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.

a

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

aa 65-67

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.

b 69-72

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

c

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.

d

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

e

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

f

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.

g

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?

h the strand 81-82

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.

hh blue mount 81-82

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”!).

i showcase 2000 82

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.

j columbus bay 83-84

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!

 

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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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002 (2)002003 (2)004 (2)005 (2)006007008009010011012013

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

Williamsquare Apartments – Towering above the E-Section

When: Built circa 1971-1972

Where:  15 and 37 Eastbourne Drive

Who: Bramalea Consolidated Developments Limited

What I Know: The tall buildings in Bramalea are concentrated around the City Centre or along the Queen Street corridor – but these two 9-storey towers are the one exception, located on the southeastern portion of the E-Section where it meets the D-Section. (As a sidebar, the new rental building on Bramalea Road, South of Avondale Boulevard is also located outside of the central part of Bramalea, but is a much more recent addition to the skyline).

Located in a low-rise residential area, the towers are buffered  from the houses by open space including parkland and a schoolground. Eastborune Drive is a fairly busy road with no houses fronting on in and with access to the Southgate Shopping Centre, Earnscliffe Recreation Centre, a church and a public school – so having the density of taller buildings does suit the location.

According to the 1969 master plan, the area was earmarked for medium density multiple housing as well as the land where the townhouses on Endrby Crescent, Ellerslie Road, Ellis Drive and Enmount Drive were built. In comparison, the 14-floor Clark House in the B-Section was considered high-density (and is 5 floors taller compared to Williamsquare Apartments).

The buildings were first called Eastbourne Park when first marketed, but the name was changed shortly after. Today the buildings are called Williams Square – with two words. When first offered for rent, the bachelor units were rented for $140/month, but now they start at $795 and the rents start at $1,215 for a 3 bedroom unit.

tower

 Courtesy of Bing Maps

71aug14

Toronto Daily Star, August 14, 197172jan21

Toronto Daily Star, January 21, 1972

Please feel free to share any Williamsquare Apartments stories/memories in the comments section below!

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!

001 002 003 004 005 006 007 007a 008 009 010 011 012 013 014 015 016 017 018 019 020 021

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!

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

When: Built circa 1967-1969.

Where: Parts of the D, E, and F-Sections

Who: Built by Bramalea Consolidated Developments Inc., Sweetgrass Homes, Tall Oaks Construction, D.R.H. Holdings Limited, Claran Homes Limited, Consolidated Building Coporation, and a handfull of other builders

What I know: Large parts of the D, E, and F-Section were built as a part of the Ontario Government’s Home Ownership Made Easy (H.O.M.E.) plan.

A handful of builders took place in the program, but sadly I do not have any plans for such houses – although at the bottom of this post I have the price list (thanks to a blog reader!) and the exterior images of some of the semi-detached houses built by Bramalea Consolidated Developments.  Some of the plans appear to be based on those at the first phase of Southgate Village: https://bramaleablog.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/southgate-village/ and Twingate: https://bramaleablog.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/twingate/

It has been suggested that perhaps plans were not handed out due to the quick buying frenzy for the houses. If any readers have the plans built in these areas under the H.O.M.E. plan please let me know!

 The articles below are for the detached and semi-detached houses in these areas built under the plan, but some of the townhouse complexes throughout Bramalea were also built as a part of the H.O.M.E. plan. The Villages of Central Park (the zero lot-line houses) were also built under the same program in the 1970s – and will be the subject of an upcoming post.

41 of the houses on Epsom Downs Drive were actually moved from Etobicoke to make way for the widening of HWY 27! (See article below from August 12, 1968)

Some of the houses were built on leased land. Most of these have probably been bought out, but I am wondering if any land leases still exist?

b67aug1

Toronto Daily Star, August 1, 1967c67aug1a

Toronto Daily Star, August 2, 1967 d67aug2b

Toronto Daily Star, August 2, 1967 e67aug3

Toronto Daily Star, August 3, 1967 f67aug5

Toronto Daily Star, August 5, 1967 g67aug5a

Toronto Daily Star, August 5, 1967 h67aug8

Toronto Daily Star, August 8, 1967 i67aug8c

Toronto Daily Star, August 8, 1967 j67aug8b

Toronto Daily Star, August 8, 1967 k67aug8d

Toronto Daily Star, August 8, 1967 l67aug8a

Toronto Daily Star, August 8, 1967 m67aug9

Toronto Daily Star, August 9, 1967 n67aug12

Toronto Daily Star, August 12, 1967 o67sept27

Toronto Daily Star, September 27, 1967 p67sept27a

Toronto Daily Star, September 27, 1967

r68feb21b

Toronto Daily Star, February 21, 1968s68feb21

Toronto Daily Star, February 21, 1968 t68apr13

Toronto Daily Star, April 13, 1968 u68may11

Toronto Daily Star, May 11, 1968 v68aug12a

Toronto Daily Star, August 12, 1968 ww68aug12

Toronto Daily Star, August 12, 1968 x68sept28

Toronto Daily Star, September 28, 1968 y68nov30

Toronto Daily Star, November 30, 1968 z69feb15

Toronto Daily Star, February 15, 1969zz69feb22

Toronto Daily Star, February 22, 1969 zzz69mar22

Toronto Daily Star, March 22, 1969

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Did you (or your parents) wait in line for one of these houses? Do you have a story to share about the experience? Please feel free to leave any thoughts in the comments section.

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.

003

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?

017 018 019

020 021 022 023

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.

002crop

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.

003a

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).

1936sears-cornell

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).

020

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.

008

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

0061

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.

s

t

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.

007

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

f

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:

003l

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:

003u

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:

W1 W1P

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.

005 005a

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

gh

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

006 007

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

002

003

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

008 009

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.

69apr14

Toronto Daily Star, April 14, 1969

70jun27

Toronto Daily Star, June 27, 1970

70aug8

Toronto Daily Star, August 8, 1970

70sept19

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.

70oct10

Toronto Daily Star, October 10, 1970

70dec5

Toronto Daily Star, December 5, 1970

71jan30

Toronto Daily Star, January 30, 1971

71may29

Toronto Daily Star, May 29, 1971

71jun19

Toronto Daily Star, June 19, 1971

72jan15

Toronto Daily Star, January 15, 1972

001 002 003 004 005

Southgate Village

When: Built circa 1965-1967.

Where: Various parts of the D-Section.

Who: Built by Bramalea Construction (Peel) Limited

What I Know: Some of the plans are carry-overs from earlier parts of Bramalea, such as the Journey’s End and Country Regent, also built in the B-Section.

Some of the semi-detached plans from Twingate in the C-Section were also built in this area. In particular the: Vanity Flair, Autumn Grove, Galleon Beau, Galleon Belle, King’s Mill and Rainbows End. (https://bramaleablog.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/twingate/). In particular these houses were built on: Danesbury Crescent, Doncaster Crescent, Dartford Road, Dorchester Drive (North End), Dalton Place, Dalraith Crescent, Darlington Crescent, Dunwich Place, and Dorset Drive (south end). *A special thanks to blog reader Graham for all of this information!*

Other parts of the D-Section were built under the Ontario Government’s H.O.M.E. (Home Ownership Made Easy) Plan.

I apologize for the quality of some of these plans, but they are the only copies I have.

65dec31

Toronto Daily Star, December 31, 196566jun3

Toronto Daily Star, June 3, 1966

Free helicopter rides! Wow! Peel Village also offered helicopter rides in 1961 to view that development.66jun4

Toronto Daily Star, June 4, 1966 67apr29

Toronto Daily Star, April 29, 1967 67sept16

Toronto Daily Star, September 16, 196767sept16crop

Zoomed in section of the above advertisement. Two innovative marketing aspects of the area!70aug28

Toronto Daily Star, August 28, 1970.

I want that model! I wonder if it still exists somewhere?

a

The bottom price sheet is from 1967.b c d e f g h

I wonder why this plan had an electric furnace?i j k l m n o p q r

1597 square feetr1 s t u v

1944 square feet

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w

2078 square feet