Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Terry Copp

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This dissertation studies the impact of the Great War on Toronto, Ontario. What happened in the city? How were the enormous sacrifices of the war rationalized? Why did English-Canadians support it? What did citizens know about the war? The dissertation draws upon a wide and varied source base. Every issue of the following newspapers was examined: the six Toronto daily papers, The Weekly Sun, Maclean's, The Industrial Banner, Everywoman's World, The Labour Gazette, and the religious periodicals of major religious denominations in the city. In addition, extensive searches were conducted in the City of Toronto Archives, the Archives of Ontario, the Public Archives of Canada, Baldwin Reading Room, Directorate of History, University of Toronto Archives and Thomas Fisher Rare Book Room, and related church archives. Using these public and private sources, a complex portrait of wartime life has been drawn detailing what residents knew, and how they behaved. The narrative is informed by social, cultural, military, labour, and women's historiographies. Throughout the war, English-Canadian Torontonians reacted in a manner which was both informed and committed. Initially, they expected the war would be short. However, when military events demonstrated that an ad hoc, voluntary approach would be insufficient to meet the increasing demands of the war, they adapted. Voluntary organizations gradually gave way to popularly sanctioned government involvement in everything from the financing to the supplying of men for the war. This was a community which was firmly dedicated to winning the war. Despite its enormous cost, citizens endured.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season