The Second World War came hard on the heels of a devastatingDepression in which families struggled to survive.Life on the HomeFrontpaints a poignant portrait of a city coping with the demandsof war. Montrealers, along with other Canadians, were being askedfor more sacrifice but this time it would include sending their sons,brothers, fathers and husbands off to war. Montrealers had to“Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, and Do Without” as one slogancautioned, and this they did. Many women went to work for the firsttime and often enjoyed the heady success of doing “a man’s job”and earning a regular salary.
Life on the Home Frontdescribes how dissent was also an ever-presentreality. Montreal was often awash with anti-war banners and angryspeeches which kept the police and journalists busy. Prime MinisterWilliam Lyon Mackenzie King had to walk a fine line in keeping thecountry together and united at a time of grave crisis.
All was not gloom and doom, however. Servicemen passing throughMontreal as well as locals could enjoy the most vibrant nightlifein Canada. The cozy relationship between city officials, the policeand the owners of “disorderly houses” as well as the shady characterswho ran gambling establishments gave the name “Sin City”to Canada’s metropolis.