When: Built circa 1973
Where: Autumn Boulevard, south of Algonquin Boulevard
Who: Putwell Construction
What I Know: This small in-fill development consists of 10 semi-detached houses in the A-Section built later than most of the houses in the area that were contructed during the 1960s. The designs are unusual as they have attached garages, and the majority of houses in the A-Section do not have attached garages – probably to save costs when they were first built.
An older map I have indicates that a Baptist church was on the north part of the land near the corner of Algonquin Boulevard. I suspect that this building has been turned in to the Rowntree Montessori School – so perhaps when the church became a school the land behind this building was sold off to build the 10 houses. The website for the Bramalea Baptist Church (located at the northwest corner of Dixie Road and Queen Street East) states that the church was founded in 1963 and has expanded over the years. Maybe the building that is now the Montessori school was the original location of this congregation? I would love to find out, so if you know anything about this land and/or the buildings on it please let me know!
The Toronto Star, July 28, 1973
Image courtesy of Google Maps.
Below is an article describing on how by 1962 one builder was put in charge of the houses in Bramalea as it was thought that the area needed to be more cohesive and for the houses to compliment each other aesthetically.
Canadian Builder, May 1962
This next article was shown on an earlier post, but at the beginning and ending of the text it outlines how important it was to consider the colours and design of the houses in Bramalea. Notice that the architect is also the president of Westbury Homes as stated in the first article in this post.
Bramalea Guardian, October 15, 1964
Toronto Daily Star, May 20, 1961
An aspect of the A-Section that has always stood out for me is the fact that there is such a diverse variety of housing designs and that they are all intermixed in the area. I have always thought that this made the area more interesting. The image above depicts a particular plan in the A-Section which was one of the few daringly modern designs built in 1960s Bramalea. When Westbury Homes took over, these types of designs were not built again, and all of the houses were more traditionally-inspired, and such sweeping asymmetrical roof lines were a thing of the past (until the zero lot-line houses built in the 1970s). Today, mid-century modern designs are celebrated, but there was a time where these types of houses were seen as passé. Through the ups and downs of architecture, perhaps the more traditionally-inspired houses in Bramalea were a safe bet. What are your thoughts?
For those readers familiar with the A, B and C-Sections, I am curious to read your thoughts on how the houses look in these sections. Do you like the variety of the first phases (the A-Section), or prefer the later phases (B and C-Sections) where the houses are more similar in design?
Please use the “Leave a Reply” section below to voice your thoughts. This blog is meant to be interactive, so I am always happy to see readers’ comments, thoughts, stories, etc. on any posting.
If have you ever lived in the A-Section (or currently do), then you might recognize your kitchen layout in the five shown below. The article is from Canadian Builder in June 1960 and the designs are for Bramalea Consolidated Developments’ houses built that same year. Sadly, I am missing the floor plans for these houses – so if you have copies please let me know!
A lot has changed in the 54 years since these were the latest in kitchen design, and most have probably been re-worked at least once or twice since 1960. I worked for a while as a Realtor in Ottawa before returning to school, and always delighted at seeing a house for sale that had not been renovated since first built 50 or so years ago. Original kitchens are always fascinating as styles and technology were so different at that time.
When these houses were originally built it was considered an asset to have an enclosed kitchen, but recent renovations have probably removed some walls to open up the room. Counter space has probably also been added to make room for the ballooning number of counter-top appliances which are now commonplace. Today kitchens are the heart of the home, and they have moved from purely functional spaces to large and highly designed spaces. In comparison, to the 1960 buyer, these kitchens were the latest in modern design.
It is interesting to see how the kitchens have changed with time. Here are just a few examples of Bramalea kitchens over the years:
The aptly named Greenhouse model by Bramalea Limited at Bramalea Estates (M-Section), c. 1977. The kitchen is open to a greenhouse breakfast room – also shown in the two images below. Also of note is the sliding glass door to the backyard which was not something common to 1960 kitchen design.
Toronto Star, October 8, 1977
Toronto Star, April 15, 1978
The Cedarwood by Nu-West in Bramalea Estates (M-Section), c.1978. There are no walls between the kitchen, nook and family room.
The Aruba at Sunrise Estates (M-Section) by Bramalea Limited, c. 1979. Here the kitchen is also open to the family room and there is a large island – presumably with a breakfast counter as there is no separate eating area.
The King Stephen at King’s Row Limited Edition (L-Section) by Bramalea Limited, c. 1981. Again, the kitchen is open to the family room and there is a breakfast bar on the peninsula counter.
The Lake 26 at Columbus Bay (P-Section) by Lakeview Homes, c. 1982. The breakfast room is also a solarium with wrap-around windows.
The Lismer at Showcase 2000 (M-Section and section without a letter) by Bramalea Limited, c. 1982. A smaller kitchen, but notice that the counter with the sink is completely open to the family room.
The Ultimate Rose at The Timeless Elegance of the Rose (L-Section) by The Rose Corporation, c. 1983. This is one of the largest floor plans in Bramalea. The kitchen has a very large island, two pantries and a large breakfast room. If you include the breakfast room, the kitchen is over 330 square feet, more than twice as large as the eat-in kitchens from the 1960 houses.
The Dixie Rose at The Timeless Elegance of the Rose (L-Section) by The Rose Corporation, c. 1983. This luxurious kitchen has a walk-in-pantry, bay-windowed breakfast room and a built-in desk.
The Nottingham at The Master’s Series in Deerchase (N-Section) by Bramalea Limited, c. 1982. The kitchen and breakfast room are open to the family room, only divided by a railing.
The Vega at Trail Ridge (N-Section) by Bramalea Limited, c. 1985. The angular peninsula counter adds interest to this kitchen layout.
The Santa Cruz at Montara (N-Section) by Bramalea Limited, c. 1987. A completely open country kitchen.
The Beachport at Emerald Cove (P-Section) by Bramalea Limited, c. 1988. An island, pantry, broom closet and bay-windowed breakfast room make this a deluxe kitchen for the time.
The Bentley at Carriage Walk South (H-Section) by Bramalea Limited, c. 1988. Even this smaller townhouse kitchen is open to the family room via a railing and has a sliding glass door to the yard.
Toronto Star, February 13, 1988
This advertisement for Nortonville Estates West (L-Section) by Broles Building Corporation, shows an open concept kitchen, complete with a breakfast bar.
By the time some of the last houses were being built in Bramalea kitchens had ballooned in size. A deluxe kitchen was open concept with a breakfast room (sometimes a greenhouse), pantry, island or peninsula counter, and plenty of counter space – all features uncommon in 1960. Times sure have changed!