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1919 - 1930 History Detail


Ontario sides with a majority of public opinion following the First World War and votes for a modified version of Prohibition. The law forbids consuming, but not making or exporting alcohol. The measure helps usher in one of the most lawless and often violent, if colourful, eras in North American history. With its lengths of shoreline and its waterways inland, the Lakeshore region becomes a hotbed for the transport of liquor to the USA. The alcohol is often carried by road or rail from Quebec, where Prohibition is not in force. The times help create such colourful Lakeshore characters as Jim Cooper, a millionaire philanthropist who uses much of his controversial wealth to improve agricultural and social conditions; and Blais "King Canada" Diesbourg of Belle River, a sometime associate of Al Capone. Capone himself paid a number of visits to the Lakeshore area. Although Ontario relents to allowing the sale of relatively low alcohol content beer (4.4 percent) in 1925, in the United States, Prohibition stays in force until 1933, and Lakeshore continues to be a major supplier of alcohol to the United States until that time.

1920's, 1930's

storeThe Roaring 20s give way to The Dirty Thirties and the Great Depression, but during this time, the Lakeshore region benefits from the enterprise of local entrepreneurs who establish new communities and entertainment facilities. Arsene Emery's various stores, parks and a tavern help develop the neighbourhood which still bears his name and has its own Post Office. Swingland..an open air dancing, sporting and entertainment centre..becomes legendary for its variety of diversions for the entire family.

Date edited: 02/23/2016