We have in recent years had some great discussions (and photo-sharing) about emergency postwar housing in Canada at a number of posts, including at one entitled:
I am pleased to share with you the following message from Christina Myers, who has given me permission to post it here; she writes:
I am 87 years old I lived at 11509 Stanislas St. in the Wartime Housing we moved there in September 1942 my sister said 1943, my question is were the houses ready to move in in 1942?, we were one of the first families on our Street in fact my Father got a letter in the
60’s stating that a Street in Ville St. Laurent was named after our family “Ashby “ as being one of the early residents of Ville St. Laurent. Oh I have so many memories of “Mudville” the streets were all mud no pavement then.
If you can help Christina Myers with an evidence-based answer to her question, please contact me at email@example.com or through this website. We much appreciate your help.
Update (1): Message from Graeme Decarie
I am pleased to share the following message from Graeme Decarie (whom we look forward to meeting for lunch along with other Malcolm Campbell High School stalwarts, any time he is in Toronto) :
These were originally intended for war industry workers as they moved into the cities for jobs. But there were none in 1942.
The first ones were built in 1943 – in Toronto. To the best of my knowledge, none appeared in Montreal until 1944 – at the earliest. (I remember going with my parents to see such a development. My father was with us, so the war was over – and this must have been well in 1945. They cost at lot of money. $3,000 dollars.)
Here’s an NFB film about them….. https://www.nfb.ca/film/wartime_housing/
Update (2): Message from Bob Carswell
The area of Mudville as it was known back in the 1940s got its name from the lack of paved roads which turned to mud in the rainy season and during the winter and spring when temperatures warmed up a bit. It consisted originally of 400 houses built with lumber for employee families but expected only to be temporary accommodations for Canadair families. Those houses are now 75+ years old and still going strong.
I cannot tell her when her family moved into Mudville. Only knowing when her father started working at Canadair building the Catalina flying boats might answer that. If they were one of the first families on their street as she says then September 1942 is most probably the date and she is correct but that also depends on when her street was built in the order of things. That we do not know.
All we do know is that construction was started in 1942 in that development and they likely built most houses over the summer rather than through winter so I would bet on 1942 rather than 1943 when the family moved in. Hope that helps.