Sunday, September 13, 2015

Riverview Park

The Riverview Park area has some fantastic examples of early mid-century modern designs built during the 1950s and 1960s...but it is an area that I do not have too much information on as it was predominantly built by small builders and has many custom homes. There are a number of Campeau-built designs and some designs from the CMHC catalogues at the time, so I will share what I know (so far).

The neighbourhood is outlined below. You will notice that the lower right corner is cut out - that area is considered an extension of Elmvale Acres. There are infill pockets throughout and high-rise condominiums in the west end, but this post will focus on the single-family houses built in the 1950s and 1960s.
The area was built at a time when some planners made grand gestures with street patterns - usually best viewed from above. Below is a portion of Riverview Park that has two grand arches. They end at a hydro corridor and the Ottawa Hospital to the I wonder if there were plans to extend them to make loops? Many other streets in the area dead-end at the southern tip suggesting plans to extend them. I know that there are plans to extend the Transitway parallel to the hydro corridor, but was that considered in the 1950s?
Below is the street pattern in one Alymer, Quebec, neighbourhood built in the mid-century where the street pattern forms complete ovals.
Another example of grand street planning is shown below in the Carlington area built during (and shortly after) WWII. Formerly, there was a public pool in the middle of Harrold Place - but it is now a splash pad. 

Now back to Riverview Park! Below are some of the Campeau designs built in the area. A few of the bungalow designs were built with wood siding facades probably to keep costs down. Later in the 1950s Campeau mostly built all-brick bungalows. Also notice that 1.5-storey designs were popular at the time, but these were mostly phased out by the 1960s in favour of bungalows and split-level designs.

 There is such a variety of house designs on some streets in Riverview Park, but I have been able to pick out some houses built from the CMHC plans below. Many of these plans were also built in other parts of Ottawa.
There are many 1.5 storey designs on some streets, so I have included a bunch of them. Notice that many of these particular designs do not have a bathroom on the second floor. Where possible, homeowners have added bathrooms, but in some cases it is just too complicated and/or expensive to do so.
Please feel free to share stories and insights on Riverview Park in the comments section!