with a crippling Prairies drought known as the Dust Bowl. 

Owen Sound suffered wide spread losses of jobs and savings, triggering a more activist role for the municipal government in the economy. One program encouraged Owen Sound businesses and individuals to register if they had jobs available--no job too small--for the unemployed. Another program saw City Hall employees, police and firefighters accept a reduction in pay. Owen Sound: The Depression Years chronicles the downslide and eventual recovery of this community from 1929-1939. 

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