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Pastimes of Yesteryear, 1896-1919

Michèle Dagenais, Université de Montréal

In the early 20th century, the ideal of leisure time for all gains ground. Recreation is no longer considered to be a luxury. The élite behind the various reform movements, very active during this period, want more people to be entitled to free time. Reformers fighting for the development of recreational activities, especially for children, see in them a way to resolve social tensions, improve morals and living conditions, and beautify cities. Gardens, parks, playing fields, libraries and public baths are built to provide city dwellers, ever growing in number and diversity, with places to relax and have fun.


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