Canada on the Doorstep


Things were very different in 1939 — a pivotal year when Canada wavered on the doorstep of a clouded future.

Some years are more spectacular than others, and 1939 was no exception. Canada was a different place: steak was twenty-nine cents a pound and a brand-new Ford coupe could be bought for just $856. It was a year when the king and queen toured Canada and wowed to use a showbiz term everyone from Toronto and Vancouver to Gogama and Craigellachie.

It was also a year when Canada wavered on the doorstep of a clouded future: isolation and neutrality or the continued embrace of the British Empire? The onset of war and the Royal Visit settled all that as Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King beat back external and internal threats to keep the tapestry of national unity from unraveling.

Through Canada on the Doorstep you’ll discover the births, deaths, storms, international intrigue, and politics that made 1939 so memorable.

About the Author

William Rayner

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014
William Rayner photo

William Rayner

William Rayner is a retired newspaperman who has written several books about the history of Canada and British Columbia. His 34-year career included writing and editing assignments with the Montreal Star, the Globe & Mail, and the Vancouver Sun. Prior to becoming a journalist, he served five years in the Royal Canadian Navy. He lives in New Westminster, British Columbia.