Janitt in Bramalea

When: Built circa 1970-1971

Where: Briar Path (B-Section) and Darras Court (D-Section)

Who: Janitt

What I Know: First of all, a special thank you is in order to Lynne who provided me with the plans for these houses. Thank you!

The houses were built under the Home Ownership Made Easy Plan (H.O.M.E. Plan) like many other houses in Bramalea.

The architecture of the two townhouse complexes is characterized by neo-Mansard style roof lines. These roofs roll down the facades and visually make the houses look less tall. Interestingly, the depictions of the facades in some of the advertisements and the sales brochure show projections around the top floor windows, but the houses were built without them.

Inside, all of the plans have a one-and-a-half story ceiling in the living room with a large picture window, and the room is located half a flight of stairs up from the entry level. The landscaping of the complexes is designed so that the front of the units are 3-stories tall, while the land raises up at the back, making them 2-and-a-half stories tall, with the living room exiting out to ground level.

Only Darras Court has the 5-bedroom plans, made possible by a bridge link on the second floor between adjacent rows.

 

70 oct 31

Toronto Star, October 31, 1970

 

71 jan 2

Toronto Star, January 2, 1971

71 june 5

Toronto Star, June 5, 1971

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Check your basements and attics!

68mar2

Hello BramaleaBlog readers! I wanted to take the time to thank you all for reading the blog. You may have noticed that my posts have been few and far between. I have reached a point where I have posted everything that I have at the moment. The blog will remain as a resource of information and a way to “walk down memory lane”. I will add any new information as I come across it.

That said, I am sending out a shout out to anyone who may have any of the floor plans or brochures that are missing. So please check your basements and attics for anything that you may have kept from Bramalea! If you have anything, please let me know at bramaleablog@gmail.com so I can share.

The following is the list of missing floor plans/brochures, organised by letter section (I am shocked that it is so long, So please help me shorten it!):

A-Section:

– Any of the homes in the A-Section

B-Section:

– Bramalea Hamlet

– Townhouses on Briar Path

– Any of the detached and semi-detached houses not a part of Westgate

– Townhouses on Balmoral Drive

C-Section:

– Any of the plans for Bramalea-on-the-Park (there were a few builders who constructed houses in the area)

D-Section:

– Townhouses by Jannitt on Darras Court

– Any of the houses built under the H.O.M.E plan

E-Section:

– Any of the houses built under the H.O.M.E plan

– Townhouses on Enderby Crescent, Ellerslie Road, Ellis Drive and Enmount Drive

– Townhouses on Eden Park Drive

– Coventry Gardens

F-Section:

– Any of the houses built under the H.O.M.E plan

– The gates of Bramalea by Consolidated Building Corporation at 475 Bramalea Road

– California Club Townhouses by Bramalea Consolidated Developments

– Concept 3/Folkstone Terrace original marketing material/plans

G-Section:

– Plans built by Del-Zotto

– Bramble Tree Hamlet by Coventry

– Semi-detached houses built by Coventry

– Greenmount Gardens by Bramalea Consolidated Developments

– Cumberland Manor by Bramalea Consolidated Developments

– Northgate by Bramalea Consolidated Developments – I am missing the following plans: Maui, Viking, Florence, Kingston, Eldorado, Oakland.

– Zero lot-line houses and adjacent townhouses

H-Section: 

– Zero lot-line houses and adjacent townhouses (I have some, but am missing quite a few, and I have none of the townhouse plans)

– Houses on Heatherington Place

– Sierra condos by Bramalea Limited

J-Section:

– Plans by DelZotto

– Kimber Park by Bramalea Consolidated Developments

– Portland Estates by Bramalea Consolidated Developments

K-Section:

– Any of the condominium plans

L-Section: 

– Moore Park by Bramalea Limited

– Whitehall at Bramalea – I grew up on Longbourne Crescent, so I am desperate to have these plans!

– Bramalea Estates Semis by Bramalea Limited

– Bramalea Woods South by Wycliffe

– Eastcrest homes on Leander Street

– Laura Drive and Lime Ridge Drive by Bramalea Limited

– Ladin Drive and Lupin Court  by Bramalea Limited

– Lakeride Drive and Lehar Court by Fram Building Group

– The 30′ lot houses by Broles on Leeward Drive

– Courtyards of Bramalea Woods

– Townhouses on Vodden Street at Parr Lake South

M-Section:

– Poplar Developments: parts of Maidstone Crescent and Mansfield Street

– Eastcrest Homes: area surrounding Maitland Street

– Georgian Group in Bramalea Estates

– Houses on Madras Place (perhaps LCD Homes or Senna Brothers…not sure)

– Bay Meadows by Bramalea Consolidated Developments (I have some plans, but not all)

– Ashton Crescent

– Northcliffe Gardens by Kerbel/Darcel on Moregate Crescent

– Cedar Glen townhouses by Bramalea Limited on McMullen Crescent and Guildford Crescent

– The Village Three by Bramalea Limited on Morley Crescent

– Sadler Oaks by Ashton Woods homes on Borden Hill Crescent and Wolverton Crescent

– Townhouses on Middleton Way

– Townhouses on Carisbrooke Court

N-Section:

– The Classic Edition by Bramalea Limited

– Nasmith Park by Bramalea Limited

– Montara Woods by Bramalea Limited

– Houses on southeast part of Nanport Street (builder unknown)

– Garden Series plans and corner designs from Montage on the Park by Bramalea Limited

P-Section:

– Water’s Edge by Lakeview Homes

Section without a letter/Lisa Street Neighbourhood:

– Orchard Place by Kerbel/Darcel on Carleton Place and Franklin Court

– Ritz Towers by Bramalea Limited

 

Thanks once again!

Saul Svirplys, The Bramalea Blogger

Blog posts on early Bramalea

A reader recently commented asking about blog posts on early Bramalea.

 Since I started the blog in November 2013, I have added 116 posts, and  with time some of my older posts drop off of the “Recent Posts” menu on the right of the screen – including those on the beginnings of Bramalea.

So, here are the links to some of my older posts on early Bramalea:

A-Section: A City is Born

The 1958 Master Plan for Bramalea

Bramalea Master Plan 1969

Bramalea, Canada’s First Satellite City

Westgate

Twingate

Southgate Village

Is the Snow Really Whiter in Bramalea?

Northgate

Bramalea Townhouses

The Birds of Bramalea

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

Bramalea: a Utopian Dream?

The latest in semi-deluxe kitchen design, circa 1960

The C-Section

Chatelaine Design Home ’64

Historical Newspaper Articles on Bramalea

An article about one of the founding fathers of Bramalea

Historic Bramalea Photos

Anatomy of a Plan – Journey’s End

Design Controls in Early Bramalea

Photoessay: Bramalea Housing in the 1960s

Bramalea Boom Town!

 

 

Fortress Bramalea – an editorial

When Bramalea was first built, it was designed to have a sense of community, have housing for all “walks of life”, and to be a safe place to raise a family. As a part of the design, greenbelts interconnect the various neighbourhoods in the early phases, and they still provide routes to schools, recreation centres, places of worship and shopping. Houses backing on to these greenbelts connect with the surrounding neighbourhood on two fronts – the street and the greenbelt.

68mar2

Toronto Daily Star. March 2, 1968.

Yet, somewhere along the line this sense of a larger interconnected community did not carry through in certain housing developments, so much so that walls were built around a number of pockets within Bramalea. This is especially the case for some of the townhouse complexes and towers built in the 1980s and 1990s. I do not mean to be critical of these enclosed enclaves (they are noteworthy designs in their own right), but I feel as though they do not align with the larger fabric of what Bramalea was supposed to be.

 

d87sept12b

Carriage Walk condo. Toronto Star. September 12, 1987.

By design, these walled and gated complexes are either condominiums or rentals. Bramalea has a rich history of these types of housing developments, but they were designed and built in a very different way in the early years. For example, on Balmoral Drive at Dixie Road are Ontario’s first condominium townhouses. These units are completely open to the street and every much a part of the community as the detached and semi-detached houses in the area. Likewise, Bramalea’s first tower, Clark House (at 78 Braemar Drive), is open to the surrounding neighbourhood. There are fences on the sides and back to define the property boundary and create some privacy, but the front of the building is still open to the street.

Balmoral

Townhouses on Balmoral Drive. Some are condos and some are rentals. Courtesy of Google Maps.

With time, as condominium complexes added common amenities like pools and playgrounds there was a movement to define the boundaries with fences on all sides and even restricting access. Even so, there are ways to strike a balance between defining the boundaries, but also in staying connected to the greater neighbourhood beyond. Many of the fences around these complexes are metal and visually open, thus defining the boundary, but still not fully cutting off the houses within.

Briarpath

The Briar Path complex has metal fences that still visually connect the houses to the surrounding area. Notice how the units on the left do not even have wooden privacy fences in their rear yards. Courtesy of Google Maps.

Interestingly, The “Gates of Bramalea” complex has a gate posts and a wooden fence surrounding it, but the fence drops down to a lower height at the entry linking the houses to the community beyond.

gates

The Gates of Bramalea at 475 Bramalea Road. Courtesy of Google Maps.

The Village in Bramalea townhouse condominium complexes in the G-Section have outdoor pools and playgrounds, yet they still manage to connect to the surrounding neighbourhood by turning the fronts of the houses on the edge towards the main street.

75nov1

The Village in Bramalea. Builder brochure, c. 1975.

Village

The Village in Bramalea. Courtesy of Google Maps.

Conversely, the two Carriage Walk condominium townhouse complexes, built years later in the H-Section, turn their backs to the neighbourhood and have large walls surrounding the edges with “no trespassing” signs at the entry points.

Carriage

Carriage Walk. It is hard to even see the houses. Courtesy of Google Maps.

Bramalea Oct 2006 036

Carriage Walk entry post. Photo by author.

The most disconected developments in Bramalea are the condominium towers with gatehouses. These gated enclaves restrict access by the public, yet the residents in the towers can visually monitor the public realm from their heights. There is something fortress-like about the whole concept, cutting off the residents from the fabric of the surrounding community.

Laurelcrest

Laurelcrest Condo gatehouse. Courtesy of Google Maps.

hanover

Bellair condominiums gatehouse. Courtesy of Google Maps.

Instead of being connected through greenbelts to greater Bramalea and its public recreational amenities, like the earlier phases of the city, these walled and gated communities have their own private parklands and amenities.

b89apr1

Toronto Star. April 1, 1989.

I am curious as to why things changed along the line and these types of housing developments were built in Bramalea. Was it simply a marketing tool by the builder? Is it more prestigious to have a wall or gatehouse? Is there truly a need for security in Bramalea? Are these complexes actually safer?

I am curious to know what my readers think, so please feel free to comment!

f86apr19

Toronto Star. April 19, 1986.

k88nov19

Toronto Star. November 19, 1988.

Teardrop

And now for some shameless self promotion: Back in December I started publishing chapters on Wattpad from my epic historic-fiction novel, based on Bramalea (so it relates to this blog): The Dream That Was. I have finally published the entire book online, and I have now begun to release chapters from one of my other novels: Teardrop. It is a fast-paced mystery/thriller, so if this is a genre that interests you, please check it out:

Teardrop

The Gates of Bramalea

When: Built circa 1970-1971

Where: 475 Bramalea Road

Who: Consolidated Building Corporation and Ontario House Corporation

What I Know: I am missing the floor plans for the houses in this area, so if anyone has them, I would love to share them!

The two-story units have a carport, instead of a garage, but this allows for front-facing windows on the main floor (in the kitchen, I believe), something that would not be possible if there was a garage out front.

As with most of the townhouse complexes built in Bramalea at the time, there is an outdoor pool and play areas as part of the common elements.

Interestingly, the advertisements for the houses indicate that they came with a refrigerator, stove, hood fan and clothes dryer…but not a washing machine.

GB 1GB 2

70oct17

Toronto Star, October 17, 1970

70nov21

Toronto Star, November 21, 1970

71jan2

Toronto Star, January 2,1971

71jan30

Toronto Star, January 30, 1971

71may1

Toronto Star, May 1, 1971

71sept4

Toronto Star, September 4, 1971

Miscellaneous Bramalea Articles and Advetisements from the 1980s and 1990s

Below are a series of articles and advertisements about Bramalea Limited from the 1980s and 1990s. They show the rise and success of the company as it rapidly expanded beyond the borders of Bramalea itself, but then start to become more negative as the company struggled in the mid-1990s, ending in bankruptcy. The last newspaper image below is perhaps the most tragic of all, as it is an auction notice to sell off the very last remains of the company’s assets, including office furniture.

25Aug84

Toronto Star, August 25, 1984

87aug8

Toronto Star, August 8, 1987

87jun27

Toronto Star, June 27, 198788jul9

Toronto Star, July 9, 198888may28

Toronto Star, May 28, 198892feb22

Toronto Star, February 22, 199292nov21

Toronto Star, November 21, 199292oct17

Toronto Star, October 17, 199293feb27

Toronto Star, February 27, 199395apr27

Toronto Star, April 27, 199595mar31

Toronto Star, March 31, 199595mar31b95may21

Toronto Star, May 21, 1995

Historical Newspaper Articles on Bramalea

I recently realized that I have a number of general newspaper articles on Bramalea that should be shared on the blog. They are great snapshots of the history of Bramalea and the company that built the city. Below are a handful of articles from the 1950s and 1960s:

58may14

Toronto Daily Star, May 14, 1959

58nov15-gm

The Globe and Mail, November 15, 1958

61jun16

Toronto Daily Star, June 16, 1961

 

64jan17

Toronto Daily Star, January 17, 1964

65mar31

Toronto Daily Star, March 1, 1965

 

68may31

Toronto Daily Star, May 31, 1968

69aug2

Toronto Daily Star, August 2, 1969

69aug23

Toronto Daily Star, August 23, 1969

69may14

69may14a

Toronto Daily Star, May 14, 1969

69sept12

Toronto Daily Star, September 12, 1969