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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Bay Meadows

When: Built circa 1976

Where: Mandarin Crescent, Manderley Place, Marlborough Street (parts), Mancroft Crescent (parts), Massey Street (parts), Marblehead Crescent, Minton Place

Who: Bramalea Consolidated Developments Limited

What I Know: The designs for this area are based on versions of those built in other Bramalea neighbourhoods in the G and J sections around the same time and even earlier. Unfortunately, my set of plans is incomplete as I am missing some of the plans for the area – so if you have one of the missing plans, please let me know!

Interestingly, none of the plans have an ensuite bathroom, even though other areas at the time in Bramalea had houses built with them. The lower price-point for these houses probably meant that they were built without them to bring down the cost. The side-split designs have a ‘cheater door’ off of the main bathroom opening to the master bedroom.

All of the designs have a formal dining room and a breakfast room open to the kitchen. In the case of the Thorpe plan, both dining spaces are quite small, and the kitchen workspace is sacrificed for the small breakfast area. I suspect recent renovations of this design have the breakfast room taken over as a part of the kitchen work area.

Curiously, the detached house floor plans are presented with the front door facing up on the page. It is common practice to show a floor plan with the front door facing down (or some times to the side), so these plans actually appear upside-down to me.

76sept6

Toronto Star, September 6, 1976

001

The map above just shows one section of the Bay Meadows  area – there were multiple phases.

002

Here are two versions of the same plan – one is cut off at the bottom, but the other one is very dark, so I have included both.010 light g

004 005

015 light 013

I believe this plan document is actually from an earlier community, but it appears that the same design was built in Bay Meadows, so this version of the plan ended up in my file for this area.

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!

Manor Crest

When: Built circa 1985?

Where: Meadow Bush Court, Manorcrest Street (parts).

Who: Bramalea Limited

What I Know: This in-fill neighbourhood has many of the same plans from the G-Section’s Sunset on Greenmount, as well as some plans from Trail Ridge in the N-Section. Typically Bramalea Limited used their current plans from other larger neighbourhoods when they built smaller in-fill areas. There are 4 wider lots on Manorcrest Street, which appear to be plans from the Master’s Series in Deerchase in the N-Section.

A variety of one and two-car garage plans were offered, yet only 3 of the 28 houses were built from the smaller-garage plans. Every plan has an ensuite bathroom and walk-in-closet off of the master bedroom (except for the 4 bedroom Greenvale option which does not have a walk-in-closet). This indicates that the houses were designed to be luxurious. Four of the six plans also have a dining room across the hall from the living room, giving the houses a more formal centre-hall layout.

The Greenwood plan was not actually built in this area. The same plan was offered in Trail Ridge and was not often built. It is one of the rare Bramalea Limited plans with a family room over the garage. Such a layout became popular in the 1990s, especially in areas such as Springdale just north of Bramalea.

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n

Massey Park

When: Built circa 1985-1986

Where: Mayberry Court, Myrtle Court, Mabel Court

Who: Bramalea Limited

What I Know: This in-fill community of 3 cul-de-sacs was built later than the townhouse complexes that surround it – and is one of the last developments in the M-Section. According to the 1969 Master plan, the area was earmarked for a public school.

Curiously, the area is called Massey Park, which is across MacKay Street from the neighbourhood, yet some of the houses in the area actually back on to Manitou Park.

Some of the plans are the same as the Highland Park in-fill area built a bit earlier in the H-Section, as well as at least one plan from Showcase 2000. Larger plans were added to this particular development, with the Cypress being the only design with a main-floor family room.

Only two of the plans have a 2-car garage, yet almost 40% of the 49 houses were built from these two plans – indicating the popularity of a larger garage. The Balsam plan is the largest single-car garage plan, and the only plan where the garage does not fully protrude in front of the house. Interestingly, it does not appear that any of this plan were actually built in the area. Perhaps buyers felt that a larger plan (and higher price) warranted a 2-car garage.

The features list at the end of the post is a good indication of standard house features of the time: wall-to-wall carpet and vinyl floors.

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p

Anatomy of a Plan: A Trendsetter Before its Time

VS

At the end of the 1990s, there began a major change in the way that many suburban houses were designed in the Greater Toronto Area. This was a change from the type of houses which started to be built in the 1980s characterized by a protruding garage. By the late 1990s the so called ‘wide lot’ houses with the garage recessed into the massing of the structure became popular. This allows for the house itself to be closer to the road. The builder Mattamy Homes was one of the first to promote such ‘wide lot’ designs for whole subdivisions starting around 1997, but almost two decades earlier, Bramalea Limited began building these trend-setting houses in many Bramalea communities.

Beginning at the end of the 1970s Bramalea Limited offered 1 or 2 such recessed-garage designs in certain communities. These plans were built next to houses with protruding garages, but were effective in breaking up what could otherwise be a monotonous streetscape.

The first series of houses presented below are the most common type built by Bramalea Limited, and have a completely flat front. Since the second floor is smaller than the main level and pulled to the front of the house, there is a ‘tail’ where the main floor sticks out at the back. The facades are almost symmetrical and reminiscent of a Georgian centre-hall plan – although one side of the main floor is the garage.

There are two main plans from this particular series, one at 1774 square feet, and another at 2040 square feet, built on 36 or 38-foot wide lots. They were built in various parts of Bramalea –  sometimes with slight tweaks in the plan and facade, while in other cases the exact same plan was built in various areas.

1774 1774p

Sunset, N-Section, c. 1983-19851774g

1774gp

Sunset on Greenmount, G-Section, c. 1984

2040

2040p

Manorcrest, M-Section, c. 1984

2040g

2040gp

Sunset on Greenmount, G-Section, c. 1984

2040S 2040sp

Sunset, N-Section, c. 1983-1985 2040t 2040tp

Trail Ridge, N-Section, c. 1985-1987

It is interesting that the Bramalea versions of these houses were all quite similar. The company commonly built identical houses in Pickering, but in a few of Bramalea Limited’s other neighbourhoods the houses had very different facades for the same plans. Below is their plan for a development in Unionville, which is completely different from those at Bramalea:

001 002

Fairfields, Unionville, c. 1986

There are wider variations of the houses with a recessed two-car garage and flat fronts. The asymmetry is sometimes offset with a split facade, where the portion with the garage is recessed.

g h

Sterling Ridge, N-Section, c. 1980-1981W4

W4P

Sunrise Estates, M-Section, c. 1979-1980

007

The Strand by the Lake, J-Section, c. 1981-1982 and The Strand by the Park, N-Section, c. 1982-1983

Other narrow variations of recessed-garage houses were also built, but in these examples the front facade is not completely flat. As such, some have the ‘tail’ of the main floor sticking out behind, while others have the main floor protruding out in front of the house.

W2A

W2P

Sunrise Estates, M-Section, c. 1979-1980

004

Professor’s Lake South, J-Section, c. 1979-1980023

Super Singles Sale, M-Section, c. 1979

k

l

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

r

Highland Park, H-Section, c. 1984

Today, houses with a recessed garage the norm in new subdivisions. Some of the most recent additions to Bramalea – namely the infill pockets of houses on New Hampshire Court, Locksley Place/Hillside Drive – all have recessed garages. Perhaps the inspiration for such plans came from those that Bramalea Limited started building 35 years ago.

Super Singles Sale

When: Built circa 1979

Where: Mayfair Crescent, Majestic Crescent, Maitland Street (parts)

Who: Built by Bramalea Homes

What I know: Many of the same plans (plus some new additions) were also built in the Professor’s Lake South area in the J-Section.

The Devonshire raised bungalow design is the narrowest detached bungalow design in Bramalea (and can fit on a 30 foot wide lot). A semi-detached version of this plan was built in Bramalea Estates Semis in the L-Section and Kimber Park in the J-Section.

The lot widths in this area range from an average of 30 feet up to 36 feet (plus a few a bit wider).

It is interesting to compare these plans to those in the Great Canadian Home Sale  (http://goo.gl/IiGs1T) built a year later also in the M-Section. Those houses are narrower, but all have an ensuite bathroom, and all but one have a walk-in-closet in the master bedroom. Only two of the six designs in the Super Singles Sale have a two-piece ensuite and none have a walk-in-closet.

The architecture of the houses is very much a reflection of the particular moment in time in which they were built. Each design has one exterior elevation (facade) option which is more traditional, and one more contemporary. During the 1970s contemporary-style houses were built in certain Bramalea areas, whereas by the 1980s by far the majority of houses were more traditionally-styled.

79jan27

 Toronto Star, January 27, 1979

017

This page states that there are only 54 homes, but there are twice as many…so either this was for the first phase or after the first phase was sold out.018 019 020 021 022 023

The Village(s) in Bramalea

When: Built circa 1975-1976

Where: 900 and 1020 Central Park Drive. Similar plans on Morley Crescent (houses facing Mackay Street N).

Who: Built by Bramalea Consolidated Developments Limited

What I know: The Village in Bramalea was built in two phases in the G-Section. In 1977 The Village Three was begun in the M-Section which appears to have the same plans along Mackay Street N, with houses with garages on Morley Crescent. The houses in the Cedar Glen complexes (McMullen Crescent and Guildford Crescent) also appear to have similar plans on the outer edges of the areas, but with different facades.

Often called “garden homes” these houses without garages are interspersed throughout common green spaces with parking lots clustered in certain areas. In The Village Three, the fronts of the houses face the arterial road and the parking is behind the backyards. 

The rows are made aesthetically interesting with the various different styles of each house.

Each complex has an outdoor pool and children’s play area. Nearly all of the condominium townhouse complexes built around this time in Bramalea have an outdoor pool.

75nov1

Toronto Star, November 1, 1975. 

75dec6

Toronto Star, December 6, 197675dec13

Toronto Star, December13, 1975

76jan3

Toronto Star, January 3, 1976

76feb7

Toronto Star, February 7, 1976

77jn4 M

Toronto Star, June 4, 1977 (M-Section)

77sept3

Toronto Star, September 3, 1977 (M-Section)

77sept24

Toronto Star, September 24, 1977 (M-Section)

77oct29

Toronto Star, October 29, 1977 (M-Section)

001 002 003 0041020 Central Park Drive site plan.

The 1958 Master Plan for Bramalea

013

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.

The Great Canadian Home Sale

When: Built circa 1980

Who: Bramalea Limited/Bramalea Homes

Where: Malabar Crescent, Mangrove Road

What I know: These are some of the narrowest detached houses in Bramalea with garages (some of the zero lot line houses are narrower). The lots are approximately 25-feet wide. In comparison, most detached lots in Bramalea south of Queen Street are a minimum of 50-feet wide, while in the same area semi-detached lots are usually 35-feet wide.

Although the designs are narrow, they are well appointed and actually larger than the wider houses in Finchgate Estates (https://bramaleablog.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/finchgate-estates/). All of the designs have an ensuite bathroom and all but one plan have a walk-in-closet in the master bedroom. All designs also have a fireplace.

80sept6

Toronto Star, September 6, 1980

012 013 014 015 016