As industrialization progressed, more and more rural folk flocked to the cities in search of better pay in the factories. To increase the factories’ overall efficiency and to take advantage of new opportunities in the market, factory workers were trained to perform specialized tasks. Factory owners divided their workers into different groups, each group focusing on a specific task. Some groups secured and transported to the factories raw materials (namely iron, coal, and steel) used in mass production of goods, while other groups operated different machines. Some groups of workers fixed machines when they broke down, while others were charged with making improvements to them and overall factory operation.
As the factories grew and workers became more specialized, additional teachers and trainers were needed to pass on specialized skills. In addition, the housing, transportation, and recreational needs of factory workers resulted in the rapid expansion of cities and towns. Governmental bureaucracies grew to support these, and new specialized departments were created to handle traffic, sanitation, taxation, and other services. Other businesses within the towns also became more specialized as more builders, physicians, lawyers, and other workers were added to handle the various needs of the new residents.
Urbanization is a big part of the modern world, without it, we would all be lost. While countries are growing at a rapid rate, the once ‘old’ cities of the past are expanding onto previously un-occupied lands and even sometimes creating new towns and cities. Suburbs of cities spring up all over the world all the time, and populations grow with them. Major areas or cities of countries are usually hubs of economic significance, and help shape the country into it’s true self. These areas help the country grow, and provide hundreds and thousands of jobs and careers for the citizens. Canada’s largest hub is Toronto, but all major Canadian cities have their own pledges to the Canadian and world economy. I’m going to dab a little bit into these metro areas, and explain what they do for Canada. Urbanization is essential for Canada’s economy because of the extensive growth and demand for commodities involved.
How is Urbanization tied into Canada’s Metropolitan Areas? How does it affect the people that live in them?
These questions are probably common, and need to be tended to. Urbanization is what makes Canada’s metro areas metro; people tend to look at most countries and see cities they think just appeared out of thin air. Urbanization is what shaped our cities into what they are today. Long ago, people didn’t live in cities; they tended to live in rural areas with the odd exception of a city or town of significance because of its central role in everyday life. Usually cities before the year 1200 were small with no more than 30,000 inhabitants. These cities were built because they were usually a capital, or a major trading area with markets and bazaars. Over time cities evolved to become walled and protected, and that too ‘stopped’ the growth of the cities. War, droughts, disease, all took a large toll on shaping cities in the past, and once a prosperous age came, people began to multiply. Once populations exceeded the city’s own capacity, suburbs were born. We see this today in many medieval-like towns and cities. Paris for example was once small and busy, now parts of the city walls are gone and roads were constructed to take people to new parts of the city. Paris has well over 9 million people now and is extremely busy. We also see this in Canada; the only walled North American city now exceeds its capacity, and walls were torn down to make way for a larger city. This city is Quebec, and one of Canada’s largest metro areas. Canadian cities are some of the fastest growing cities on the globe because they are so young. Most were founded between 1690 and 1840, which is very young compared to many African, Asian and European cities, which sometimes date back to before Christ.
Today Canada hosts a wide variety of urban sprawl, which is housing that, is put up quickly to house a lot of people fast. An example of urban sprawl can be found in Windsor Ontario’s: The Villages of Riverside, Forest Glade, Green Park, and Blue Heron Point. The highest quality of these urban sprawl lands is Green Park, followed by Forest Glade, Blue Heron Point, and finally The Villages of Riverside. Urban sprawl has its pros and cons, pros being, that people can move in fairly quick, easily afford these housing developments, and live away from the main city. Cons are, usually these housing developments are put up too fast degrading the overall quality of craftsmanship, making the area a low income ‘slum.’ (However, this is not always the case).
Canada’s largest cities are usually quite dense and populated with more than 100,000 people. These cities were once trading posts, forts, or plain old rural farms. Today, with Canada’s population of almost 32 million, 78% live in urban areas. If that’s not urbanization, then what is? The remainder 22% live on farms, or small villages. A settlement with a population over 3,500 is considered to be an urban area according to Canadian standards; anything less is rural.
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