Prices over the decades
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Older Canadians who lived through the Great Depression can remember working for a dollar a day and paying 25 cents for a pound (454 grams) of sirloin steak. Here is a snapshot of some wages and prices since those days.
In 1935, average personal income was $313 per year, milk cost 10 cents per quart (0.95 litres) and a dozen eggs would set you back 31 cents. A tin of tomatoes retailed for 10 cents.
Twenty-five years later, in 1960, average personal income was $1,672 per year. Milk cost 24 cents per quart and it cost 55 cents to purchase a dozen eggs. That can of tomatoes cost 27 cents.
In 1985, average income reached $15,903 per year, partly skimmed milk cost 98 cents per litre and eggs cost $1.37 per dozen. Canned tomatoes cost $1.30.
By 2008, average individual income was $37,700 per year, milk (partly skimmed) cost $1.99per litre and eggs cost $2.57 per dozen. The average retail price of canned tomatoes was still $1.30.
|Bacon (1 kg)||0.68||8.90|
|Sirloin steak (1 kg)||0.51||15.39|
|Flour (1 kg)||0.07||1.89|
|Sugar (1 kg)||0.14||1.21|
|Coffee (1 kg)||0.83||12.93|
|Onions (1 kg)||0.09||1.28|
|Potatoes (4.54 kg)||0.14||4.58|
|Milk (1 litre)1||0.10||2.041|
|Butter (454 g)||0.28||4.25|
|1. Whole milk.|
|Source: Statistics Canada, Canada Year Book 1938 (Catalogue no.11-402-X), CANSIM tables 326-0012 and 003-0022 and Urban Retail Food Prices 1914-59 (Catalogue no.62-514).|