Skyscraper Suburb, Part One: The K-Section

view

 Courtesy of Google Maps

overview

Courtesy of Bing Maps

I have often thought about how unique Bramalea is as a suburb, especially in the visual sense. One thing that stands out at the most striking aspect of how different Bramalea is are the number of tall buildings – or skyscrapers – in the centre of the area. This is something that most suburban communities do not have. Mississauga’s downtown area has recently been undergoing a skyscraper boom, but Bramalea had one that started back in the 1970s.

This is the first part of an exploration of Bramalea as a “Skyscraper Suburb”. The first instalment is about the area east of the Bramalea City Centre: the K-Section. There 12 tall buildings that tower over the area. Interestingly, there are also 12 towers in the Lisa Street area to the west of the City Centre, which also forms another dense cluster. These book-ends to “downtown” Bramalea will be explored separately.

Although the density of the tall towers is more akin to an urban setting, the large swaths of land surrounding the buildings sets them apart from the landscape of larger downtown cores. This concept has roots dating back to the 1920s and the famous architect Le Corbusier’s designs for “towers in a park”. Countless suburban towers have been built this way in many countries. In some areas the land around these tall towers is now being filled in with housing, stores, or more appealing outdoor spaces that can be used for festivals and gatherings. Maybe similar re-developments are in store for Bramalea?

There is an interesting juxtaposition between the visual horizontality of the single-family homes (especially the bungalows in the older sections of Bramalea) and the verticality of the towers reaching up to the sky.

bramalea 048

Bramalea 097A couple of photos I took back in 2006.

skyline

The Bramalea Skyline from HWY 410. Courtesy of Google Maps.

 Many of the buildings look quite similar and are plain on the exterior, but these 1970s-era buildings often have very large units – especially compared to condos built today. Unfortunately I do not have any floor plans for the buildings in the K-Section (except for a couple as shown in the advertisements). I do however have an interest in condominiums built in the 1970s and have a collection of floor plans for buildings in Ottawa from that time period posted on my Ottawa blog: Mid Century Modern Condos and Experiential Design.

Some of the buildings in Bramalea were rentals first and then sold as lower-priced condominium units later.

 Many of the buildings have different names from when they were first marketed, so I am unsure of which buildings in the ads below correspond with the current names. At the end of the post is a list of the buildings and their current names.

Below are a series of advertisements and articles on the various condominium towers built in the K-Section:

a75feb15

 Toronto Star, February 15, 1975

b75feb22

Toronto Star, February 22, 1975 c75mar29

Toronto Star, March 29, 1975 e75apr19

Toronto Star, April 19, 1975 f75may24

Toronto Star, May 24, 1975 g75jun7

Toronto Star, June 7, 1975 h75jun14

Toronto Star, June 14, 1975 i75aug9

Toronto Star, August 9, 1975 j75dec6

Toronto Star, December 6, 1975

The building below is a rental building, which presumably was one of the buildings to be converted in to condominiums in the 1980s.

k75dec27

Toronto Star, December 27, 1975

l78feb4

Toronto Star, February 4, 1978m81jun20

Toronto Star, June 20, 1981n81sept12

Toronto Star, September 12, 1981 p081oct3

Toronto Star, October 3, 1981

q82jan9

Toronto Star, January 9, 1982r82jan16

Toronto Star, January 16, 1982 s82jan19

Toronto Star, January 19, 1982 t82feb20

Toronto Star, February 20, 1982 ta82feb20a

Toronto Star, February 20, 1982 u82mar13

Toronto Star, March 13, 1982 v82apr10

Toronto Star, April 10, 1982 w82may29

Toronto Star, May 29, 1982 wa82may29a

Toronto Star, May 29, 1982 x82jun12

Toronto Star, June 12, 1982 y82jul10

Toronto Star, July 10, 1982

z82aug7

Toronto Star, August 7, 1982 za82aug7a

Toronto Star, August 7, 1982 zb82aug28

Toronto Star, August 28, 1982 zc82sept11

Toronto Star, September 11, 1982 zd82oct2

Toronto Star, October 2, 1982 ze82oct23

Toronto Star, October 23, 1982 zf82oct30

Toronto Star, October 30, 1982 zg82nov20

Toronto Star, November 20, 1982

zh83feb5

Toronto Star, February 5, 1983zi83mar19

Toronto Star, March 19, 1983 zj83may21

Toronto Star, May 21, 1983 zk83apr30

Toronto Star, April 30, 1983 zl83jun25

Toronto Star, June 25, 1983 zm83jul16

Toronto Star, July 16, 1983 zn83aug27

Toronto Star, August 27, 1983

As mentioned earlier, many of the buildings have names that are different from when they were marketed in the 1970s and 1980s. Here is a list of the current building names. If you know which buildings were marketed as which, please let me know!

Some of the information has been gathered from the Emporis website on tall buildings.

Also as a tidbit, I never understood why in the 1960s-1980s often single buildings were called “towers” as if there were more than one…

 The buildings of the K-Section:

– 25 Kensington Road: Stuart Towers, 18 floors

– 15 Kensington Road: MacDonald Towers, 18 floors, built 1974

– 18 Knightsbridge Road: Bruce Towers, 25 floors, built 1976

– 10 Kensington Road: McKenzie Towers, 14 floors

 

– 10 Knightsbridge Road: Chelsea Gardens Tower 1, 13 floors

– 4 Knightsbridge Road: Chelsea Gardens Tower 2, 13 floors

– 4 Kings Cross: Ross Tower, 20 floors

– 17 Knightsbridge: Shaw Towers, 18 floors, built 1977

– 21 Knightsbridge: Fraser Towers, 18 floors, built 1978

Knightsbridge-Kings Cross Towers:

– 3 Knightsbridge Road: Cameron Towers, 26 floors

– 11 Knightsbridge Road: Munro Towers, 18 floors

– 5 Kings Cross Road: Buchanan Towers, 18 floors

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One thought on “Skyscraper Suburb, Part One: The K-Section

  1. Based on their locations on the maps, Kensington Place is 25 Kensington, Briar Stone is 21 Knightsbridge, and Bramalea Place is 18 Knightsbridge

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