Children in a crowded, cluttered room
Slum interior, occupied
October 29, 1913
Photographer: Arthur Goss
City of Toronto Archives
RG 8, Series 4, Subseries 32, Item 244


As the period of annexation subsided, so too did new housing construction. With the return of veterans and the increase in immigration following World War I, overcrowded and deteriorating housing conditions emerged as a serious problem. As a result, the City made its first great foray into social reform, extending public controls over formerly sacred private property rights.

Between 1913 and 1918, 1,600 substandard houses were demolished at the call of the City’s health officials. An increasing demand for subsidized housing also emerged at this time, leading to the formation of the Toronto Housing Company, viewed by many as a regrettable but necessary intrusion into the free market.


Cover of report, no images, only text
Cottage Flats at Riverdale Courts
ca. 1915
The Toronto Housing Company
The Toronto Housing Company fonds, Fonds 1018


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