In 1980, little farming villages located near big cities were transformed into suburbs. The territories around big urban city centers like Montreal and Quebec attracted more and more people who wanted to work in the city but actually live in a different environment. This was possible because more and more families were able to afford to have a car. This movement to the suburbs accelerated in the 1960s when many smaller municipalities near Montreal merged to form larger ones like Laval and Longueuil.

An important change

The growth of the suburbs had a big impact on how cities were organized.  First, roads and bridges had to be built in order to allow commuters to go downtown to work every day. This changed the face of urban centers like Montreal and Quebec City because many bridges and highways were built. In 1967, Montreal set up the Metro subway system to allow easier access to the downtown area. In addition, as more and more farmland was used to build houses, the face of the country changed as well. Rural areas, with space for agricultural and farmland, were farther removed from urban centers.

A lifestyle

Living in the suburbs had certain advantages, especially for middle-class families. First, the cost of housing was less than in the city, and this allowed families to buy houses. Many baby boomers made the choice to live and raise their families in the suburbs, allowing them to enjoy the green spaces which were much more numerous than in the city. However, there were also disadvantages to living in the suburbs. For example, people had to travel longer and farther and spend more time in a car just to get to work each day.  Suburban living therefore had advantages but also disadvantages.

Reference source: Archives de Radio-Canada, Boulevard Curé-Labelle à Laval!, 2 mars 1973


Author:  Alexandre Lanoix

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