Saturday, June 16, 2018

A the works

The purpose of this blog is to share and preserve the recent past architectural history of Ottawa. For about 3 decades I have been collecting floor plans and marketing ephemera for houses in the Ottawa area, Toronto area, Southern California, as well as planned American communities/new towns including Irvine, California and Reston, Virginia. I am also the author of the BramaleaBlog and have had a long standing interest in innovative housing and urban/suburban planning. 

There is much to learn from the past as a way to inform the future. As such, I am working on a Manifesto for housing and neighbourhood design in the National Capital Region. The purpose of the work is to propose ideas that re-think the way that new houses are designed and suggesting new ways to design neighbourhoods. 

Intrigued? Stay tuned for more!

My desks (I have a few) are always piled high with books, brochures, master plans, proposals and floor plans.

One source of my inspiration for the Manifesto. Do townhouses have to be the same shape, colour or height in a given row?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Beaverbook - The Articles and Maps

In my final installation on Beaverbrook, I present historic articles and maps of Beaverbrook as well as Kanata in general, including Katimavik. They are great for setting the context of what Beaverbrook and Kanata were planned to be.

Happy reading!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Glen Cairn: Canada's Centennial City!

The Glen Cairn neighbourhood of Kanata was originally built with big Canada's Centennial City.
During the opening week of the model homes in 1963, approximately 90,000-100,000 people visited the site. The houses in the first phase range in style from more traditional, to some daring mid-century modern designs.
I am not sure what happened along the way, but the development did not become an actual "city".
The northeast quadrant was built close to the original plan, but the subsequent phases have a different layout. The master plan called for industrial land, but I am not exactly certain where this was supposed to be. The original proposal leads me to believe that it was planned for both north (along Hazeldean) and south of Glen Cairn (where there currently is a business park).
Also interesting is how the original plan was to be designed so that children would not have to cross an arterial road to get to school. This was something that was a part of the 1958 master plan for Bramalea (see my other blog: BramaleaBlog), although executed in a different manner.

Layout from the Dan McSweeney Construction Ltd. brochure. The full brochure and plans is show later in the post.

Reproduced below is a book on Glen Cairn from when it was first planned. Curiously the book is a melange of nostalgia for the past and the modern proposal for the new "city" of Glen Cairn.

Below is a selection of trade journal articles from when Glen Cairn was being built:

I wonder if these oil lines are still functioning?

This same Armstrong plan was built in a couple of neighbourhoods in the city, including Lancaster Farm and Skyline.

Below are the floor plans that I have for the original phases of Glen Cairn. I am missing a number of them, so if any of my readers have any, I would love to share them here!