Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January, 2014

Was your house built in the winter?

As we are in the depths of winter, I thought it would be a good time to share two articles about winter house construction in Ottawa, something which was quite novel in the late 1950s. If you live in Elmvale Acres of Lynwood Village, your house may have just have been a winter-build.
Two of Ottawa's large builders at the end of the 1950s - Campeau and Teron - share their winter-building experiences and tips in these two articles from the home building-trade journal National Builder. At the time, winter building was not a common practice in Canada.
It is impressive to read about the number of houses each builder was building per year back in 1958-1959. I wonder how it compares to the numbers of houses built per year by Ottawa builders today?
The apartment building shown above still stands proudly at the southeast corner of King Edward Avenue and Stewart Street in Sandy Hill. The facade has been mostly unaltered, except for an awning with the building name "The King Edward". …
I have realized that it has been way too long since I did a post on the CMHC house plans - so here is a new one! 

Starting in 1947 the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), formerly Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, published regular floor plan books of small houses suitable to be built in Canada. Blueprints could be ordered for the architect-designed plans, and examples of the built houses can be found throughout the country (including Ottawa, of course).

The plans were well-designed and a reflection of design trends and norms at a given time. At the end of the 1960s and in to the 1970s, some of the most innovative designs were produced. Sadly, the program ended in 1974 at the peak of creativity. Perhaps some of the designs were too unique for the general tastes of Canadian society.

Here is a selection of CMHC designs which capture the spirit of the architecture of the time. Of note are the use of different materials (or different applications of the same material), as…