The cbc archival footage has vhs grain and an orange tint. It’s 1988, and Neil McDonald is interviewing what appears to be fairly comfortable middle-class Canadians about Toronto’s ridiculous real estate prices. “It’s a terrible sentence to move to Toronto,” says Alice Hogg (grey hair, crows’ feet wrinkles). “I was basically disgusted at what we would be buying,” says Ben De Jong (also grey, but with a caterpillar moustache).

As a millennial watching the video now, I find seeing aging boomers outraged at the cost of living to be a precious experience. Then, as now, speculation had driven prices stratospheric. Between 1985 and 1989, the average price of a home in the Greater Toronto Area had more than doubled. Those who were headed for the city must have felt like the gta had pulled the ladder up after itself. But their indignation wouldn’t last long: in 1990, the Bank of Canada, attempting to cool hockey-stick growth in the Toronto housing market, jacked up interest rates. The bank’s plan worked, and it triggered a recession. Between 1989 and 1997, the average price of a home in Toronto fell by almost 40 percent. Prices wouldn’t recover until the early 2000s.

NO MORE LOBOTOMY

As a millennial watching the video now, I find seeing aging boomers outraged at the cost of living to be a precious experience. Then, as now, speculation had driven prices stratospheric. Between 1985 and 1989, the average price of a home in the Greater Toronto Area had more than doubled. Those who were headed for the city must have felt like the gta had pulled the ladder up after itself.

As a millennial watching the video now, I find seeing aging boomers outraged at the cost of living to be a precious experience. Then, as now, speculation had driven prices stratospheric. Between 1985 and 1989, the average price of a home in the Greater Toronto Area had more than doubled. Those who were headed for the city must have felt like the gta had pulled the ladder up after itself. But their indignation wouldn’t last long: in 1990, the Bank of Canada, attempting to cool hockey-stick growth in the Toronto housing market, jacked up interest rates. The bank’s plan worked, and it triggered a recession. Between 1989 and 1997, the average price of a home in Toronto fell by almost 40 percent. Prices wouldn’t recover until the early 2000s.

The images used on this page have been sourced from the archive of the Toronto Star. Top background: Darrell, Dick. 1970. Toronto Star Archives. Bottom background: Darrell, Dick. 1970. Toronto Star Archives.