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Secondary IV • 2yr.


Can someone explain to me how Canada industrialized, please?

Thank you ! :)


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Explanations (1)

  • Explanation from Alloprof

    Explanation from Alloprof

    This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.

    Team Alloprof • 2yr.

    Hello TomateSupra7536,

    Thank you for your question! :)

    First, you should know that there are 2 main phases of industrialization in Canada. We will see them together!

    First phase (1850-1896) in United Canada:

    • With the increase in population, there was a lack of land for farming in the countryside. The peasants then leave the countryside (phenomenon of rural exodus) to find a job in the city (urbanization). They will live in overcrowded and unsanitary working class neighborhoods, located near factories.
    • The majority of industries settle in large cities such as Montreal and Quebec (Lower Canada) or Toronto (Upper Canada) in order to be close to the workforce and consumers. Industries are also located near waterways, as transport by boat allows them to import the resources necessary for their production and export their manufactured products.
    • New machines are developed. They make it possible to produce more products more quickly. This is called the mechanization of production. Workers no longer need to know how to craft the items. They just need to know how to operate the machine. These workers are said to be poorly qualified. In addition, the division of labor is applied, that is, dividing the task to be accomplished in the form of a production chain.
    • A new economic system governs society: it is industrial capitalism. Investors want to make profit on their investments in industries. To do this, they cut production costs, which is done to the detriment of the workers. They even hire women (especially in the textile industry) and children (especially in the mines) and offer them a much lower salary than men. In general, the working conditions of men, women and children are difficult (unsafe, low wages, long working hours, bad working conditions, etc.).
    • The main production sectors: Light industry develops first. It includes the food, leather, textile and wood industries. There are therefore bakeries, shoe, cigar and cigarette factories as well as factories where cotton is worked. Heavy industry, for its part, hires more qualified workers and thus offers better wages. It works mainly with iron and steel to manufacture wagons, rails and locomotives to meet the strong demand created by the development of the railway network.
    • Eastern continental transport network: In order to be sold, the products manufactured by the industries must be transported to the various cities of the Province of Canada (United Canada), but also to the United States. Maritime transport is therefore developing further, since several canals and locks are built to transport the products for sale. However, due to the winter climate that freezes the waters, sea transport is not accessible all year round. It is therefore envisaged to build a large network of railways. The Grand Trunk Corporation is therefore investing to link the Great Lakes region to Rivière-du-Loup, via Montreal. Allowing more and faster sales, the railroad network accelerated the industrialization of Toronto and Montreal. In the late 1870s, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick joined the great Grand Trunk network to form the Intercolonial. In addition, many bridges and roads are built during this period to connect several regions to major cities, which will greatly benefit more remote forest regions.

    Second phase (1890-1929) in Canada:

    • During this second phase, we see the use of new resources and new energy sources, in addition to the emergence of new industrial sectors.
    • Natural resources: The exploitation of the many natural resources of Quebec will allow its second phase of industrialization. The exploitation of forests, minerals and rivers allows the emergence of new industries, such as the forestry industry, the mining industry and the hydroelectric industry in addition to the metallurgical and chemical industries.
    • Manufacturing and domestic production: In the 1900s, Western Canada saw many immigrants arrive on its territory. In order to settle in this new territory, these settlers needed several products, thus promoting the production of the textile, construction and food industries. The processing of several agricultural products is becoming more and more popular due to the increase in commercial agriculture. Thus, new cheese factories, new dairies and new bakeries were created across the province. With electrification, many products are in high demand such as electric toasters, radios and light bulbs. With the arrival of cars, manufacturers will also produce various types of engines.
    • War industry: With the advent of the First World War (1914-1918), industries will abandon the manufacture of goods for citizens and will focus on the production of products necessary for war, such as uniforms for soldiers, weapons and means of transport. As the men went to war, women occupied an important place in the factories and occupied positions that were formerly only reserved for men. This will have an effect on the society of the time when the men returned after the war.
    • During this period, the pursuit of profit reaches its peak. Industries seek to have the monopoly of a sector (to be the only industry to produce a good) in order to maximize their profits. This is called monopoly capitalism.
    • Role of the State: The government is implementing various measures to encourage investors to settle in the territory. For example, cutting tariffs and offering subsidies to businesses, or even investing in the creation of several infrastructures (roads and railways) in order to support the industrial activities of the country.
    • Foreign investments: The majority of the capital invested during this second phase of industrialization comes from American companies and the United Kingdom. In Quebec, American investors were also allowed the development of the mining, hydroelectricity and pulp and paper sectors. Foreign investments therefore allow the creation of factories, jobs and new infrastructure throughout the province. These foreign companies, often very rich, are therefore establishing themselves to the detriment of French-Canadian companies which do not have the financial means to compete with them.
    • Significant commercial exchanges: Several commercial exchanges take place with the United States and the United Kingdom, the main countries to which Canada and Quebec export their resources and finished products. Canada also imports products from other countries to meet the demand of its people and industries. For example, Quebec imported West Indian sugar or bauxite to supply aluminum smelters. Various finished products were also imported from Europe and the United States.

    Do not hesitate to write to us again if you have any other questions! :)

    - Noémie

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