These two illustrations by Jim appeared on the same page for different articles. The first, above, is from a story by Fred Griffin about people being distracted on the streetcar, with the illustration showing a woman unable to look up while reading a book while paying her fare. Not unlike smartphones today?
This illustration is from “The ‘opkins Rent and ‘aunted ‘ouse” by Edith Bayne. It is a terrible story written in working class slang about a haunted house. The man in the illustration thinks he hears a ghost, but it turns out to be the new boarder who is a telephone switchboard operator who talks in her sleep (5 cents being the cost of a call from a pay phone).
Margot Asquith was the wife of British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith, who was Prime minister from 1908-1916. The poor progress of the First World War was blamed on him and he was forced out of office part way through and replaced by David Lloyd George. Mrs. Asquith was not well liked by the press for her outspokenness during the war, and was considered by some as a partial reason for her husband’s downfall. This illustration by Jim accompanied an article by her about her visit to America in 1922.
Jim illustrated this article by George Roden. A “Mashie” was a type of golf club still in use at the time, similar to a modern 5 Iron. The Thompson Brothers were five brothers from a family of golfers who all came from the Toronto Golf Club. They all would have been playing at the time of this article.
Jim illustrated this story about alimony, and New York, where you could go to prison at the time for not paying it. There was a lot of sympathy for the men in this article, which implied that prison was too harsh.
These illustrations were made by Jim for a story by Caesar Smith, a regular contributor to the Star Weekly in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The story outlined the public interest in investing and making money in the stock market. However, we in the future know that this did not end well with the stock market crash seven months later that heralded the Great Depression.
Batteries thud out their shots into the night. Rockets fleet up and burst in jewels against the vivid starry sky. The Fete de Nuit has begun, Quebec’s night of celebration of winter.
Up the narrow, steep streets of the ancient city flow the crowds, in colored sashes wrapped about their homely workaday clothes, in gay snowshoe costumes of blanket cloth, in ski costume, in furs. And one crowd – a snowshoe club in hooded coats – are singing as they go.
“Vive la Huronne si fiere
De ses Guerriers, de ses grands bois.”
From the old town, from the hotels, from the shops all closing hurriedly, the crowds swarm up the steep streets to the Citadel. The rockets light the snow. From across the St. Lawrence glow the great bonfires on the Levis shore where the villagers hold their lesser celebrations. On the ramparts of the old Citadel, beacon fires leap and flare. The ancient fortress is limmed in a vast gleam of colored light.
Groups of glee singers in their picturesque costumes sing the old voyageur songs. “A la Claire Fontaine,” “La Huronne,” “Alouette,” “Les Montagnards.” Bands play, the ice is massed with skaters, the bob and toboggan runs are crammed with flashing groups, the snowshoe clubs in their various costumes march past, the ski clubs lead the way to the hills where they perform their little miracles of speed and marvelous control, the entries in the coming dog team races bring their huskies to show them off to the crowds, there is a carnival of confusion and music under the beacon fires and the rockets. Then the batteries fling their tumult into the starry night, the rockets make a final frenzy and the crowd seeks out the dance floor of the city, new and old, to close the Fete de Nuit.
What a professional team of half a dozen players does in sport is news. What a whole city does in sport is too big for news. Some day, the story of what Quebec is doing with winter will be written in a book of the social history of Canada.
Quebec does not set aside a day for winter sports. Her city council does not generously donate piece of park land for the celebration. The old city has been long enough on her mighty cliffs to know when the snow comes and when it departs. And for that time of beauty Quebec writes a new calendar.
Most of the cities of Canada are looking shrewdly at winter sports as a scheme for at attracting tourists. They would like to set up a sort of winter amusement park, with a foxy eye on the investment and the probable turnover.
Quebec celebrates winter for herself. And the tourists, tens of thousands of them, come to her for that very reason.
Quebec has something to show every other city in Canada. Neither the Chateau Frontenac nor the Quebec Winter Sports Association cared to make an estimate of the number of tourists, largely American, from New York and the New England states, who come to the old city in the course of the winter to unbend themselves with winter recreation. The lowest estimate was ten thousand, excluding all commercial visitors. The largest estimate was twenty thousand, from November to March. These were people of means, who had time and money to spend in amusing themselves. They are the sort of visitors Canada wants, not merely for the cash they dispense but for the potentialities of their interest in Canada which are likely to result from their visit.
Where Winter is Holiday Time
How has Quebec done It?
For long, long years, Canada has looked upon her winter as a great handicap. From the economic point of view, a liability, a detriment.
At one time in the history of this dominion, the British government was trying to arrange a trade with the French whereby they would give Canada away for a nice, jungly little Island down in the tropics somewhere.
“Canada,” they said, “is a country covered with snow for a large part of the year.”
Most of us remember the shame and indignation that was roused when Kipling published his poem, “Our Lady of the Snows.”
Just lately, the rest of Canada has been gradually, very gradually, changing her mind about snow. Quebec changed her mind a couple of centuries ago. But, of course, Quebec has been there a long time.
A certain Canadian radio station desired to put on a night of Canadian songs. A patriotic night of native songs. They thought of “Alouette” and “A la Claire Fontaine,” And “En Roulant Ma Boule.”
How about some Canadian songs in English? “O Canada,” there was, of course! But no, it too was French, translated. The project had to be abandoned because there were not enough native songs in English. And there were too many in French to suit the somewhat shrewd taste of the management.
It takes time to develop songs. It also takes time to develop something so essentially native and national as Quebec city’s three month long celebration of winter. Quebec has lived with Its winter long enough to know it and love it. And probably because it is something the rest of the world has not got, because it is distinctive, there gradually grew a desire to celebrate it. It was a time for gay clothes. It was a time for fun. Many of the industries were halted by it. The villages had nothing much else to do in winter but amuse themselves. Over two centuries, there emerged the thing they have to-day – a calendar of sports, with something for everybody to do or see for almost every day of the winter.
It is pretty evident, Quebec does not lay out her winter with an eye on the tourists. But the tourists come. Quebec is now, in the opinion of those whose business it is to tell people where to go for recreation, the greatest winter sport centre in America. It is on the grow. The Chateau Frontenac was filed to capacity Christmas and New Years week. One single party came from Boston consisting of three hundred and fifty – a train load. This was not a convention. It was a party of pleasure seekers which has grown from small beginnings, a few Bostoners meeting at the Chateau, deciding to come again, and so on, until after half a dozen years it makes a gay trainload of families, decked out in the garments not of Boston, but the quaint costumes, of Quebec. Dozens of such cumulative parties now come to the Chateau every winter.
“Way I’m looking at it now,” said a New Yorker who had not only his children but his grandchildren with him – you should have seen the old boy with four grandchildren skyhooting around the steep streets of Quebec in a dog sled behind eight huskies… “the average man in this country should have two weeks holiday in summer and one week in winter.”
But then, he was president of a bank.
Months of Carnival
The Fete de Nuit, with its carnival spirit of assembling in the snow night, is not what it might be in Montreal or Toronto. The weeks and months are laid out in a sort of festive calendar. Certain nights are given over to hockey matches, professional and amateur. Then other nights are given to ski competitions, skating races, snow-shoe hikes under the leadership of the various Quebec snowshoe clubs – despite the way the snowshoe is looked upon in this moment of popularity of skiing, it is by far the more picturesque sport, and lends itself to fun and frolic. Other nights are given to bob sled races. The Quebec dog derby is becoming a classic. And towards the end of the season there to a great masquerade of winter which says goodby to winter with the same regret Ontario bids summer farewell.
Quebec has an incomparable lead on the rest of Canada not because she has more or a better winter, but because the recognition of the spirit of winter is rooted right in the people. Not just a few of the people but all the people make definite obeisance to winter. The ice sculpture in front of al the stores is only an indication. The gay red and green sleighs of the merchants and the corporation, the sashes worn by the men over their coate-quaint, woolen sashes of bright color, some of which are old and worth as much as two hundred dollars. Of course you couldn’t live in Quebec without having a spirited and humorous respect for winter. Quebec’s streets run up and down more than north and south or east and west. You have to equipped with humor to walk either up or down one of those streets. For at any moment you are likely to go on your ear.
Can other Canadian cities welcome winter in the same highly profitable fashion Quebec does?
Can Toronto, with her queer scabby, dirty, slushy winter do anything better than scowl at winter?
The Great Lakes cities are rather unfortunate. They are placed against warm bowls which melt winter away. Those old boys who talk of winter not being what it used to be are men born and brought up in towns and cities set in a few miles from the lakes, and who remember their winters of old. The winters in Newmarket, Stratford, Peterborough are just as good as they ever were. Toronto’s winter is pretty much as it always was. Go back a few miles from the lake and you find winter.
Toronto can have winter in all its glory little way up the Metropolitan railway. Hundreds, thousands of people who have summer cottages on Lake Simcoe are already taking annual parties of winter sports enthusiasts up to Lake Simcoe in the winter. The solution of the winter recreation problem for Toronto will undoubtedly be a series of resorts set back from forty to a hundred miles, where there are the trees, hills and snow.
Would Toronto Wear a Sash?
Some of the small towns sleeping away over that ridge that rises a few miles back of Toronto could make a fortune if they undertook to amuse Toronto people with snow. Toronto is no less a sport and recreation city than the average city in America. When winter comes, golf, motoring, tennis, all the familiar sports are ended. There is a leisure class which then goes into sort of steamy hibernation, dancing, playing bridge, going to shows, yet unhappy and restless because the exercise in which they are accustomed in winter id left out of their scheme of things.
They go to Quebec now. They even go to Lake Placid, which is down south. A few are discovering the one or two resorts in Muskoka which have everything Lake Placid has, except the loud voice.
But Toronto is so convinced that winter – in her world, anyway – is a matter of slush, alternating with furious grips of zero weather which hardens the slush for a day or two and then collapses into another flu week, that it will be slow work waking Toronto to the fact that there is beauty only fifty miles away.
If Toronto people were to put on a blanket coat or sash, to which they are as fully entitled as the people of Quebec, there would at once be rumors of a circus in town. The most Toronto will do in the way of releasing the spirit in dress is to wear a small bit of colored feather sticking up in the back of the hat band.
“That’s a beautiful sash,” We remarked to a young man beside us watching the bob sleds racing at tremendous pace down the old Quebec wall.
“Yes,” he said. “Ceinture fleche: my grandmother wove this when she was a girl. It is mine now.”
He has winter-burned the color of leather. He had a hard, lean look, and his eyes were aflame with interest in the fleeting sleds.
“Do you bob?”
“No. Skis,” he said. “After banking hours, skis.”
“Do you jump?”
“Yes. I can do ninety, a hundred. But it’s the ski running that is sport. We picked up fox back six or seven miles in the Laureation the other day. New stuff. A grand sport.”
“More fun even than the summer, eh?”
“Summer! Man, I spend the summer just yearning for winter to come again!”
Ho told us of the fox hunt on skis, the hours working along the ridges, sliding and pawing along the sides of those purple Laurentian hills that rise back of the old city and at last, towards evening, the picking up of a fox on the high ridge, the shouting and view hallo, and the party sweeping and racing over ridge and valley in pursuit of the astounded tox.
“Did you kill him?”
“Kill him! Not he; we drove him to his hole in a rock slide, and left him for another day. We have sent for English hunting horns for the chase, to sound the view hallo.”
This is something Toronto could do. Quebec does a hundred things Ontario could do.
It Pays to Marry. But It Doesn’t Pay to Spend Money. Build a House or Have a Stake in the Community – The Floater Keeps Himself Liquid and Escapes Heavy Taxation.
When old John Doe died his estate amounted to only ten thousand five hundred dollars, and as he left it to his two sons in equal shares, no succession duty tax had to be paid on the estate to the Ontario government.
After the funeral’ expenses, debts and probate changes had been paid, there were exactly five thousand dollars left to each of the sons, John H. and Harry J. Doe.
Harry was the cute member of the family, always had been. He was married, but had no children. He was a traveler for a textile concern and lived in a fashionable apartment and had a good car.
Harry took his five thousand and put it at once into Ontario six per cent bonds, which he got at par on issue.
John Junior, was married and had five children, three of them over sixteen, but going to college.
John was bothered what to do with his five thousand. Should he pay off a bunch of debts, or should he get the new big touring car the boys wanted, or should he invest it?
He finally decided to build a house.
So he selected a good lot on a north end street, and went ahead with a house that cost him, in the end, twelve thousand dollars, house and land.
The five thousand cash went into materials for the house. He gave a mortgage for the remaining seven, which covered land and labor.
At the end of the year this is what had happened to the five thousand dollars of the two men.
Harry, that foxy lad, received from his $5,000 bond interest at 6 per cent., or $300.
John Junior first paid a transfer tax to the Ontario government on his $4,000 lot of $8.
He paid the workmen’s compensation tax of the minimum of $4 when the contractor put it in the bill.
On his materials, which cost $5,000, he paid the 6 per cent sales tax which, though paid at the point of production by the manufacturer, was nevertheless included in the cost of the material. So right there, John paid the dominion government a tax of $300.
The city assessment department assessed his new property at $9,000, and John was presented in due time with a tax bill of $300.
So, while Harry’s $5,000 brings him in $300 interest from the government, poor John’s five thousand gets him into a position where the various authorities tax him a total of $612.
Now, both Harry and John earn salaries of $5,000 per annum.
Harry, with this bonds, thus earns $5,300 a year. Being married, he is exempt $2,000.
John earns $5,000 and is exempt $2,000 as being married, and the dominion exempts him $300 for each child under sixteen. This only exempts him $2,600, as three of his children are over sixteen and going to college. But the city exempts him for the whole five children.
Foxy Harry’s Plan
But of his salary Harry saves $2,000 cold cash a year. He does it this way: With his five thousand bond from his father’s legacy as security, he goes to the bank and has the bank buy him $2,000 six per cent industrial bond at par. Then he pays $166.66 a month to the bank, purchasing one bond in one year. The bank charges him interest on the loan, but Harry gets interest on the bond. It works out very nicely at six months’ interest exactly. So Harry pays the bank $60 for the transaction, and gets $120 interest from the new purchase of bonds.
Now, the dominion income tax allows Harry to deduct the $60 he paid in bank interest for the purchase of the bond amongst his exemptions. The city assessor does not.
Harry, who is a traveler, uses his fine new big car in his business. The dominion income fax allows him 25 per cent, depreciation the first year plus his upkeep and repairs. This comes in Harry’s case to no less than $1,200. He keeps an itemized account of the cost of gas, oil and repairs.
So Harry pays income tax as follows: To the dominion, $5,000; salary, plus $300 bond interest, plus $120 new bond interest, less $2,000 married exemption, less $1,200 car expenses, less $60 carrying charges on the new industrial bond, or $2,160 taxable income, which at 4 per cent. makes a tax bill of $86.40. To the city income tax he is not exempt the $60 interest, and he is allowed only 20 per cent. depreciation on his car, plus upkeep and repairs. So Harry pays the city on taxable income of $2,330 at 33 1-3 mills, which renders bill of $69.60.
Now we come to poor old John.
John’s $5,000 salary is exempt $2,000 for being married plus $300 per child under sixteen by the dominion. He is therefore exempt $2,600. He pays the Dominion government # tax bill of $96. For while John has a car, he cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, describe it as an essential to the carrying on of his business. It is a family car. It is for the pleasure of his family of five children.
To the city, John pays a bill of $60. He gets no deduction for the money he has soaked into the building of his house, to the benefit and improvement of the city. He cannot deduct the $300 taxes on his new property.
“Why should he?” asks Harry.
On that cursed mortgage of $7,000, at 7 ½ per cent., poor John pays Interest of $525 per annum, not to mention reduction of principal.
Does he get exemption on that interest? Certainly NOT!
So while Harry, with an income of $5,420, on which to support a wife, a car and pays rent, expends a total in taxes of $156, John Junior, on total income of $5,000, on which to support a family of seven, a car, but owning his own house, a stake in the community, pays taxes totaling no less than $456.
Poor Old House-Owner
It is a wonder poor John hasn’t committed suicide on me before this. I will be glad to get this story written. It is positively pitiful the pickle we are getting John into.
For we are not through with him yet.
What is left of John’s income after he has paid all these taxes and charges on his new property and mortgage, he uses to the last nickel in keeping his family clothed and fed.
And on everything he buys for the use of his family, save only such food as is a direct product of the farm (not all food, remember), on such items as clothing, boots, tobacco, pies, cakes, hair nets, books, furniture, utensils, gas, oil, every mortal thing a family of seven buys from day to day, he is taxed another six per cent, by the Dominion government.
Of course, the tax law says this tax shall be paid at the point of production, but of course again, the people at the point of production are only the collectors of the tax for the dominion.
The tax is paid by the consumer of the goods. It is passed on. It isn’t the famous “turnover” tax they are talking about, but it is turned over, just the same. It is turned over and over until It reaches John.
“I wish,” says John, “they would invent a non turnover tax.”
So suppose John spends $3,000 of his salary (for he spends every cent of it) on manufactured goods which are taxed six per cent: then John pays the dominion another lump of cash – to wit, $180.
We have said nothing whatever about the biggest tax burglar of all, that lays for both John and Harry, but which gets to them only insofar as they are spenders of money. And that is the tariff.
The tariff, ranging from 15 to 35 per cent., is a tax not merely on what comes over the border – in which case the government gets the money again – but also on all things that don’t come over the border, for clothes made right in town, for example, cost what they cost plus what they would cost if they came over the border. That is, lest the American clothes which have to pay 35 per cent. duty on crossing the line, be put at an unfair disadvantage in the stern world of business competition, the Canadian manufacturers of clothing add on thirty-five per cent. too, to do the sporting thing. This Is one way of looking at it, as John says.
The Tariff Burglar
How much out of his $5,000 salary John pays the government through the tariff, through the extra money he has to pay resulting from the tariff, cannot be arrived at. But it is a hefty amount. For it involves not any piker 4 per cent or six per cent., like sales and income taxes, but 35 per cent…
It is so vague and veiled a thing, this tariff burglar, that John can’t visualize him, can’t feel personal about him. So John vents most of his feelings on the two or three taxes he can visualize.
This one year, in which that five thousand dollar legacy came like a blight into his life, John pays out: $300 sales tax on the building of the house, $300 property tax to the city. $156 income taxes, $180 sales tax on the things he buys to keep house. In addition he pays $525 interest on his mortgage. John is so hard up. he tries to borrow a few hundred from Harry. But Harry quite justifiably takes the view that John is in such circumstances it would not be safe to lend money to him.
So John borrows a little from a bank, at 7 ½ per cent.
What about Harry? He saves $2,000 out of his salary, so there is no sales tax on that. It isn’t spent. Having only his wife and himself to keep he doesn’t spend much on food and raiment. He spends some on golf fees and other club fees, which aren’t sales. He spends other sums, having a good time. Say he spends $2,000 on living the year.
Harry slips the government only $120 via the sales tax.
What is the moral of this sad story?
It is pretty clear.
Marry by all means: it exempts you $2,000. But don’t have any children, and don’t spend money, don’t build a house, don’t go and do that most foolish of all things, from a financial standpoint – don’t go and get yourself stake in the community.
Keep liquid. Buy bonds. Rent your flat. Then when times are hard, you can move to the States.
And when times are good, you can move back home.
Keep yourself liquid. Taxes say so.
Editor’s Note: I think the point of this article is that the taxes are too high, or at least not distributed in an appropriate manner, but the examples used do not make the point very well. Of course if John has five kids with 3 in college, he is going to have it tougher that Harry with no kids. Plus John is working towards home ownership which has value, compared to a renter.
This illustration by Jim accompanied an article on how Prohibition made some unscrupulous doctors money as they could give “prescriptions” for alcohol for “medicinal purposes”. The text indicated that one doctor issued 2005 prescriptions in one month. This abuse resulted in limits on how many prescriptions doctors could issue.