Sterling Ridge

When: Built circa 1980-1981

Who: Bramalea Limited/Bramalea Homes

Where: Nantucket Crescent, Newcastle Crescent, Normandy Place, Northampton Street, some houses on the north side of Mansion Street.

What I know: Many of the designs in this collection are based on previous plans – particularly in Sunrise Estates and Bramalea Estates in the M-Section. The plans for the Connoisseur Collection in the L-Section are also close relatives to those in this neighbourhood.

The large studio over the garage can be found on a series of designs in the J, L, M and N-Sections built in the 1980s.

It is interesting to see the escalating interest rates and prices of the homes in the advertising for this neighborhood over the period of 2 years.

A handful of houses from this area were built across Dixie Road on the north side of Mansion Street. In the middle are 5 houses from the 1970s community Bramalea Estates. I believe that the 5 houses were the model homes for Bramalea Estates and the Sterling Ridge houses were in-fills built after that community was completed.

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Toronto Star, May 24, 1980

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Toronto Star, June 7, 1980

80sept6

Toronto Star, September 6, 1980

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Toronto Star, January 10, 1981

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Toronto Star, February 7, 1981

81apr11

Toronto Star, April 11, 1981

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Toronto Star, May 9, 1981

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Toronto Star, September 26, 1981

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Toronto Star, November 2, 1981

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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.

Sunrise Estates

When: Built circa 1979-1980

Where: Markham Street (parts), Mikado Crescent, McGillivary Crescent, Meridian Road, Mackay Street South (parts).

Who: Bramalea Limited/Bramalea Homes

What I know: An interesting aspect about this community is that there are different lot widths intermixed throughout – including some with single-car garages (36 feet wide) and others wide enough for a two-car garage (45 and 50′ feet wide).

A subsequent phase was added west of Dixie Road called Sunrise Estates West. I am actually not certain where this area is located, but it appears as though Ladin Drive and Lupin Court have the 36 foot lot models from this collection (Grenada, Martinique and Barbados). If anyone knows, please let me know!

In the N-Section the Sterling Ridge community built in 1980-1981 has 3 designs based on those at this community. (see: https://bramaleablog.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/sterling-ridge/)

The Grenada and Barbados raised bungalow plans must have proved to be popular as similar designs were built throughout Bramalea for over a decade.

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Toronto Star, March 3, 197979apr28

Toronto Star, April 28, 1979 79jul7

Toronto Star, July 7, 1979
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Toronto Star, July 21, 1979

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Toronto Star, January 29, 1980

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Toronto Star, February 16, 198080feb23

Toronto Star, February 23, 1980

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Showcase 2000

When: built circa 1982.

Where: Phase 1 – Floribunda Crescent, Terese Road. Phase 2 – Marengo Court, Morado Court, Myna Court.

Who: Bramalea Limited.

What I Know: The same plans were built in two phases, but the Thompson plan less so in the M-Section – it has a longer footprint, more suitable for the deeps lots in the first phase.

Phase 1 is located in a part of Bramalea that does not have a letter section; the streets all begin with different letters. It is located west of the B-Section, south of Clark Boulevard, east of Carleton Park, and north of the old Nortel Campus (now Rogers). Phase 2 was built in the M-Section.

With the exception of the Harris and Varley plans, the houses were designed independent of the the garage, which is an appendage on the front of the house. In contrast, the garage is integral in the layout of the aforementioned designs.

I am not entirely certain what “Showcase 2000” was referring to – and the plans named after artists associated with the Group of Seven further complicates matters (as an aside, the McDonald plan should be the MacDonald plan, after J. MacDonald…but that is just the art historian in me being picky). Nonetheless, they are interesting designs. Sadly Bramalea Limited went bankrupt before the year 2000…

82apr2Toronto Star, April 2, 1982

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Toronto Star, November 13, 1982

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Toronto Star, December 11, 1982 82dec18

Toronto Star, December 18, 1982

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This plan must have been popular as there are 4 elevation options.e f g h i j k l m n

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Bramalea Estates – Bramalea Limited

When: Built circa 1977-1979

Where: Mansfield Street (parts), Madelaine Crescent, Melbourne Place, Millford Crescent, Mansion Street (parts), Marmora Place, Markham Street (parts), Montcalm Place, Massey Street (parts).

Who: Bramalea Limited

What I know: The “Bramalea Estates Semis” were built west of Dixie Road in the L-Section.

Similar plans (perhaps even the exact same) were also built by Bramalea Limited in the Amberlea area of Pickering.

I am missing a plan which has an obtuse angled facade. A similar plan was also built in the L-Section (which I am also missing), but without the room over the garage.

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Toronto Star, June 4, 197777oct8

Toronto Star, October 8, 1977 77sept 24

Toronto Star, September 24, 1977
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Toronto Star, April 15, 1978 79jan6

Toronto Star, January 6, 1979

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The Burnham019 018 016 015 014

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Bramalea Estates – Nu-West

When: Built circa 1978

Where: Maidstone Cresent (parts), Mansfield Street (parts), and Melita Place.

Who: Nu-West

What I know:  The large area marketed as Bramalea Estates includes parts of the L-Section and the M-Section (including the small portion that pops into the H-Section). Various other builders also built in the same area including Bramalea Limited and the Georgian Group.

78oct7Toronto Star, October 7, 1978

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