Joey and Zev’s father, Samuel Rosenthal, is the proud owner of the family drug store around the corner from the Christie Pits ballpark. Unlike his wife Rebecca, he doesn’t want to think about the possibility of “Toronto the Good” falling prey to the kind of antisemitism that Jews are experiencing in Germany. But there’s more to the story: he is still deeply affected by the persecution he and his family suffered in Russia when he was a child.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, unemployment was very high and living conditions were difficult. As the economic situation worsened throughout the decade, anti-Jewish feelings grew even more intense around the world, including in Toronto. Stereotypes connecting the Jewish people to financial institutions led to Jews being used as a scapegoat for the Great Depression.
The uncertainty that was created by the Great Depression caused many people to look beyond Canada's current political or economic systems for solutions. For some, fascism became the best way to deal with the effects of the Depression while preserving democracy and fending off communism.