Skyscraper Suburb, Part One: The K-Section

view

 Courtesy of Google Maps

overview

Courtesy of Bing Maps

I have often thought about how unique Bramalea is as a suburb, especially in the visual sense. One thing that stands out at the most striking aspect of how different Bramalea is are the number of tall buildings – or skyscrapers – in the centre of the area. This is something that most suburban communities do not have. Mississauga’s downtown area has recently been undergoing a skyscraper boom, but Bramalea had one that started back in the 1970s.

This is the first part of an exploration of Bramalea as a “Skyscraper Suburb”. The first instalment is about the area east of the Bramalea City Centre: the K-Section. There 12 tall buildings that tower over the area. Interestingly, there are also 12 towers in the Lisa Street area to the west of the City Centre, which also forms another dense cluster. These book-ends to “downtown” Bramalea will be explored separately.

Although the density of the tall towers is more akin to an urban setting, the large swaths of land surrounding the buildings sets them apart from the landscape of larger downtown cores. This concept has roots dating back to the 1920s and the famous architect Le Corbusier’s designs for “towers in a park”. Countless suburban towers have been built this way in many countries. In some areas the land around these tall towers is now being filled in with housing, stores, or more appealing outdoor spaces that can be used for festivals and gatherings. Maybe similar re-developments are in store for Bramalea?

There is an interesting juxtaposition between the visual horizontality of the single-family homes (especially the bungalows in the older sections of Bramalea) and the verticality of the towers reaching up to the sky.

bramalea 048

Bramalea 097A couple of photos I took back in 2006.

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The Bramalea Skyline from HWY 410. Courtesy of Google Maps.

 Many of the buildings look quite similar and are plain on the exterior, but these 1970s-era buildings often have very large units – especially compared to condos built today. Unfortunately I do not have any floor plans for the buildings in the K-Section (except for a couple as shown in the advertisements). I do however have an interest in condominiums built in the 1970s and have a collection of floor plans for buildings in Ottawa from that time period posted on my Ottawa blog: Mid Century Modern Condos and Experiential Design.

Some of the buildings in Bramalea were rentals first and then sold as lower-priced condominium units later.

 Many of the buildings have different names from when they were first marketed, so I am unsure of which buildings in the ads below correspond with the current names. At the end of the post is a list of the buildings and their current names.

Below are a series of advertisements and articles on the various condominium towers built in the K-Section:

a75feb15

 Toronto Star, February 15, 1975

b75feb22

Toronto Star, February 22, 1975 c75mar29

Toronto Star, March 29, 1975 e75apr19

Toronto Star, April 19, 1975 f75may24

Toronto Star, May 24, 1975 g75jun7

Toronto Star, June 7, 1975 h75jun14

Toronto Star, June 14, 1975 i75aug9

Toronto Star, August 9, 1975 j75dec6

Toronto Star, December 6, 1975

The building below is a rental building, which presumably was one of the buildings to be converted in to condominiums in the 1980s.

k75dec27

Toronto Star, December 27, 1975

l78feb4

Toronto Star, February 4, 1978m81jun20

Toronto Star, June 20, 1981n81sept12

Toronto Star, September 12, 1981 p081oct3

Toronto Star, October 3, 1981

q82jan9

Toronto Star, January 9, 1982r82jan16

Toronto Star, January 16, 1982 s82jan19

Toronto Star, January 19, 1982 t82feb20

Toronto Star, February 20, 1982 ta82feb20a

Toronto Star, February 20, 1982 u82mar13

Toronto Star, March 13, 1982 v82apr10

Toronto Star, April 10, 1982 w82may29

Toronto Star, May 29, 1982 wa82may29a

Toronto Star, May 29, 1982 x82jun12

Toronto Star, June 12, 1982 y82jul10

Toronto Star, July 10, 1982

z82aug7

Toronto Star, August 7, 1982 za82aug7a

Toronto Star, August 7, 1982 zb82aug28

Toronto Star, August 28, 1982 zc82sept11

Toronto Star, September 11, 1982 zd82oct2

Toronto Star, October 2, 1982 ze82oct23

Toronto Star, October 23, 1982 zf82oct30

Toronto Star, October 30, 1982 zg82nov20

Toronto Star, November 20, 1982

zh83feb5

Toronto Star, February 5, 1983zi83mar19

Toronto Star, March 19, 1983 zj83may21

Toronto Star, May 21, 1983 zk83apr30

Toronto Star, April 30, 1983 zl83jun25

Toronto Star, June 25, 1983 zm83jul16

Toronto Star, July 16, 1983 zn83aug27

Toronto Star, August 27, 1983

As mentioned earlier, many of the buildings have names that are different from when they were marketed in the 1970s and 1980s. Here is a list of the current building names. If you know which buildings were marketed as which, please let me know!

Some of the information has been gathered from the Emporis website on tall buildings.

Also as a tidbit, I never understood why in the 1960s-1980s often single buildings were called “towers” as if there were more than one…

 The buildings of the K-Section:

– 25 Kensington Road: Stuart Towers, 18 floors

– 15 Kensington Road: MacDonald Towers, 18 floors, built 1974

– 18 Knightsbridge Road: Bruce Towers, 25 floors, built 1976

– 10 Kensington Road: McKenzie Towers, 14 floors

 

– 10 Knightsbridge Road: Chelsea Gardens Tower 1, 13 floors

– 4 Knightsbridge Road: Chelsea Gardens Tower 2, 13 floors

– 4 Kings Cross: Ross Tower, 20 floors

– 17 Knightsbridge: Shaw Towers, 18 floors, built 1977

– 21 Knightsbridge: Fraser Towers, 18 floors, built 1978

Knightsbridge-Kings Cross Towers:

– 3 Knightsbridge Road: Cameron Towers, 26 floors

– 11 Knightsbridge Road: Munro Towers, 18 floors

– 5 Kings Cross Road: Buchanan Towers, 18 floors

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 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?

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.