“Out of the monotony of unplanned suburbia…”, so starts White-picket Dreams, a clip from this Nov 21, 1954. Even back in 1954 they knew suburbia was a bad idea, if only unconsciously.
Mentioned in the story is the planned community of Don Mills, when in the early years of suburbia, promotion of walking was still seen as something to you needed to do, as well as Regent Park in Toronto, where the apartments mentioned in this story are being torn down and redeveloped.
Ironically, housing the aged is seen as a problem even then, despite Canada’s population being the youngest it has ever been, due to the post-war baby boom.
This clip, part of a series called So long city! Hello suburbs, is just one of a great number of videos from the CBC’s archives. It gives a facinating insight into places and times we can’t or don’t see.
2 thoughts on “From the CBC’s archives: White-picket Dreams”
This sums up the suburban Toronto where my family arrived from England in the 1950s. Highway 401 was a bucolic drive through rolling farmland bordered with towering elm trees. Our newly built bungalow was just as pictured.
Now the GTA is a huge sprawl. Either one must live right downtown, or 100 – 200 km. away where some lively old towns still survive (barely) intact.
It would have been beautiful to see. I did a trip to Oklahoma a few years back and went along Route 66 just west of Tulsa, which still was a winding road, running between towns and alongside farms. Too bad the main route between that and Oklahoma City is a huge Interstate 44, which looks like any highway, anywhere in the world.