Since the end of World War I, a number of commonwealth countries have celebrated a memorial day on November 11th, where we remember the members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty, as well as those men and women who continue to serve during times of both peace and war.
The date is significant in that it marked the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month”, hence our moment of remembrance at 11:00 a.m. today.
Canadian soldiers have often played a crucial role in conflicts (and in peacekeeping) around the world. Today they do so as they follow the Canada First Defence Strategy, which has as two of its pillars the capacity to:
- Lead and/or conduct a major international operation for an extended period; and
- Deploy forces in response to crises elsewhere in the world for shorter periods.
I am grateful for the work that Canadian soldiers do in this area and with a friend recently being deployed overseas on just such a mission, I am confident that our soldiers today live up to this proud history.
Today I want to also acknowledge the impact they have had here at home. Within our country, the Canadian Armed Forces are tasked with having the capacity to:
- Conduct daily domestic and continental operations, including in the Arctic and through NORAD
- Support a major international event in Canada, such as the 2010 Winter Olympics
- Respond to a major terrorist attack
- Support civilian authorities during a crisis in Canada such as a natural disaster
Whether it is today or any other day, please spare a moment to think about the work our soldiers do and consider helping support them through donating, fundraising or participating in an initiative. Click here to be taken to a page that lists the ways you can help.
On a regular basis, I encounter reminders of Canadian soldiers as I go about my work as a real estate agent.
Many of the bungalows around Toronto were built as way to allow service personnel to re-establish civilian lives and set up households with their familes. Drive through East York, Davisville, Mimico and the Beach, as well as a number of other neighbourhoods in the GTA, and you see streets filled with bungalows and one and a half storey homes with high peaked roofs.
The popularity of bungalows seems particularly fitting for Canada, given the multicultural origin of the world bungalow, which derives from the Gujarati word bangalo and hindi bangle meaning “low thatched home.” The word came to us through Britain and is often used for one or one and a half storey homes.
Following World War II, more than a million Canadians returned to peacetime life and created a housing demand that the private sector could not meet. The federal government was challenged to meet the need for a rehabilitation program to assist ex-service members.
In 1935 the foundation for the federal housing agency was laid, with the Dominion Housing Act. By 1938, the Act had helped finance almost 5,000 homes. During World War II, the Wartime Housing Corporation built 46,000 homes and renovated thousands more. After the war, the sudden huge demand for housing required further action on the government’s part. In 1946 the government created the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), a federal agency that continues today. Yes, CMHC isn’t just for those high-ratio mortgage insurance policies!
If you have a moment, watch this Heritage Minute video (featuring Allan Hawco of the Republic of Doyle), which dramatizes the push for the government to step up and solve this issue.
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The next time you drive through one of these neighbourhoods, or visit a friend in their bungalow, remember that such “victory homes” came about as a way to support our service members in peace time, as they supported our country during war.
MOSAIC OF SUBCULTURES
Do everything possible to enrich the cultures and subcultures of the city, by breaking the city, as far as possible, into a vast mosaic of small and different subcultures, each with its own spatial territory, and each with the power to create its own distinct life style.
As Toronto was formed by the amalgamation of villages and towns, it is easy to forget that not all places have the range and depth of different neighbourhoods and areas. Whether is is walking past the grandmothers talking to each other on porches near the Danforth, or interrupting a hockey game in a cul-de-sac off of Bloor, Toronto is filled with distinct areas that have a feel all their own.
When considering where you want to live, take the time to explore different areas. The type of home may be the same but the feel of an area can make the difference between buying a house and finding a home.