North Park Manors

When: Built circa 2006

Where: New Hampshire Court

Who: Century Gove Homes

What I Know: This in-fill development was built on land that appears to have been set aside for a school.

The layouts of the houses are very much a product of the time. The lot widths are narrow, but the garages are set in to the massing of the houses, as opposed to sticking out in front common with the houses built more than a decade before just one street to the north. With the inset garage and rooms above them the second levels of these plans are larger than the main floors, allowing room for large ensuite bathrooms and walk-in closets. Two of the designs have a one-car garage and thus have large front-facing windows on the main floor. This mixing of one-car and two-car garage houses is something that Bramalea Limited did in other parts of Bramalea many years earlier.

There are a handful of other in-fill sites in Bramalea that were built on some time after the surrounding area was developed. These sites remained vacant as they were originally set aside in the master plan for schools, places of worship or shopping, that were never built. A few such sites that come to mind include the southwest corner of Howden Boulevard and Dixie Road, the townhouses on Vodden Street East between Laurelcrest Street and Lone Oak Avenue, and the extension of Locksley Place at Hillside Drive. I am missing the plans for the latter two mentioned, so if anyone has them I would love to share on the blog.   

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The Site Plan below has a different name for the street. I am glad that they changed the name to New Hampshire Court to fit in with the N-Section.

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The Dream That Was

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Hello Bramaleans past and present! In addition to posting on bramaeleablog, another creative outlet of mine is writing fictional stories. I will be posting one of my books chapter-by-chapter on Wattpad to share it with the world. The storyline may be of interest as it is inspired by real events connected to the development of Bramalea – although I have created a fictional family and used a pseudonym for Bramalea. I invite you all to have a read of the first chapter and hopefully you will be drawn to continue reading as I post each chapter.

Below is the synopsis of the book:

Seeking a better life for his children, a father embarks on the ambitious project of designing and building a new city from the ground up. As the city grows and changes so to do his children, each influencing the other over the decades. In many ways, the city takes on a life of its own, with an outcome that the founding father could never have imagined. Inspired by an actual city built from scratch, and real events surrounding its history, this saga tells the tale of a fictional family from the postwar period up until present day.

Here is the link:

The Dream That Was

Hampton Landing by the Lake

When: Built circa 1996

Where: Provincial Place

Who: Begun by Bramalea Limited, but completed by Aspen Ridge Homes

What I Know: I cannot remember if Bramalea Limited actually begun construction in 1994/1995 before they went Bankrupt. I do remember visiting the model homes at the site in 1996 when Aspen Ridge Homes took over.

The format of these plans are large – 22 x 17 inches when opened, so they were a challenge to scan! I am not sure why builders moved to the format (many still have large plans), but they sure do make them hard to store, scan and share.

I am missing the plans for TH6 shown on the site plan (I am not sure what the name of the plan was), so if any of my readers has the plan I would love to add it. Also, if anyone has the original marketing materials from when Bramalea Limited had the project they would be good to share. I have always wondered if they had the exact same floor plans – as the images in the newspaper advertisements look the same.

The townhomes in this area are designed with tunnels leading from the back of the garage or basement to the yard allowing access for bringing a lawnmower through. This design element removes the need for right-of-way access through adjacent back yards as is the case in some freehold townhouse developments.

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Toronto Star, October 1, 1994
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Toronto Star, October 22, 1994

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95jan14
Toronto Star, January 14, 1995

 

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Toronto Star, February 25, 1995
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Toronto Star, May 4, 1996
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This site plan from 1988 appears to be for condominium towers proposed for the site. I seem to recall reading or hearing about how there was local backlash towards this proposal as towers were seen as inappropriate for the area with its low-density housing.
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I am not sure where this article if from, but I found it among the plans I have for the P-Section.

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Historic Bramalea Photos

I would like to start a new series on this blog to share older photos that people have of Bramalea. I am sure that many of my readers have photos of Bramalea from the early years and/or when it was being built. In particular I am interested in photos of houses, buildings and streetscapes. You can send these photos to me at Bramaleablog@gmail.com and I will share as many as I can.

Here is the first batch that a blog reader sent to me. A big thank you to Nigel Carpenter for allowing me to share these photos courtesy of John Carpenter of the E-Section being built. In particular many of these are of Edgebrook Crescent being built, c. 1968.

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My beautiful picture

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My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture

 

Planned communities in Peel Region

It is possible that the development of Bramalea as a completely planned new city may have inspired a handful of large-scale planned neighbourhoods in Peel Region over the years. These projects were typically smaller than Bramalea in size, and were not designed as self-sufficient cities, but they were certainly promoted as planned developments that offered a variety of housing types and amenities. Here is a brief sampling of a few of them. I will re-visit each in subsequent posts examining how they compare to Bramalea.

In Brampton:

Peel Village

Peel Village was begun in Brampton in the 1960s and would have competed with Bramalea for buyers. Even some of their marketing tactics were the same, such as offering helicopter rides to see the development (see Southgate Village). The built similar detached house designs to those in Bramalea and later included semi-detached and townhouses.

I am curious to hear if some of my readers have stories about why their family chose Bramalea over Peel Village during the 1960s.

Peel Village 1

I wonder whatever happened to the model?

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The Villages of Heart Lake

The Villages of Heart Lake was begun in Brampton during the 1970s. This neighbourhood had 12 builders involved at one point, each offering an astounding variety of house designs – similar to the A-Section in Bramalea. The development was at a much smaller scale than Bramalea, and was not built as a city, but it is interesting as a planned community with so many builders working together on a project.

I only have a handful of floor plans from this development, but if any of my readers have any please let me know! Also, I would love to hear any stories about why families chose Bramalea over The Villages of Heart Lake in the 1970s, or if any families moved from one to the other.

VHL Sept 3 1978

The Toronto Star, September 9, 1978

 

Springdale

Built due north of Bramalea, Springdale was begun in the 1990s and also had an impressive line-up of builders. They offered a variety of housing layouts – including some innovative housing types such as houses with rental suites, interlots, and a new concept for quatroplexes. Instead of letter sections like in Bramalea, when Springdale was first built they had themed neighbourhoods like the “mountain theme”  where all of the streets have names related to mountains.

I was still young when it was begun, but I had a passion for house design so I dragged my parents to the model home show more than once!

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In Mississauga:

The two Mississauga developments below are perhaps the closest in terms of scale and vision to Bramalea as they were designed to include both housing and industrial/business parks.

Erin Mills

Erin Mills New Town was created by the same people involved in the development of Don Mills (considered by many  to be the original self-sufficient city built in Canada, begun in the early 1950s). I bought an original copy of the 1969 master plan for Erin Mills (it cost me an “arm and a leg” and is massive). Inside, it reveals that the original design for Erin Mills was to have areas with “innovative housing” such as cluster housing and courtyard housing. Some innovative housing pockets were built, but in later years the area was developed in a way that looked like any other suburban landscape.

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I wonder if anyone still has a copy of the Erin Mills movie?

Meadowvale

Not to be confused with the more recent Old Meadowvale Village development, Meadowvale New Town was started in the 1970s and designed as a cohesive community with places to live and work. The original vision was to have a more urban landscape “downtown” near the Meadowvale Town Centre and Lake Aquitaine. Tall buildings and townhouse complexes were built in the area, but not at as high a density as originally planned. Interestingly, some of less-expensive houses and rental units were built with spectacular views of Lake Aquitaine.

When first built, Meadowvale also had strict restrictive covenants dictating any changes that could (or could not) be made to a house, and even what type of activities could take place at the houses – “an insurance policy against visual pollution”.

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I would love to hear any stories about why families chose Bramalea over some of the other developments being built in Peel Region and/or if families left Bramalea for one of these…and why.

Anatomy of a Plan – Journey’s End

It has been a really long time since I published an installment in my “Anatomy of a Plan” series, so here is a new one!

During the early years of Bramalea, one of the more popular bungalow designs was called the Journey’s End. The layout had a lasting legacy in Bramalea, as many of the bungalow and back-split designs built over the years are a variation on this design.

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c. 1964-1967, B and D-Section.

The layout of the Journey’s End has an L-Shaped living and dining room combination, with the kitchen tucked in to the crux of the L shape and the entry and staircase beside the living room. At the back of the house are 3 bedrooms, with the bathroom located behind the kitchen. Much like many designs in Bramalea, the roots of such a layout can be found in the historic Foursquare plan for 2-storey houses (see the post on my other blog: The Enduring Foursquare). This 2-storey layout was essentially adapted to a one-storey design with the bedrooms placed behind the living spaces instead of above them. Please also see my older post on the Raised Bungalow in Bramalea.

A key feature of this design is that there is a back door located behind the staircase to the basement. As you will see, in later (and narrower) incarnations of this design a back door is not possible, so the only way to the back yard is often only through a side door. This is common issue with many bungalow and back-split designs with the bedrooms at the back of the house.

The basic layout of the Journey’s End was reproduced well in to the 1970s under different names, but with the same basic layout:

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c. 1970-1972, G-Section.

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c. 1971-1972, G-Section.
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c. 1970s, M-Section.

The Journey’s End design was also adapted as a back-split. The layout is similar, except for the stairs are moved to the middle of the house to link the change in levels at the back of the plan. The door to the yard is now a side door tucked in behind the garage with access to the basement stairs.

0052c. 1964-1965, B-Section.

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c. 1971-1972, G-Section.

The Prides Fancy design below is slightly different as the bathroom is located behind the dining room, but still follows the same basic layout. Unfortunately, my only copy of the plan is cut off at the top.

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c. 1964-1965, B-Section.

In some of the back-split variations, the garage is moved to the living room side of the house.

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c. 1970-1972, G-Section.

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c. 1972, G-Section.
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c. 1970s, M-Section.

The layout was also adapted as a semi-detached design in both bungalow and back-split versions, both with and without a garage. Notice how the Vanity Flair design does not have a back door to the yard; instead there is a side door near the front of the house.

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1962-1965, C and D-Section.

Many semi-detached variations of the design have the bathroom behind the kitchen or staircase, yet the same L-shape arrangement of living and dining rooms remain.

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c. 1962-1965, C and D-Section.
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c. 1962-1965, C and D-Section.
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c. 1971-1972, G-Section.
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c. 1971-1972, G-Section.

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c. 1971-1972, G-Section.

By the 1980s the popularity of such a design for newly-built houses in Bramalea began to wane as bungalows and split level houses became less common. Yet, hints of the basic layout still appeared in some designs:

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c. 1979-1980, P-Section/Professor’s Lake.

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c. 1980-1982, L-Section.

There are likely many other designs in Bramalea similar to the Journey’s End – these are just a sampling. If you know of any others, I would love to hear from you!

100 Blog Posts!

I have reached the milestone of 100 blog posts since I started the blog in November 2013. I want to thank all of my readers for their help and comments over the past 2 years, and I plan on sharing more about Bramalea in the years to come.

As some of my older posts drop off of the “Recent Posts” menu on the right of the screen, here are the links to some of my older posts…and there are a lot!

The Estates of Bramalea Woods

Westgate

Twingate

Kings Row in Bramalea Estates

Southgate Village

Is the Snow Really Whiter in Bramalea?

Highland Park

Sweetheart Homes

Bramalea Estates – Nu-West

Bramalea Estates – Bramalea Limited

The Strand by the Lake and The Strand by the Park

A-Section: A City is Born

Concept 3/Folkstone Terrace

Professor’s Lake – Greenpark

Showcase 2000

Northgate

Bramalea Townhouses

Place des Artistes

Sunrise Estates

Anatomy of a Plan – The raised bungalow in Bramalea

Sterling Ridge

The Birds of Bramalea

Finchgate Estates

Bellair on the Park

The Great Canadian Home Sale

The Connoisseur Collection

The 1958 Master Plan for Bramalea

H.O.M.E. – Home Ownership Made Easy in Bramalea

King’s Row Limited Edition

The Village(s) in Bramalea

The L-Section

Super Singles Sale

The G-Section

The Timeless Elegance of the Rose in Bramalea Woods

Columbus Bay

Bramalea: a Utopian Dream?

The Clark House: Gateway to Bramalea

An historic Bramalea landmark gone forever?

Anatomy of a Plan: A Trendsetter Before its Time

The latest in semi-deluxe kitchen design, circa 1960

Blue Mount Estates

The C-Section

Montage by the Park

Chatelaine Design Home ’64

Pickwick Village

Times have changed…and so have standard features in houses.

Today when you buy a new house the builder may highlight their standard features such as hardwood floors, 9-foot ceilings or granite counters – but in the past standard features for houses were quite different. In some cases the features that were advertised may now be viewed as negatives. I pulled a handful of old marketing material for houses in Bramalea, and here is what I found – hopefully some of these will take you down memory lane!

Also, you can click on the neighbourhood names to link to the full posts on each area.

a

Advertisement for houses in the A-Section (early 1960s). At the time wall paneling was a highlight and storm windows were common.

aa 65-67

Southgate Village in the D-Section (1965-1967). I am actually impressed that the houses came with shrubs! Some designs came with electric heating and carports…both of which may not seem like highlights today.

b 69-72

Bramalea Townhouses in parts of the C, D and F-Sections (1970-1972). Drapery tracks were included!

c

Westgate in the B-Section (1964-1965). I am not sure what a “Hollywood style vanity” is. At the time coloured bathroom fixtures and linoleum tiles were considered good standard features.

d

Bramalea in Southdown Estates in Mississauga (c. 1972) – although similar plans were built in Bramalea. Aluminum siding was worthy of mention.

e

Also from Southdown Estates. Formica and Arborite were seen as a plus as they are easy-to-clean!

f

A final Southdown Estates example. Vinyl asbestos flooring! Eek! I am not sure that similar models built in Bramalea had this type of flooring…but it is possible.

g

Bay Meadows in the M-Section (1976), and the design was likely also built in Other areas of Bramalea. What is a “post-formed” laminate counter?

h the strand 81-82

The Strand in the J and N-Sections (1981-1983). Quality broadloom, vinyl flooring and aluminium siding were all seen as worthy of mention as standard features.

hh blue mount 81-82

Blue Mount Estates in the L-Section (1980-1982). A paneled recreation room was seen as a good thing (I remember the one we had when I was a kid!), as well as a dropped ceiling with florescent lighting in the kitchen (remember the so-called “Florida ceilings”!).

i showcase 2000 82

Showcase 2000 in the section without a letter (1982). What is a “hammered Swedish steel picket”? Also, remember when dishwashers were not standard and houses came with a cupboard that you could remove to add one if you wanted.

j columbus bay 83-84

Columbus Bay in the P-Section (1982-1985). Here upgrades included stippled ceilings, arborite or formica counters, a smoke detector (just one), and a coloured exhaust hood fan (I wonder how many colours they offered?).

l 1988 NEW

Nortonville Estates West in the L-Section (1988). Back when having a bidet and wet bar were popular.

Thirty or so years from now I am sure we will look back and muse about the standard features in houses built today!

 

Bramalea Consolidated Developments Limited in South Mississauga

In my recent research I came across some advertising items from a couple of Bramalea Consolidated Development’s (BCD) 1970s-era developments in Mississauga. I thought it would be nice to share these documents to show how large a company BCD had became by the 1970s, building across the continent and even in England.

southdown 2Southdown

a

The plans shown below are for a the Southdown Estates development in Mississauga, but some of the facades look similar to houses built in Bramalea (I think the Burleigh was built in the G-Section and the M-Section). If any of my readers notices a design that they know was built in Bramalea, please let me know where, so I can share!

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he

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Some of the plans built in the Sheridan South neighbourhood in Mississauga are the same as those built in Place des Artistes in the G-Section of Bramalea. The price list and site plan are below.

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