Creeping Conformity: How Canada Became Suburban, 1900-1960

By Richard Harris

© 2004

Creeping Conformity, the first history of suburbanization in Canada, provides a geographical perspective – both physical and social – on Canada's suburban past. Shaped by internal and external migration, decentralization of employment, and increased use of the streetcar and then the automobile, the rise of the suburb held great social promise, reflecting the aspirations of Canadian families for more domestic space and home ownership.

After 1945 however, the suburbs became stereotyped as generic, physically standardized, and socially conformist places. By 1960, they had grown further away – physically and culturally – from their respective parent cities, and brought unanticipated social and environmental consequences. Government intervention also played a key role, encouraging mortgage indebtedness, amortization, and building and subdivision regulations to become the suburban norm. Suburban homes became less affordable and more standardized, and for the first time, Canadian commentators began to speak disdainfully of 'the suburbs,' or simply 'suburbia.' Creeping Conformity traces how these perceptions emerged to reflect a new suburban reality.

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Product Details

  • Series: Themes in Canadian History
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP000523

  • PUBLISHED JUN 2004

    From: $22.46

    Regular Price: $29.95

    ISBN 9780802084286
  • PUBLISHED JUN 2004

    From: $45.75

    Regular Price: $61.00

    ISBN 9780802035561
  • PUBLISHED DEC 2004

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    Regular Price: $27.95

Quick Overview

Creeping Conformity, the first history of suburbanization in Canada, provides a geographical perspective – both physical and social – on Canada's suburban past.


Electronic Format Disclaimer: Two images removed at the request of the rights holder.

Creeping Conformity: How Canada Became Suburban, 1900-1960

By Richard Harris

© 2004

Creeping Conformity, the first history of suburbanization in Canada, provides a geographical perspective – both physical and social – on Canada's suburban past. Shaped by internal and external migration, decentralization of employment, and increased use of the streetcar and then the automobile, the rise of the suburb held great social promise, reflecting the aspirations of Canadian families for more domestic space and home ownership.

After 1945 however, the suburbs became stereotyped as generic, physically standardized, and socially conformist places. By 1960, they had grown further away – physically and culturally – from their respective parent cities, and brought unanticipated social and environmental consequences. Government intervention also played a key role, encouraging mortgage indebtedness, amortization, and building and subdivision regulations to become the suburban norm. Suburban homes became less affordable and more standardized, and for the first time, Canadian commentators began to speak disdainfully of 'the suburbs,' or simply 'suburbia.' Creeping Conformity traces how these perceptions emerged to reflect a new suburban reality.

Electronic Format Disclaimer: Two images removed at the request of the rights holder.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Themes in Canadian History
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    Creeping Conformity is a little gem. It is one of those rare books by an academic that is both easy to read and leaves you wanting more.


    Susan Schiller
    Focus on Municipal Assessment and Taxation
  • Author Information

    Richard Harris is a professor in the School of Geography and Earth Sciences at McMaster University.