Monday, May 2, 2011

MCM townhouses and semi-detached

A reader recently asked me to share some good examples of MCM townhouses and semi-detached houses in Ottawa. Some of the examples I will show are located close to downtown, so this post will also do double duty as part of my series on MCM houses near downtown.
Many of the townhouses built in Ottawa during the mid-century period are actually quite traditional. But, in the mid 1970s and early 1980s, a series of townhouse complexes were built in central Ottawa that had a certain ‘look’. Although they are on the extreme tail-end of the MCM period, I find them to be architecturally akin to MCM design. Some may argue that they lean more towards the contemporary style, but I still think that they can be included in this blog.
This row is located on Booth Street at Albert. I particularly like how each house is painted a different colour.

Cathcart Mews in Lowertown has an interesting grouping of townhouses and stacked townhouses. c. 1980
Springfield Mews in Lindeanlea was built by the same builder (HAB-COM) and has a similar aesthetic, although the colour scheme is more uniform.
Belvedere Gate, located in New Edinburgh, is a complex where MCM townhouses are interspersed with older houses (c. 1975). Below are the plans for a surprisingly large 4 bedroom townhouse:

Only six of these stunning townhouses were built in New Edinburgh by Macval in 1971. The plans are as fabulous as the exteriors: 

The Carlington area has some examples of MCM townhouses with a simplified aesthetic. Above and below are two examples.

A great example of some ingenious MCM townhouse designs are in Hunt Club. This complex is a part of “Hunt Club Estates” built by Tartan c. 1976, and has some very uniquely designed back-to-back townhouses. Below are the plans:

In Arlington Woods, the Woodlea complex, built by Campeau c. 1974, has townhouses that feature an interestingly modern play of rooflines - as seen in the view below.
Bell’s Corners also has some interesting complexes of townhouses with a unique architectural aesthetic. Above is just one example.

Carmichael Court in the Beaverbrook area of Kanata is the location of these townhouses. c. 1970.

Ottawa also has some great examples of MCM semi-detached houses. Minto was one of the most prolific builders of MCM semi-detached houses, particularly in Parkwood Hills and Beacon Hill.

 Campeau-built semi-detached bungalows in Carlington.

Crestview/Meadowlands. The entrance to each house is on the side, under the carports.
In Faircrest Heights there are a few groupings of semi-detached houses built by the builder Chalmers. At first glance, this house looks like a sprawling bungalow, but it is in fact 2 houses. The garages for both units are to the right side (1 per unit).
This semi was also built by Chalmers in Windsor Park Village.

These are my absolute favourite MCM semi-detached houses in Ottawa. They were built by Minto in Parkwood Hills and Crystal Beach. The flat roof, carport and large windows make for a very sleek MCM facade.
Even though I have many floor plans for semi-detached houses built by Minto, sadly, I do not have the plans for this design - but I would love to get my hands on them!


  1. I live in one of those Crystal beach flat roofed semis (pictured at the end). I will try and find a floor plan for you. I came across this site looking for more information about these houses. We are mid renovation on one and it certainly is a quirky and interesting little place. Does anyone know the name of the model or know anything more about it?

  2. Saul, thank you for your time and energy put into this blog. So cool to see all original plans including our own! (Hunt Club Estates) we have the cedar deck unit. That and the cathedral ceiling going upstairs are some of my favourite designs to the place. Glad to now knowkthe builder as well!