The worldwide Great Depression of the early 1930s 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 widespread 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 to 1939.