I just finished the Tin Flute by Gabrielle Roy, and it was quite depressing. Really the only thing I enjoyed about that was that I recognized places they mentioned around Montreal, even if the book took place in the late 1930s. But I guess it is a classic and therefore worth reading. It follows the life of a lower class family as they struggle to make ends meet in the pre-WWII period. Their plight goes from bad to worse as almost every unimaginable tragedy befalls the family - losing jobs, death of a child, rape, pregnancy, etc. Sounds like a good time.
And to continue on with my theme of hardships in the history of Canada... I have started to read Roughing it in the Bush by Susanna Moodie. This book was written by a pioneer woman and documents her experiences of emigrating to a new country (Canada) and having to make a life out of nothing. She wanted to share the real experience of moving to Canada, hardships and all, so that others would not be going blindly into a strange land without knowing what they would be encountering.