Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Anatomy of a plan: The Alpine

In 1962, Minto’s Alpine floor plan won a Canadian Housing Design Council Award. (See my previous post: http://modernrealtor.blogspot.com/2010/12/minto-award-homes-then-and-now.html). This plan was built in Crystal Beach and Parkwood Hills.


I recently visited a house built from the Alpine plan that is for sale in Parkwood Hills. I am quite smitten with the house and can see why the plan won an award.

My favourite part of the house is the vaulted and beamed ceiling in the living/dining room. It is probably the closest example of California Modernism (or Eichler-style housing) to be built by a tract builder in Ottawa. The vaulted ceiling continues throughout the house and makes the kitchen and bedrooms feel larger than they are. The exterior has large windows and a striking roofline that extends over the carport – which is a great protected area to enter the house.

Parkwood Hills
An earlier version of the plan, called the Rambler, was built in Hawthorne Meadows, circa 1960. The Rambler is quite similar in plan, but it differs in that it does not have the vaulted ceiling with post and beam construction of the Alpine.

Rambler exterior

Rambler floor plan


A popular 1960s Minto design was the Neptune – which is actually the same plan as the Alpine, only turned sideways and with a garage/carport added to the side. Missing too are the vaulted ceiling and post and beam construction.


Neptune floor plan

A few alternate versions of the Alpine were built, which moved the fireplace to the side wall of the living room. There are two different elevations with the side fireplace, one of which is not my favourite.

Parkwood Hills

Parkwood Hills

At first I figured that the small window on the right of the fa├žade was an add-on, but upon seeing it on various other houses I realised that it was a part of the original design. Honestly, I don’t understand why the window is so out of proportion…
Crystal Beach
This version of the house with the side fireplace has a window composition in keeping with the look and scale of the house.

Parkwood Hills
This arrangement of windows is also very nice, but is the only one like it that I have seen.

The Alpine is one of my favourite Minto plans from the 1960s. The houses built from this floor plan do not go up for sale often, which is a sign that the homeowners not only like the plan, but that it still meets their needs 50 years after it was built! 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Community Spotlight - Lynwood by Edstan

Bell's Corners has many great examples of MCM design in Lynwood Village and Arbeatha Park - both of which were built by Teron. But, there is one pocket of houses that was actually constructed by another builder. In the triangle bounded by Robertson, Richmond and Moodie, is an area of houses by the builder Edstan.


Edstan built houses during the 1960s and 1970s in parts of Riverside Park, Hawthorne Meadows, and Sheahan Estates. According to the Ottawa Citizen archives, the builder went into receivership in 1977.


Below I present the 1968 floor plans for Lynwood by Edstan:

























Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Community Spotlight - Fairfield Heights

By request (I do take requests), I present the Minto plans in Fairfield Heights from the 1960s:



Map showing the part of Fairfield Heights where the following plans were built. The area is sometimes considered a part of Bayshore.
 An undated price list from the 1960s. As the price list shows, the same plans were also built in Bellands (near Qualicum), Lakeview Park (South of Crystal Beach) and Parkwood Hills. The same plans were also built in Crystal Beach. 

I have many of the plans, although I am missing some. I apologize for the quality of some of the plans below, but they are the only ones I have. When possible, I have also posted a better quality version of the plan (from another neighbourhood).





A clearer version of the Neptune plan (from an article on Crystal Beach).


A clearer version of the Alpine plan (an award winning plan). See my post on the Minto Award Homes for more details: http://modernrealtor.blogspot.com/2010/12/minto-award-homes-then-and-now.html





A clearer version of the Cavalier plan (also an award winning plan).




Sunday, January 9, 2011

Suburban Modern


Part 3 in a series: Orleans

Orleans also has its fair share of MCM houses, both those built by tract builders, as well as a few areas with custom-built homes.

Queenswood Park (also known as Chatelaine Village) is an area filled with some great examples of MCM design.

This is one of the few MCM floor plans that I have for houses built in Orleans. 1965, built by Bonanza Homes.


This house was made to look more traditional, but the roofline gives away its modern design.

Queenswood Heights (formerly known just as 'Queenswood') is another area in Orleans with MCM houses.

March 20, 1961 Ottawa Citizen article.






A rare example of a storey-and-a-half house in Queenswood Heights.

Boyer Road, Belcourt Boulevard and Page Road, are streets where there are custom-built MCM houses, with no two houses alike.

These MCM houses are now surrounded by newer areas with larger houses, and the smaller houses on large lots have become desirable as tear-downs. Here is a great example of a newer house next to a MCM house. Sadly, many of the MCM houses are now being lost to make way for monster homes.