The war increased Canadian farm and factory production to unprecedented levels. By 1942 Canada was supplying its allies with billions of dollars' worth of goods. Toronto received a large influx of people working in munitions plants and other factories incidental to the war. At the same time, there was a shortage of manpower and building materials necessary to supply these workers with new dwellings.
In April 1944, the Mayor of Toronto, Robert Saunders appealed to all Toronto churches for their urgent assistance to ease the housing crisis:
"If every church in the city, some 400 in number, could be the means of each providing at least one dwelling unit, 400 families could be housed and the citizens who so accommodate such a family would be playing an important part in the war effort and at the same time be recompensed for this effort in the form of rental." (ARCAT SW HC08.03b)Soldiers' wives and children were also affected by lack of affordable, available housing. On 16 June 1944, The Evening Telegram published a letter in response to a Housing Registry report that had appeared in the newspaper:
"Of the 2,157 applications for accommodations received, about 1,700 are from wives of men serving overseas...The men who went out to fight our battles left the welfare of their families in our care...Soldiers are only as good as their morale, and what solider can feel contented with this situation confronting his family?"
When the Allies declared victory in 1945, returning military service personnel were faced with similar overcrowded living conditions. The Citizens Rehabilitation Committee of Toronto, with the support of Archbishop McGuigan, launched a parish campaign to make unused residential space available to over 4,000 veterans and their families:
|Second World War series, SW HC08.04b
The Church in Canada contributed to the war effort through chaplaincy services, assisting with relief efforts abroad and mitigating humanitarian crises at home.
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