Historic Bramalea Photos

I would like to start a new series on this blog to share older photos that people have of Bramalea. I am sure that many of my readers have photos of Bramalea from the early years and/or when it was being built. In particular I am interested in photos of houses, buildings and streetscapes. You can send these photos to me at Bramaleablog@gmail.com and I will share as many as I can.

Here is the first batch that a blog reader sent to me. A big thank you to Nigel Carpenter for allowing me to share these photos courtesy of John Carpenter of the E-Section being built. In particular many of these are of Edgebrook Crescent being built, c. 1968.

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The E-Section

Community Spotlight: the E-Section

The E-Section is one of the areas of Bramalea that I know the least about – even though it is one of the smallest letter sections.

At the core of the E-Section is Earnscliffe Park – the largest park in Bramalea south of Queen Street. On the eastern border of the section is Eastbourne Park, separating the residential area from a small commercial/light-industrial area along Torbram Road. In true early Bramalea form, all three of the schools in the area are located adjacent to parkland and pathways – so students can walk to school without having to walk along busy roads. A series of paths weave their way throughout the area and along a greenbelt parallel to Clark Boulevard.

Two churches, a Masonic Temple, a recreation centre and a shopping centre are all located in the neighbourhood. In many ways the E-Section is a perfect example of the original vision for Bramalea by providing places to live, work, shop, learn, worship and play. It also has a wide variety of housing types including rental apartments, townhouses, semi-detached and detached houses.

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Map of the E-section showing the neighbourhoods within the area.

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Map from the 1969 Master Plan.

Many of the houses in the E-section were built under the Ontario government’s Home Ownership Made Easy (H.O.M.E.) Plan. Some of the semi-detached houses in the area appear to be those featured in this flyer:

41 of the houses on Epsom Downs Drive were actually moved from Etobicoke to make way for the widening of HWY 27:

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Toronto Daily Star, August 12, 1968

At the corner of Bramalea Road and Clark Boulevard is a townhouse complex that today is called Eden Park Estates, but the area was marketed as Coventry Gardens when first built:

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Toronto Star, June 6, 1970

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Toronto Star, November 7, 1970

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The houses in Eden Park Estate appear to be split level designs (image courtesy of Google Maps).

In the northeast corner of the area (Ellerslie Road, Ellis Drive, Enderby Crescent and Enmount Drive) is a townhouse complex that I actually do not know anything about – so please let me know if you can pass on some information.

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The air photo shows how lush the townhouse complex is with all of the mature trees! (image courtesy of Google Maps).

A vacant strip of land along Torbram Road behind Enmount Drive is the location of a Habitat for Humanity in-fill housing project.

On the east side of the E-Section are two rental apartment towers, originally called Williamsquare Apartments.

As mentioned, the E-Section is one of the areas I know the least about and I actually do not have any floor plans for the houses. If you want to pass on any information, stories or plans for the E-Section, please do not hesitate to contact me!

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.

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 Courtesy of Bing Maps

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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?

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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

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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.

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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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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.