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Suburban Modern

When one thinks of MCM design in Ottawa, certain areas may immediately come to mind, such as Alta Vista, Qualicum, Rothwell Heights, etc. But there are certain areas outside of the Greenbelt, where there are great examples of MCM design.

Part 1 in a series: Kanata

While Beaverbrook may be the most noted Kanata community for MCM design, Glen Cairn, has some notable examples as well. While there were many different builders when Glen Cairn was begun in 1963, most only built a few houses and then left the development. As such, there are some great examples of MCM houses that are one-of-a-kind, as only one of that particular design was built. Connelly Homes remained on as the main builder of the houses in the community.

Here is an example of a MCM plan by Dan McSweeney.

The house as built - which it seems is the only house of its kind in the community. The builder had a great portfolio of MCM plans which they built elsewhere in Ottawa, but only a handful in Glen Cairn.

The most striking MCM…

Trademarks of Design: The Minto blank wall

As explored in an earlier posting on the Minto award homes, one of the trademarks of Minto designs in the 1960s and early 1970s was having a blank, windowless, wall on the facade. Often this was in conjunction with an asymmetrically placed window. Below are some examples of houses with this trademark. As the examples show, some homeowners found this feature too modern and have made changes. 


One of my favourite designs in Parkwood Hills and Beacon Hill South is a semi-detached model with a striking blank facade on the main floor:


 Below are examples of high-ranch models with the trademark blank facade: 
 


Other Examples:

Copeland Park - Before and After

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, builder A.B. Taylor Construction asked architects to re-design the houses they were building in Copeland Park. Below is an article from National Builder Magazine (December 1961), showing the houses before and after.









The modern architect-designed houses must have been a success, as Copeland Park has many stunning MCM houses - perhaps the best examples built en masse by a tract builder in Ottawa. Thanks to Google Street View, here are some images of these beauties!




  

Minto MCM Houses

Many of Minto's designs won awards during the 1960s and 1970s. Here are some great modern examples of what they built during that period.

The "Alpine"(above) and the "Cavalier" (below), won Canadian Housing Design Council awards in 1962. The Alpine is one of my favourite plans. It has a great modern design featuring a vaulted ceiling with exposed beams in the Living and Dining Rooms. These plans were predominantly built in Crystal Beach, but are also found in a few other Minto communities of the time. 
Also called the "Viking" (Crystal Beach, 1963) and the "Belmont" (Parkwood Hills). This plan c.1971 Ryan Farm and Beaconwood, as well as other Minto communities. c.1971 Beacon Hill North. c. 1969 Backsplit design found in Briargreen, Tanglewood, Stewart Farm, Beacon Hill. Not a 'classic' modern design, but certainly a modern take on tradition. I especially like the blank front wall with decorative brick work. Also a Canadian Housing Design …