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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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”!).

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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.

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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!

 

Industrial Bramalea

Bramalea was created as a self-sufficient city, meaning that it was designed to have places to both live and work (as well as places to shop, learn, play,worship, etc.). Even before ground was broken for Bramalea the founders actively sought businesses to locate in the city. For these businesses came the promise of a workforce located within the same community, and potential buyers might have been wooed by the promise of places to work within walking distance. As such, there were two main marketing approaches for early Bramalea, one to get people to move to the new city and the other to get businesses to locate in it.

Below is a brochure from 1959 designed to attract industries to Bramalea’s industrial parks. It has some unique forecasts and statistics regarding Bramalea – even before the first family moved in!
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Below are two images from another marketing piece aimed at industries – although this shows the industrial park well underway.

The map below lists the industries that had located in Bramalea c. 1970. It also shows the development of the residential areas of Bramalea at that time.industrial map

This air photo shows an earlier image of the industrial park as well as a great view of Bramalea’s first neighbourhoods – all within walking distance to potential places of employment.industrial photo

Bramalea, circa 1972

Come join me on a trip in a time machine back to the year 1972 in Bramalea! Below is a document from that year with details on both the industrial and residential aspects of Bramalea – including 2 walking tours through the A to G sections and Bramalea Woods, plus price lists for developments active at the time. Some things are still the same, but so much has changed.

A special thank you to a blog reader for completing the missing pieces to this document for me. I had it on file but some pages were missing, so I was delighted when a reader sent me her version with all pages intact!

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Missing floor plans needed!

Hello BramaleaBlog readers! I wanted to take the time to thank you all for reading the blog and your comments, questions and stories. As you may have noticed in some of my postings, there are some plans that I am still missing for certain areas in Bramalea. I want to make this blog as complete as possible with all of the plans for houses in Bramalea. As such, below is a list of elusive plans that I do not have, and would love to share with readers. If you have any of the plans, please let me know at bramaleablog@gmail.com

I will continue to share my collection of plans, marketing materials, articles and insights on Bramalea in new posts – as I still have so much to share!

Here is the list, 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:

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

– Ritz Towers by Bramalea Limited

 

Thanks once again!

The C-Section

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Community Spotlight: the C-Section

The C-Section is one of the smallest in Bramalea. The area has three main, but separate, groupings of houses – each with one specific type of house – detached houses on the west side, semi-detached houses on the east half, and townhouses in the northeast corner. This layout differs from other adjacent letter sections, where detached and semi-detached houses are intermixed on the same street.

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An overview of past plans/maps for the C-Section show that the area was pretty much built as planned, with 3 churches and 3 schools – including one public, one catholic and Bramalea Secondary School. There is a small stretch of Clark Boulevard which runs parallel to the current alignment and is used to access the north ends of Crawley Boulevard and Cloverdale Drive. I presume this was the original roadway – especially with the 1960s-era street lights – and the current thoroughfare was built slightly north. Does anyone know why this was done? The thick black lined road shown on the map below was not built as such – instead, Clark Boulevard now runs out to Bramalea Road, and beyond.

c1969 Master Plan

Most letter sections have at least one shopping area (usually a strip mall), but since much of the C-Section is located just south of the City Centre area it was not necessary to build one.

An undated map I came upon appears below, and shows the A, B and C-Sections. The townhouses in the C-Section were not built when this map was made. It appears as though the map shows a bit of what was built and what was proposed, as the two apartment buildings on Balmoral Drive and Bramalea Road, built around 1964, have different footprints.

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The northwest corner of the area is the location of a cluster of townhouses. The same plans were built in 3 areas of Bramalea, including the D and F-Sections. This particular enclave was called Clark Square. The plans can be found at this posting: Bramalea Townhouses. Adjacent to that area is the Twingate neighbourhood, highlighted in this posting: Twingate. The other neighbourhood in the area is Bramalea on the Park filling out the entire west side. I do not have any of the floor plans for that area – but would love to add them to this blog if anyone has them!

The Bramalea on the Park neighbourhood was built as an expensive area with larger houses, although smaller than those in Bramalea Woods, which also have larger lot sizes. According to early advertising, it was the first time in Canada that the “cluster concept” was used, where 80% of the houses in the area backed on to park land. This is done through a street design with a series of cul-de-sacs poking into parkland.

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Portion of map showing the cluster layout in the area.

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Toronto Daily Star, September 26 1964

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Zoomed portion of the above article.

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Bramalea Guardian, October 15, 1964.

Below is an article from the Bramalea Guardian in 1964 which refers to expensive areas such as the Bramalea on the Park as “snob row”.

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Below is an advertisement from the Toronto Daily Star on June 10, 1967. The statement at the top of the page makes it very clear who the target demographic was for the area.

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A handful of builders constructed houses in Bramalea on the Park, including the one described in this article below. One of the reasons that Bramalea Consolidated Developments took more control of home building in Bramalea was because of difficulties with some of the many builders involved in the first phases of the city.

66apr5Toronto Daily Star, April 5, 1966

While Bramalea Woods is still referred to by its original name, few people would still refer to the western part of the C-Section as Bramalea on the Park. Even so, it still appears to have a certain cache with higher resale prices for houses.

The 1958 Master Plan for Bramalea

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This proposed map is actually a dozen pages in to the 1958 Master Plan for Bramalea, but I thought it would be an interesting starting point to present the pages from the portfolio. There are actually two slightly different versions of the Master Plan from the same year – at this point I will present one of the two. Please click on any of the images to make them larger.

The map above depicts the first plan of the satellite city with limited detail. The A and C-Sections were built as depicted, and part of the B-Section is correct. The rest was not built as planned. The proposal shows letter sections all the way up to “Y”, with an I and an O-Section, the two letter sections left out of Bramalea as built. I always wonder why those letters were left out. Just east of Montreal, the City of Brossard also has letter sections, but does have an I-Section (which is industrial!) and an O-Section.

The Bramalea City Centre was built in the location planned, but the service industry section became the H-Section and the prestige industry on Queen Street did not get developed as such. The proposed G, S and T sections became industrial creating what now is a J-shaped industrial belt on the edges of Bramalea. Also notice the proposed golf course in the present day J and P-Sections. The 1969 Master Plan showed this proposed golf course relocated to the L and N-Sections…and was never actually built anywhere in Bramalea.

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It was proposed that all of Bramalea would be built in a decade. In reality it took four times as long, and still continues to grow with in-fill neighbourhoods added with time.004

No high rises are show here, yet the next page explains that Bramalea was to have an urban atmosphere.005 006 007 008 009 010 011 012

It is interesting to read the 4th paragraph, which describes the almost utopian dream of Bramalea. No air pollution! Other early promotional material mentions that there would be no traffic congestion, smog or urban sprawl.014 015 016

“Some farms will be left intact” Hmm…does the barn at the petting zoo in Chinguacousy Park count?

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Close…but not exactly as built, especially the top-centre and left-side parts of the plan.024

Perhaps they shouldn’t have depended on the Avro Aircraft industry in Malton as a potential employer….
025 026 027 029Please feel free to add any comments, insights, or reactions to this founding document for Bramalea.

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.

Bramalea Townhouses

When: built circa 1970-1972.

Where: Craigleigh Boulevard, Dearbourne Crescent, Dearbourne Boulevard (parts), Fleetwood Crescent.

Who: Bramalea Consolidated Developments Limited.

What I Know: These townhouses were built in 3 separate complexes: Clark Square in the C-Section, Dearbourne Court in the D-Section, and Bramalea Park in the F-Section. The complex in the F-Section was later marketed as the California Townhouses – although the floor plans appear to be the same (although with new names). It is the only complex of the 3 with a swimming pool.

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Toronto Daily Star, April 14, 1969

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Toronto Daily Star, June 27, 1970

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Toronto Daily Star, August 8, 1970

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Toronto Daily Star, September 19, 1970.

These 1,000 townhouses being built  around this time included the 3 Bramalea Consolidated Development areas shown here, but also includes the Gates of Bramalea  in the F-Section and Darras Court in the D-Section, both by other builders.

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Toronto Daily Star, October 10, 1970

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Toronto Daily Star, December 5, 1970

71jan30

Toronto Daily Star, January 30, 1971

71may29

Toronto Daily Star, May 29, 1971

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Toronto Daily Star, June 19, 1971

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Toronto Daily Star, January 15, 1972

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Twingate

When: Built circa 1962-1965.

Where: Cloverdale Drive and Cathcart Cresent.

Who: Built by Bramalea Construction (Peel) Limited

What I Know: Called “twin homes”, the designs of these semi-detached houses differed from the earlier versions in Bramalea. A number of the designs are only linked by the garage, and are sometimes paired with a different model. The plans are generally larger than the earlier semi-detached houses in the A-Section, and a few even have two bathrooms, including an ensuite in the Galleon Beau plan (which was not common at the time).

It was the first area in Bramalea to have only semi-detached houses, as in the past semi-detached and detached houses were intermixed. Many of the houses back onto greenbelt or the grounds of Bramalea Secondary School.

The same plans were built in Southgate Village  in theD-Section, in particular the:Vanity Flair, Autumn Grove, Galleon Beau, Galleon Belle, King’s Mill and Rainbows End.

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Toronto Daily Star, October 10, 1962

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It may be hard to see in this image, but many of the advertisements during this period depict a hilltop view into Bramalea. Where is this illusive hill? Mount Chinguacousy was not built at this point. As a reader has suggested, perhaps the depicted view is from Crescent Hill, and embellished to look higher.b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t