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Major Events:

• During the Depression of the 1930s, demand for electricity decreased for the first time. This meant there was less work to be done. In order to help protect jobs, unionized workers agreed to reduce their work hours from 44 a week to 40. Some layoffs were necessary, but the jobs were offered back to employees in 1940 when electricity consumption picked up again.
• Throughout the 1930s, new lighting made night baseball games at Maple Leaf Stadium and softball games at Sunnyside Stadium very popular. Hockey fans cheered when Maple Leaf Gardens opened in 1932 with its ice surface lit by over one hundred 1,000-watt lamps.
• By 1934, Toronto’s centennial, the City had approximately 920 kilometres (km) of paved streets and 880 km of them were lit by electricity. The lighting was more for sidewalks, but with the increase in auto traffic, accidents became more common. It wasn’t until after WWII that street lighting was upgraded to make driving safer.
• With the outbreak of WWII in 1939, Toronto Hydro was concerned about the security of our substations. Employees built high chain-link fences around them and Operators were sworn in as Special Constables. Special passes were issued to employees who might require access to the stations.

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