Monday, January 27, 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". It is a part of a cluster of rental apartments (some older and some slightly newer) on the east side of King Edward between Laurier Avenue and Rideau Street. Today, new condo buildings are marching up the west side of the street - forming book-ends on the busy thoroughfare. Contemporary builders do not build as many rental properties as they used to, as the profit margin is low and it is far more advantageous to build condominiums. Most of the rental stock are these older buildings - which is great for MCM enthusiasts, plus the apartments are often larger than those in newer buildings!

The image above appears to be the end of Stinson Avenue and Pinepoint Drive in Lynwood Village.

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