Anatomy of a Plan – The raised bungalow in Bramalea

Starting in the late 1970s a design was premiered in Bramalea that was essentially a re-imagined version of some of the very first houses built in the area. This design was of a raised bungalow with an L-shaped living and dining room layout. This plan appeared in various incarnations across Bramalea over the following decade.

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The main level layout (the top floor) shown below has an L-shaped living and dining room and intersecting kitchen, with three bedrooms and a bathroom behind.

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The roots of this room arrangement can actually be traced back to the Victorian era, but became most popular with the foursquare designs built en-masse beginning early in the 20th century. These square or rectangular designs often had an L-shaped living and dining room layout on the main floor (although some had the two back to back). The Foursquare can be seen across the continent, including the historic downtown of Brampton. (For more on the foursquare please visit my other blog: http://modernrealtor.blogspot.ca/2011/09/enduring-foursqaure.html).

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Aladdin mail order house, c. 1930

The foursquare design became the basis for many of the 2-storey houses in Bramalea – with an L-shaped living and dining room arrangement.

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Southgate Village, c.1965-1967. D-Section (also built in the B-Section).

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Northgate, c.1970-1972. G-Section.

The L-shaped living and dining room layout was also very common in bungalow designs in the mid-20th century in North America. It can be said that these designs were an adaptation of the Foursquare by essentially putting the upper and lower floors side-by-side, and removing the 4th bedroom. In some cases a bedroom was next to the kitchen, while in others the bathroom or stairway abutted the kitchen.

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Bramalea, c.1959-1960. A-Section.

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Bramalea, c.1959-1960. A-Section.

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Westgate, c.1964-1965. B-Section.

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Bramalea, c.1959-1960. A-Section.

The Windsor plan above is very similar to the later raised bungalow designs in Bramalea, except for the placement of the stairs. It was unique in that the narrow side faced the road. With the luxury of wide suburban lots, builders maximized the sense of a sprawling house with the long side commonly towards the street.

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Southgate Village, c.1965-1967. D-Section.

The plan above is of a raised bungalow, and the two car garage on the lower level foreshadows the raised bungalow designs which became popular later.

The general layout of these bungalows could be adapted to the split-level house – both detached and semi-detached.

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Bramalea, c.1959-1960. A-Section.

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Twingate, c. 1962-1965. C-Section.

Beginning in the late 1970s, this bungalow layout was rotated to fit a narrower lot width, and then the plan was raised up a level so that at two-car garage could be placed under the main living level. It was acceptable to build houses without garages in the early years of Bramalea, but by the time the raised bungalow appeared a garage was a must.

The front section shown below is similar to the main floors common in a Foursquare plan and early Bramalea bungalows:

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The back of the house has a layout similar to the upper levels of 3-bedroom Foursquare plans, or the bedroom wing of a bungalow:

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The resultant design was built in many Bramalea communities by Bramalea Limited, each time with subtle variations.

There are two general versions of the main (upper) level. One is larger with an ensuite bathroom and walk-in-closet off the master bedroom, plus a breakfast area off the kitchen. The other version has one bathroom on the main level. In all versions one of the bedrooms is behind the kitchen.

There are a handful of ground level layouts all with a family room, but some have a bedroom and full bath as well. It appears that only one version has a basement below this ground level. Below are the various incarnations of the plan:

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Sunrise Estates and Sunrise Estates West, c. 1979-1980. M-Section and L-Section.W9W9P

Sunrise Estates and Sunrise Estates West, c. 1979-1980. M-Section and L-Section.

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The Heritage Series, c.1980-1982. N-Section.

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Showcase 2000, c.1982. M-Section, section without a letter.

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Sunset in Bramalea, c.1983-1985. N-Section.

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Sunset on Greenmount, c.1984. G-Section.

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Trail Ridge, c.1985-1987. N-Section.

The L-shaped arrangement of living and dining room also became common for other plans in Bramalea, including some townhouses, where these rooms were located across the back of the house with the kitchen in the centre of the house (often behind the garage). It was also the arrangement of the 1970s semi-detached house I lived in as a child in the L-Section.

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3 thoughts on “Anatomy of a Plan – The raised bungalow in Bramalea

  1. Pingback: Sunset | bramaleablog

  2. Pingback: 100 Blog Posts! | bramaleablog

  3. Pingback: Anatomy of a Plan – Journey’s End | bramaleablog

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