Wealth and Gender in Ontario: 1870–1930

Livio Di Matteo

in Men, Women, and Money

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199593767
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728815 | DOI:
Wealth and Gender in Ontario: 1870–1930

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This chapter examines wealth-holding in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Ontario focusing on two regions: the frontier district of Thunder Bay and the more settled Wentworth County. Using evidence drawn from a large sample of probated estates, it examines the types and extent of female wealth-holding, taking into account legal changes to married women's property rights. Economic conditions as well as legislative changes influenced the amounts and types of wealth held by women. Shifts in agricultural prices meant that fluctuations in wealth-holding were greater in Thunder Bay than in Wentworth County, where women were more inclined to hold a greater share of their wealth in the form of financial assets such as mortgages, securities and stocks. The growth in financial asset ownership in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Ontario shows that even ‘colonial’ regions were fully integrated into the financial web and apparatus of the expanding British empire.

Keywords: Married Women's Property Acts; gender; composition of wealth; Ontario; Canada; North America; financial assets; real estate; mortgages; nineteenth century

Chapter.  12548 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Business History

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