In 1980, consumerism played a very large part in the life of Quebeckers. People no longer made the things they needed; they bought them. The purchase of consumer goods was easy thanks to the shopping malls that could now be found throughout most of Quebec (it was still difficult to get consumer goods to some areas of the province, like Nunavik). Shopping malls grouped together stores and offered consumers just about everything they might need. The Boulevard Shopping Center was one of the first shopping malls built in Quebec. It was situated at the corner of Jean-Talon and Pie-IX Boulevard and first opened its doors in 1953.

A consumerist society

Improving living conditions allowed Quebeckers to have more consumer luxuries like a car, a television (even a second one) or a VCR. More and more families had these things which were no longer considered as luxuries but basic necessities of life.

Needs met quickly

In this fast-paced society, people no longer wanted to wait to fill their needs and desires. If they were hungry, they wanted to eat quickly, so they went to more and more fast food chains. If they wanted to buy something, they wanted to do it immediately. Stores stayed open later and later in the evening and on weekends because of this. Consumers also had access to credit cards that allowed them to buy immediately and pay later. There were also new types of goods that were adapted to this new fast pace. For example, people started to use more and more microwave ovens, which allowed food to be heated in seconds.

Did you know?

The first “frozen dinners” went on sale in the 1950. At this time they had to be heated in an oven for 25 minutes, but this was still faster and easier than making a whole meal.  However, were they as good?

Author:  Alexandre Lanoix

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