d_day 60th Anniversary: Fund Raising and Volunteerism - Page Banner

Canada entered the Second World War with a limited revenue base. Income Tax had been introduced during the First World War as a temporary measure, and was still in place, but the sheer costs of managing a modern war effort with a large military establishment was well beyond the range of normal revenues.

Victory Bonds - Title Banner

As during the First World War, the government borrowed from the population through a series of nine Victory Bond/War Bond drives that were publicized through posters, parades, newsreels and public speaking engagements.

Poster: Buy Victory Bonds

Members of the provincial government, including the then Premier, Mitchell Hepburn, spoke on behalf of the drives and provided incentives for public employees to purchase bonds through payroll deductions.

In addition, the Government of Ontario was a major investor in the war bonds effort, purchasing several millions worth of bonds in each of the drives as a long term investment.



Click to see a larger image (153K)
Buy Victory Bonds
Wilcox
Archives of Ontario Poster Collection
Reference Code: C 233-2-12-2, AO5845
Archives of Ontario, I0016088

Poster: Your Nest Egg For the Future

Two of the posters featured here are shown in the background of the Eaton’s auditorium photograph from 1943 shown below.

Click to see a larger image (157K)
Your Nest Egg For the Future
Odell & Regen
Archives of Ontario Poster Collection
Reference Code: C 233-2-12-5 AO 5848
Archives of Ontario, I0016091

Poster: . . . and We talk about sacrifice
Click to see a larger image (138K)

. . . and We talk about sacrifice
R. Couillard
Archives of Ontario Poster Collection
Reference Code: C 233-2-12-3, AO5841
Archives of Ontario, I0016084

Poster: Sorry! Canada got it FIRST!
Click to see a larger image (116K)

Sorry! Canada got it FIRST!
Archives of Ontario Poster Collection
Reference Code: C 233-2-12-1, AO5852
Archives of Ontario, I0016095

Photo: Eaton’s employees’ War Bond Rally; women on stage dressed as ordnance workers, holding flags, singing, 1943
Click to see a larger image (110K)

Eaton’s employees’ War Bond Rally; women
on stage dressed as ordnance workers,
holding flags, singing, 1943
Black and white print
T. Eaton Co. Fonds
Reference Code: F 229-308-0-1452
Archives of Ontario, I0016693

Photo: Eaton’s employees in auditorium at a War Bond Rally, 1943
Click to see a larger image (109K)

Eaton’s employees in auditorium at a War Bond Rally, 1943
Note: war posters (2 in AO collection) on walls.
Black and white print
T. Eaton Co. Fonds
Reference Code: F 229-308-0-1452
Archives of Ontario, I0016692

Paramount News:Victory Loan Drive Gets All Out Support”. This video clip contains footage of Premier Hepburn purchasing the first three Victory Bonds for his children. It also contains shots of a victory drive parade with floats carrying slogans such as “Let Us to the Task, Tools for Churchill” and “Help Finish the Job”, 1941.

Victory Loan Drive Gets 'All-Out' Support! - Link to Film Clip
Credit: Grinberg Film Library,
used with permission

Click below to view this clip.

For Windows Media Player 488K 1.04Mb 3.30Mb
For Quicktime Player 1.84Mb 3.49Mb 5.98Mb
For Real Player 412K 1.17Mb 3.83Mb
Mitchell F. Hepburn fonds
16mm, Black and White Sound
Reference Code: F 10-1-0-6-2
Photo: Woman talking to shipbuilding workers about Victory Bonds, Toronto, [ca. 1945]
Click to see a larger image (94K)

Woman talking to shipbuilding workers about
Victory Bonds, Toronto, [ca. 1945]
Gordon W. Powley
Black and white negative
Reference Code: C 5-1-0-102-10
Archives of Ontario, I0002726

The Victory Bonds proved to be an extremely important way of raising money to help finance the war. By way of illustration consider that during the first year of the war the federal government’s total tax revenue was 562 million dollars. This was raised to 2.7 billion dollars by the war's final year.

However, the costs to build and maintain the armed forces during that period were:

  • Army, 1939-1945 4.744 billion dollars
  • Navy, 1939-1945 1.215 billion dollars
  • Air Force, 1939-1945 3.453 billion dollars

for a total of more than nine billion dollars over five years for the military alone.

Nearly twelve billion dollars were raised through the sale of victory bonds and other similar programs. Of this total, approximately 40 percent was raised in Ontario.

Scrap Dives and Rationing - Title Banner
Photo: Aluminum Victory Campaign, 1941 [carriage in parade]

In addition to investing in the war effort through bond issues, individuals were encouraged to participate in scrap drives that would provide materials for war production, such as aluminium, and to limit their use of gasoline, a vital commodity in maintaining modern armies in the field.

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Aluminum Victory Campaign, 1941, [carriage in parade]
Gordon W. Powley
Black and white negative
Reference Code: C 5-1-0-18-5
Archives of Ontario, I0002602

Photo: The Aluminum Victory Campaign, 1941 [man and girl looking at sculpture made out of aluminum]
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The Aluminum Victory Campaign, 1941
[man and girl looking at sculpture made out of aluminum]
Gordon W. Powley
Black and white negative
Reference Code: C 5-1-0-18-1
Archives of Ontario, I0002600

Photo: Woman with 50/50 Car – gasoline pledge, 1941
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Woman with 50/50 Car – gasoline pledge, 1941
Herbert Nott fonds
Black and white negative
Reference Code: C 109-2-0-18
Archives of Ontario, I0016690

Rationing of fuel and other commodities for civilian use was introduced during the war to ensure adequate supplies for the military effort.

Gasoline Licence and Ration Coupon Book, Category A, 1944-1945
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Gasoline Licence and Ration Coupon Book,
Category A, 1944-1945
William H. T. Baillie fonds
Reference Code: F 4143, MU 7665, Folder 6
Archives of Ontario

Gasoline Licence and Ration Coupon Book, Category AA, 1944-1945
Click to see a larger image (98K)

Gasoline Licence and Ration Coupon Book,
Category AA, 1944-1945
William H. T. Baillie fonds
Reference Code: F 4143, MU 7665, Folder 6
Archives of Ontario

Gasoline ration card
Click to see a larger image (86K)

Gasoline ration card
William A. T. Baillie fonds
Reference Code: F 4143, MU 7665, Folder 6
Archives of Ontario

Photo: Lady Eaton presents a cheque for $3,000 to Dr. Fred W. Routley

At the same time, contributions to the Red Cross for relief supplies, blood donations, and support of Prisoners of War were encouraged.

Many companies also provided the space to grow Victory Gardens. Ontarians were encouraged to grow Victory Gardens to produce their own food. More of the province's agricultural output could then go to feeding Canadian military personnel and the British population.

Click to see a larger image (156K)
Lady Eaton presents a cheque for $3,100 to Dr.
Fred W. Routley (left) of the Canadian Red Cross
as a donation from the employees of the Toronto
stores. R. Rooney, representing the staff, looks
on. Eaton Hall Farm, King, Ontario, June 1941
Black and white print
T. Eaton Co. Fonds
Reference Code: F 229-308-0-1441
Archives of Ontario, I0016691

Image of speaker

Let's Visit (1945) - This clip talks about the Victory Gardens at the General Engineering plant, Scarborough.

To listen to this excerpt in "wav" format (538K) click here. It is also available in "aif" format (538K).

General Engineering Company (Canada) fonds
Radio transcription disk
Reference Code: F 2082-1-3-1



Photo: Ladies War Services League, Mimico (gathering soup, clothing, dolls, etc.), October 23, 1941
Click to see a larger image (127K)

Ladies War Services League, Mimico (gathering
soup, clothing, dolls, etc.), October 23, 1941
Herbert Nott fonds
Black and white negative
Reference Code: C 109-2-0-18
Archives of Ontario, I0016686

Support for the families of Canadian servicemen and for British civilians was undertaken through donation drives by groups like the Ladies War Services League.

Another way individuals were encouraged to contribute to the war effort was by donating blood.

Image of speaker
This clip talks about blood donor clinics at the General Engineering plant, Scarborough.

To listen to this excerpt in "wav" format (822K) click here. It is also available in "aif" format (822K).

Let's Visit (1945)
General Engineering Company (Canada) fonds
Radio transcription disk
Reference Code: F 2082-1-3-1



War Savings Certificates were another means of reducing demand in wartime.

Individuals were encouraged to purchase war savings certificates to build up a nest egg for the post-war period, to provide additional funds to the government for war purposes and to reduce demand for consumer goods that were in short supply.

Brochure promoting War Savings Certificates, Back
Click to see a larger image (196K)

Brochure promoting War Savings Certificates, Front
In Premier Mitchell F. Hepburn private correspondence,
File: War Savings Drive
Reference Code: RG 3-10-0-1173
Archives of Ontario

Brochure promoting War Savings Certificates, Front
Click to see a larger image (273K)

Brochure promoting War Savings Certificates, Back
In Premier Mitchell F. Hepburn private correspondence,
File: War Savings Drive
Reference Code: RG 3-10-0-1173
Archives of Ontario