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Sex and the suburbs

From the construction of the first bungalow in Don Mills, Ont. in 1953, the debate went one way or the other. Perfectly planned communities were idyllic for some and unliveable for others. Since then, skeptics have weighed in on suburbia's cookie-cutter qualities — strip malls, two-car garages and endless doughnut shops. Nevertheless, Canadian suburbs continue to grow faster than cities, and now even musicians have claimed them a hub of artistic creativity.

It's Saturday night in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, a suburb on the West Island of Montreal. For couples in this Quebec community, local dances are an escape from the doldrums of suburban life. At this dance in 1974, wife-swapping jokes and the subject of sex crop up after a few drinks. And for fun, couples avoid dancing with their own spouses. "It's our only chance to cuddle somebody else's husband," says one woman as she spins in the arms of another man.
. At the time of this clip, Dollard-des-Ormeaux was located west of the city of Montreal. The suburb is now officially a borough within Montreal's city limits, called Dollard-des-Ormeaux/Roxboro.
. In 1999, Maclean's reported that people living in suburban communities on the outskirts of big cities were healthier than people living in cities. The data, from Statistics Canada, was collected over three years.

. Another study reported that people living on the outskirts of cities used more resources than their big-city counterparts. In 2004 the study by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities said the average resident of York Region in Southern Ontario used 43 per cent more resources, such as fuel and water.
. Other Ontario regions guilty of overuse were: Halton, Peel and Waterloo.

. The 2001 Census reported that the population in the suburbs was aging more rapidly than in the cities. The shift was attributed to the children of immigrant suburban families moving to Canadian urban centres.
. In recent years, Dollard-des-Ormeaux's social development has been focused on a new community centre, an amphitheatre and an arts centre.
Medium: Television
Program: Take 60
Broadcast Date: Jan. 10, 1974
Guest(s): Eve St. Pierre
Host: Adrienne Clarkson, Paul Soles
Duration: 6:40

Last updated: February 20, 2013

Page consulted on December 5, 2013

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