When: Built circa 1981-1982
Where: Newbridge Crescent
Who: Clarinda/LCD Homes
What I Know: The builder appears to use two different names in the course of constructing in the area, but it seems as though the house designs are the same. I only have 3 plans for this community, but there were others. All 3 plans shown here have an L-shaped living and dining room at the back of the house. This is a very common arrangement of rooms for narrower detached houses, townhouses and semi-detached houses (including the one I grew up in on Longbourne Crescent in Bramalea).
It is very interesting that the Nelson design was only built once. Designs with a family room over the garage are not common in Bramalea, yet were popular in Brampton proper. I wonder what made Bramalea buyers pan that type of plan, while Brampton buyers picked it?
It is interesting to see the shift in marketing over time, as the first advertisements had higher prices and promoted the fact that the designs went up to 1974 square feet. Later marketing had lower prices and stated that the houses started at 1200 square feet. This seems to indicate that the builder was struggling to sell the larger houses, which may also have been tied to the high interest rates at the time (13.5%).
Toronto Star, July 17, 1982
Toronto Star, May 2, 1981
Toronto Star, December 26, 1981
Toronto Star, March 13, 1982
Toronto Star, May 29, 1982
Toronto Star, June 26, 1982
Toronto Star, September 25, 1982
Toronto Star, October 2, 1982
Toronto Star, October 30, 1982
During the 1980s Bramalea Limited used one particular design more than any other in its advertising for Bramalea (and all of their developments). The design was the built as the Windsor in the Master’s Series in Deerchase in the N-Section. The house is distinctively characterized by an L-shaped facade with the door on an angle between the two arms of the L. Inside, the living and dining rooms are on each side of the entry, with a curved staircase punctuating the foyer.
Homes Magazine, June/July 1987
Toronto Star, February 22, 1986
Toronto Star, September 3, 1988
Toronto Star, September 12, 1987
Toronto Star, August 25, 1984
One of the earliest versions of an L-shape plan in Bramalea was in the late 1970s as one of the Limited Edition Homes built in Kimber Park in the J-Section and King’s Row in the L-Section. The Carlton and Edward II plans are essentially the same, and it was the largest and priciest design in Kimber Park when first built. Since the house is wider compared to the Windsor, the kitchen and dining room were tucked in behind the garage, with the living room facing the street and back yard. In later (and narrower) versions the dining room and living room locations swap places.
Much like the Windsor, this design was also used extensively in advertising by Bramalea Limited at the time.
Toronto Star, December 24, 1977
Toronto Star, October 8, 1977
Toronto Star, January 14, 1978
Toronto Star, January 27, 1979
In Montara in the N-Section, c. 1987-1988, Bramalea Limited came up with a narrower version of the L-shape plan. The angled front door and the living and dining rooms on each side of the entry remain the same, but the narrowness of the house squeezed out the grand foyer with curved staircase. As is common with all of these L-shaped plans, the family room is across the back of the house.
The wider versions of this house type have the luxury of space surrounding the house to make the street view quite grand. The narrower the house, there is less front yard space is to make a grand statement. Few versions of the Cottonwood were actually built, yet it presents the best facade to the street when sited on a corner lot – as was done in a few cases. The Windsor plan, first introduced at the beginning of this post, is the most popular plan built on corner lots in The Master’s Series in Deerchase for the same reason.
At the end of the 1980s, Bramalea Limited offered the Saratoga plan at Emerald Cove on Professor’s Lake. While the door is not on an angle, the L-shape facade with the living and dining room on each side and grand foyer remains. For some reason this design was not very popular and it appears that only one was ever built in the area.
As a different take on the L-shaped design, around 1986 Bramalea Limited created this plan for their Fairfields community in Unionville. It has the same layout of living and dining room on each side of the foyer with curved staircase, yet has the unusual feature of a conversation pit at the back of the house – a throwback to the 1970s. Why did conversation pits go out of style? I think they are fantastic and a great spot to gather by the fireplace.
When: Built circa 1985-1987
Where: Nobel Place, Napanee Place, Newgreen Crescent, Nuffield Street (parts)
Who: Bramalea Limited
What I Know: This area is a mixture of some plans from earlier communities and many new designs – particularly for the 42-foot wide lots.
Some of the 38-foot lot plans were built on Nickel Crescent and Nuttall Street in the Sunset neighbourhood.
The advertising promotes the area as having big 42-foot wide lots, but this statement has to be contextualized. In the 1960s, many detached houses in Bramalea were built on 50 and 60-foot wide lots, so 42-feet would be narrow in comparison. Yet in the context of the northwest portion of the N-Section, where most lots are 30 and 36-feet wide, these are some of the widest lots in the area. The areas along Nuffield Street are almost twice as dense as the streets in the early parts of Bramalea – where two 30-foot lot houses take up the same space as one house on a 60-foot lot. Aside from the zero lot-line houses in the Villages of Central Park no other large area of Bramalea has the same density of detached houses.
A number of the designs have a separate dining room, as opposed to back-to-back living and dining room combination. There is a certain formality to having two rooms, reminiscent of a traditional centre-hall house. It is interesting how having a formal dining room is a very cultural aspect of housing and reflects local norms and traditions. In Ontario, it is common to have a formal dining room and an informal breakfast room in houses where the space allows for both rooms. When I moved to Quebec, I discovered that having two dining rooms was less common, and my current house only has one.
Ensuite bathrooms are also less common in Quebec, whereas in Ontario, by the 1980s it was seen as a necessity for houses large enough to accommodate the room. All of the plans in Trail Ridge have an ensuite bathroom (with the exception of the Orion raised bungalow design – which may not have actually been built). Most of the ensuites in this area are quite small in comparison to the expansive ensuites in newer houses with sizable bathtubs, large showers and long counters with two sinks. That said, bedrooms are generally larger in these older plans compare to newer houses of a similar size, where the bedroom space is sacrificed to make room for a larger ensuite.
Toronto Star, February 15, 1986
Toronto Star, May 24, 1986
Toronto Star, June 7, 1986
When: Built circa 1983-1985
Where: Nadia Place, Nutall Street (parts), Nimrod Crescent, Nickel Crescent (parts), Nuffield Street (parts)
Who: Bramalea Limited
What I Know: As was common for Bramalea Limited, they built the same designs in Bramalea as they did in their sister site in Pickering, thus Sunset in Bramalea and Sunrise in Pickering. If you ever drive around the Amberlea area of Pickering you will see many of the same houses as those in Bramalea, even dating back to the 1970s.
The streetscape in this area has a real sense of variety due to the different types of designs which includes raised bungalows, one-car garage designs (both with a recessed garage and a protruding garage), two-car garage designs and corner designs.
As and interesting adaptation, four of the houses built from the Sunlight plan on Nimrod Crescent have added a front porch across the façade. The porches are all slightly different leading me to suspect that they were added after the houses were built. This unique addition to that plan is only found on that one street in the area.
A few of these plans have been examined in-depth in my “Anatomy of a Plan” postings such as the Morning Sun and Sunlight and the Horizon.
Some of the designs built on Nickel Crescent and Nutall Street are from Trail Ridge, located northwest of this area, and built later.
Toronto Star, May 21, 1983
Toronto Star, June 18, 1983
Toronto Star, August 27, 1983
Toronto Star, October 15, 1983
Toronto Star, January 14, 1984
Toronto Star, September 29, 1984
When: Built circa 1980-1983
Where: Phase One: Nanport Street (parts), Nutmeg Street, Nemo Crescent, Northgate Boulevard (parts). Phase Two: Norma Crescent, Northgate Boulevard (parts).
Who: Bramalea Limited, some houses built by Bellex Homes in Phase One
What I Know: The houses in Phase One are on 30-foot and 36-foot wide lots, depending on the plan. In Phase Two, the plans fit on 30-foot wide lots, but there are some 36-foot wide lots on Norma Crescent which allow for a wider garage. All of the houses on Northgate Boulevard are 30-foot wide lots and thus have a single car garage.
The houses in Phase One range between 1300 to just under 2000 square feet and some of the plans are the same as the King’s Row Limited Edition, in the L-Section. In comparison, the plans for Phase Two are smaller and all are under 1300 square feet – and were comparatively less expensive. I am missing one plan from Phase Two, but it appears to be the same as the Carlisle from Finchgate Estates in the F-Section.
The southwest portion of Nanport Street was built by a small builder called Bellex Homes. Their designs are smaller and do not have ensuite bathrooms, and this is reflected in the lower prices when first built. The southeast section of the street has different plans, but I am unsure if they were built by Bellex Homes as well, or a different builder.
The N-Section has some hilly sections, including this area. The east side of Northgate Boulevard and southwest part of Nanport Street have houses with a distinctive long slope of the garage roof due to the rolling landscape.
Steeply sloping garage roofs due to the change in grade on Nanport Street. Notice the number of steps up to the front doors. Courtesy of Google Maps.
There are three sections on Northgate Boulevard where there is a very large space between the houses: near Nanport Street and near Northampton Street (shown below). There is enough space to fit a house between, yet the lots on either side are very wide instead. I am not certain why this was done. Does anyone know?
Large spaces between some houses on Northgate Boulevard. Courtesy of Bing Maps.
Toronto Star, May 9, 1981
Toronto Star, May 30, 1981.
Am I the only one who is somewhat insulted by an article about a neighbourhood named for Canadian heritage…and they spell honours the American way (honors)!?
Toronto Star, November 28, 1981
Toronto Star, April 10, 1982
Toronto Star, May 22, 1982
Toronto Star, October 9, 1982
Toronto Star, October 30, 1982
When: Built circa 1990-1992
Where: Newdale Place, Nordique Place, Nectarine Crescent, Nepean Place, Nuffield Street (parts)
Who: Built by Bramalea Limited
What I know: This was one of Bramalea Limited’s last projects in Bramalea before they went bankrupt.
The advertising and articles for later phases of the neighbourhood promote a “Garden Series” of houses – none of which appear to have actually been built. There is a grouping of raised bungalows/back-splits on the south side of Nectarine Crescent and an adjacent row on Nuffield Street. The terrain that slopes up at the back leads me to believe that these were the 17 lots slated for the Garden Series. Other new designs were added in later phases, including the wide variety of corner house styles. As always, if you have any of the plans not shown below for this area, please let me know!
This particular corner of the N-Section, along with Montara and Montara Woods have houses with two-car garages on narrow lot widths. Although most appear to be two-car garages, some are only wide enough for one car, plus room for storage. A few smaller single garage designs were also built. A few of the 30-foot lot plans in this neighbourhood are variations of those built a few years earlier in Montara.
Since the lots widths are narrow, special measures were taken for fire safety when they were first built. You will notice lots marked with an “F” on the site plan, which is for fire-break lots. During the early framing stages of houses the exposed wood has the potential to be a fire hazard and there is the risk for a whole area to go up in flames should a fire start. As a safety precaution (it might be a bylaw, but I am unsure), vacant lots were left open to prevent the spread of a fire, and filled in once the surrounding houses were complete. The same was done at the adjacent Montara neighbourhood to the north.
Toronto Star, May 12, 1990
Toronto Star, September 15, 1990
Toronto Star, October 13, 1990
Toronto Star, March 16, 1991
Toronto Star, April 13, 1991
Toronto Star, June 8, 1991
Toronto Star, July 20, 1991
Toronto Star, January 18, 1992
Toronto Star, January 25, 1992
Toronto Star, February 1, 1992
It does not apper that the two designs depicted below were actually built. The Lilac is an updated version of the plans shown on a recent posting: A Trendsetter Before its Time
This particular plan has a very unusual layout with a master bedroom on the main floor, plus a study – and then a very large family room on the second floor. It does not appear that this design was ever built.