Urbanization is a social process in which a country’s organized communities become larger, more specialized. There are both negative and positive consequences of this process.
It involves a lot of economic , technological demographic, political , environmental factors and it is inevitably accompanied by other changes in society.
Before moving on to industrial urbanization and its impacts , history and life of native people would be discussed. A lot of Native peoples lived by hunting and gathering. Agriculture was established between the Iroquoian groups (Huron, Iroquois, Petun, Neutral).Clothing was provided from fur bearing animals and silver and copper was used to make ornaments.
Trading was common at that time but there doesn’t seem to have any specialized merchant class.
French and british traders began to buy furs, and in return they offered iron tools, weapons and alcohol , all of which the native peoples valued highly. This resulted in economic and cultural changes among the native peoples, who were to play a critical role in the early fur trade.
Canada was a largely per-industrial agricultural society at confederation in 1867. People belonged to large families and lived on farms. Farms were only source of income for them as they often supported entire families generation after generation.
Urbanization process passed four major phases. Canada became an urban nation quite early as compared to others. The first stage began with the founding of Quebec in 1608. Quebec City, Montreal, Halifax and St John’s tended to be the administrative centers. From the mother country there were entrepots, collection agencies for colonial staples and distribution centers of manufactured goods. Primary connection was the overseas metropolis because of which there was lack of significant connections with other towns in the colonies. Dependence on water transport powered byu wind and sail was another common feature of urban centers during this period.
Fishery and fur trade were exploited by permanent European settlers who came to Canada. Due to the reason that the climate and soil were not encouraging, agricultural progress was slow until the end of 17th century. English-speaking merchants engaged in the fur trade; after the Conquest (1759-60), when many British businessmen began to control a large portion of the fur trade from Montreal, they also quickly extended their interests throughout commerce and finance.. The population grew through natural increase and through immigration from Britain. The good agricultural land in the St Lawrence Valley had almost been taken up by 1820’s. In 1821, after the North West Company merged with the Hudson’s Bay Company the transcontinental fur trade was no longer managed from Montréal. By that time Upper and Lower Canada had developed an immense trade in timber, which went first to Britain and then, after mid century, to the US and domestic buyers.
Second phase of urbanization started in early 1800’s and was marked by the increasing control of commercial interests. By dominating their immediate region several cities began to assume metropolitan functions. There was a move away from an exclusive reliance on staples export to a new concern for regional and inter regional commerce and small scale artisanal production for a local or regional market. Industrial revolution took place in 1815 and 1914. The use of new technologies in transportation was a third aspect of the economic reorientation. In this phase, the form of cities is not readily definable but a number of features distinguish them from both their predecessors and successors. The most important factor was transport which played an essential role in the development of bigger, functionally more specialized towns from 1830. National rail network was established in 1840s due to which a fully integrated urban system developed and the constraints of time and distance . This led to a period of great change in the structure of the urban system and the extent, characteristics and internal and external relations.
There was no significant European population until the 1780’s in the present-day Ontario, although its waterways were used by the fur traders. There was a beginning of settlement with the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists, British and American settlers, and British troops and officials. export trades in wheat, potash and timber developed and forest land was cleared. A few roads and canals were built, of which the most important were the Welland Canal and St Lawrence River canals. most good land in the province had been claimed by 1867, although not all of it was under cultivation. Quebec contained 3 towns, Montreal, Quebec and Trios-Rivieras at the conquest. With settlement and with the development of commerce and government a lot of towns appeared. much of central Canada’s industry, including the 2 great industries, milling and lumbering, was dispersed through the countryside or in small villages in 1871. Rapid industrialization and urbanization occurred in both provinces after confederation. By 1911 half of Ontario’s population lived in cities and towns. less than one-fifth of the Quebec population lived in cities at the time of confederation. Thirty years later the proportion surpassed one-third. Urbanization was undoubtedly the most salient phenomenon in Quebec at the start of the 20th century. Only 36% of the population lived in cities; thirty years later, that proportion had reached 60%. Due to development in industry there was an increased rate in growth of cities. in Montreal the phenomenon was particularly visible, then the industrial hub of Canada. Within thirty years, its population more than doubled, growing from 107,000 in 1871 to 268,000 in 1901 (or 325,000 counting the suburbs). Montreal became Canada’s uncontested metropolis when it outgrew Quebec city from 1830 onwards. Population comprised of working class, yet the country’s most powerful businessmen lived there as well. Population growth was slower in Quebec city. Population was just under 60,000 in 1871 and still below 70,000 in 1901. In smaller cities such as Hull, Sherbrooke, Valley field, Saint-Hyacinth, Saint-Jerome and Magog industrialization became evident. The largest of these had populations of only 11,000-14,000, but they bore witness to an important transformation in Quebec society.
In british north American railway fever came a little late which had a small population and much of its capital tied up in the expansion of its CANALS AND INLAND WATERWAYS. But it did not take long
for politicians and entrepreneurs to realize the potential benefits. In 1841 ,the Province of Canada (1841) was an enormous country. Its roads were poor and its waterways were frozen for up to 5 months per year. GRAND TRUNK Railway was the most ambitious pre-Confederation railway project in Canada. It was a bold attempt by Montreal to capture the hinterland of Canada West and traffic from American states in the Great Lakes region. But unfortunately Canadians did not have enough money and technicians to build it.
In the process of Industrialization the railways played an integral role, tying together and opening up new markets while, at the same time, themselves creating a demand for fuel, iron and steel, LOCOMOTIVES AND ROLLING STOCK. Wooding-up stations were required at regular intervals along the line and the pioneer wood burning locomotives had huge appetites. James of Toronto made first locomotive in Canada in 1853. (the Toronto No. 2 of the Ontario, Simcoe and Huron).
As a consequence, railway greatly stimulated engineering particularly with the demand for BRIDGES and TUNNELS. There were a few inventions by Canadians, notably the first successful braking system (W.A. Robinson, 1868) and the rotary snowplough (J.W. Elliott, 1869; developed further by O. Jull), which made possible safe, regular travel in Canadian winters. Zone system was devised by the great railway engineer Sanford Fleming to over the confusion of clocks varying from community to community along the rail routes. Low rolling friction of iron-flanged wheels on iron rails and steam locomotion enabled George Stephenson (the first of the great railway engineers) to design and superintend the building of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway (1830), which began the railway age in England. steam locomotion, the standard gauge (1.435 m) and the rolled-edge rail (bellying out on the underside for strength) were the characteristics of the railway which were established in the early stage. Industries such as tailoring and shoe making were becoming factory activities, and provincial governments began to regulate working conditions from 1870 to 1900.
the industries in the cities eventually won the competition with the rural industries.Urbanization started in 19th century because of the industrialization that took place. Because of bad sanitary conditions and diseases, cities still needed many new people every now and again. But gradually with the passage of time there was an increase in number of people and cities. There were several types of cities: cities with textile industry, cities with heavy industry and administrative/commercial cities. Transportation was affected by industrial revolution. Bicycles, steamships and trains made it easier for people to move further away.
The third phase, which began with the industrial era in the 1870s and lasted until the 1920s, saw the development of a national urban system that tended to concentrate power in major central Canadian cities, notably Montreal and Toronto. It attracted a steady supply of rural Canadians to the cities. The working poor was the new class that spawned instead. labor force, weak government protection, and social discrimination was faced by these families. Industrialization had caused Canadian cities to double, which brought wealth to the society, but that wealth was not shared.
Although industrialization did provide thousands of jobs, it did not create an egalitarian society.
With the arrival of railway numerous cities expanded or took advantage of railway development to consolidate their position in the economy. Montreal, for example, which was already the business and financial hub of British North America owing to its port installations, would extend its commercial influence over an increasingly larger zone following the arrival of the railway.
The political economy of this industrial era was marked by the emergence of industrial capitalism and its counterpart, the industrial working class. The extent and nature of urban development was dependent on major improvements in the technological capacity of Canada. Science and engineering were systematically applied to transportation, communications, building methods and production. The outstanding physical characteristics of cities were the enormous spatial expansion of the suburbs and the tall office towers of the central core. The social landscape of cities was affected by the changing scale of development. A kind of giant ism prevailed, from the size of suburbs and the height of the buildings in the central core to the organization of new business enterprises and the building of enormous factories. Land use was increasingly specialized.
Urbanization also affected cities less closely associated with the railway system. Saint John, New Brunswick, saw its population rise from 27,000 in 1840 to nearly 39,000 in 1861. The rise in population benefited from the growth in shipbuilding and maritime transportation, in particular. Due to this , the proportion of urban dwellers in the colonies as a whole went up from 13% in 1851 to 16% in 1861. The largest cities in British North America were Montreal, Quebec City, Saint John, Toronto, Halifax, Hamilton, Kingston, Ottawa and London on the eve of Confederation.
Between 1896 and 1914, Central Canada’s industrial advance was especially rapid when the whole nation experienced investment and export booms. A few industries such as carriage-making and blacksmithing declined after 1900. But soon after this new industries appeared like electrical equipment and chemicals in the 1890s, cars and aluminum after 1900, pulp and paper in. 1890-1914
Montreal and Toronto were the great cities of Central Canada by 1867. Montreal began as a port and a commercial centre. By 1900 it was producing large amounts of clothing and textile products, electrical equipment, railway rolling stock and many light industrial products. Finally by mid 19th century it was a place of industry. After 1867, Toronto after a slow and inauspicious beginning, developed after 1867 on similar lines, much of its early prosperity being based on Great Lakes shipping. Both cities had energetic banks and insurance companies and active stock exchanges. Immigrants were attracted to both cities from Europe and Italy. Cities of Central Canada were built by largely natural increase from britian between Confederation and 1914.
Initially fur trading was common here but later on with serious economic development in the Atlantic provinces really began with the sea fisheries, whose markets were in Europe and later in the West Indies. Some francophone and anglophone migrants arrived during the 17th century on mainland, but the European population was small until the arrival of the Loyalists, partly because there was little good agricultural land. Scots settled on Cape Breton in early 19th century. Prosperity came from the fisheries, forests and maritime carrying trades.
In western Canada economic development began with fur trade. In 1812, settled agriculture began with
Lord Selkirk’s RED RIVER COLONY. In 1880’s the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway gave Manitoba a wheat economy. Prospects for development brightened as world prices rose, transport costs fell, methods of dryland farming improved, and more appropriate varieties of wheat became availablein 1890’s. More progress was made and Prairie provinces enjoyed an immense expansion of the wheat economy, onto which was grafted, before 1914, a very much larger rail system, a network of cities and towns, coal mining and ranching. Because of this many migrants were attracted from many lands. T that time Alberta began to produce small quantities of oil and gas.
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In Early times most of the city dwellers got around on foot; only the richest could afford the services of a coachman or own their own horse but with the urban expansion , organized public transit came into being. In 1861, the first street cars appeared in Montreal and Quebec City. Then by 1982,electric streetcars made their appearance.
At the start of 20th century , 46 urban centres had streetcar lines. Electric streetcars inaugurated in 1892 favoured the expansion of suburbs, since they allowed people to live further away from their places of work without having to travel long distances on foot
Industrialization and urbanization brought about a lot of changes in work and family by early 20th century. The seniors who had retired and couldn’t do any more work ended their lives in poor houses or “old age homes”, as they had come to be known. In the late 19th century the number of seniors who became poor increased as the process of industrialization began to affect Canadian society. More workers were needed as the factories were built in the cities. In the countryside the population grew to the point that people began to be forced off their farms into urban areas to work for wages. Later on, a revolutionary transformation occurred in human use of energy. Burning of wood to produce heat, plus human and animal muscle power were the biomass energy for human society. Then world entered the age of coal and steam power. It was the beginning of fossil fuel era and this is the era we live in today. the harnessing of steam power enabled humans to vastly multiply the energy generated from burning coal, thereby greatly expanding the amount of energy. Petroleum was the second major fossil fuel by 1914.
There was a significant development in communications and transport. Migration to long distances within continental spaces was done through steamships and railroads.
Asian migrants, especially South Asians and Chinese, settled in many parts of the tropical world as well as in the Americas. Standard of living was increased and people were looking for more opportunities than they had in their native places.
Another major environmental change was the enormous increase in population growth. The environmental impact of this dramatic population increase, combined with the surges in economic growth and energy consumption, was colossal.
In Canada the earliest significant social piece of legislation was the Canadian Government Annuities (Act of 1908). It benefited and encouraged a lot of people to prepare financially for their retirement. With this facility, Canadians began to purchase various annuities for different amounts and leghts of time. There was a specific age when the recipient began to receive benefits from it. This system was carried out very nicely and all the costs were administered by the government.
Federal civil servants were given pensions according to superannuation Act in 1870. Then the national pension programs were developed and enhanced more.
In 1867, most of the Canadians did not retire. At that time Canada was predominantly an agricultural society. Majority of the population lived on farms and worked till old age as their was no other source of income. Canadian way of living was totally changed by urbanization and industrialization. With the invention of industries and new technology , farm life and family support system was completely dissolved. Before the old people had no choice except to work to earn their living but now they lived the rest of their live in old homes or poor houses.
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