Everyone at Work
Société d’histoire et de généalogie de l’île Jésus, P29 – Fonds Napoléon Charbonneau, 2009-00-125_P29, Mr. Cyrille Desjardins and his horse-drawn sled on the Mille Îles River, circa 1930
Winter was rough for many residents. Many of them applied to be day labourers for ice-cutting companies. This gave them some extra income to tide them over the long cold winter. Some of them worked up to 90 hours a week. They earned about 35 cents an hour. In the 1930s, average annual income was $313, or wages of about $6 a week. If a normal work week was 50 hours long, that means the average worker earned 12 cents an hour. So the ice cutters were well paid for their hard work!