Saturday, August 19, 2017

Beaverbrook - Part 1: Community Number 1

 This is the first in a series of posts that I will publish on the Beaverbrook neighbourhood in Kanata. Below are the pages from an early brochure on the development, including some great historic photos and floor plans.

Of note in this collection is the B4 with its atrium family room in the middle. The OH (one and a half) storey plans are also unique. Popular in the immediate postwar period, one and a half storey houses became less popular with time, and thus were not built in later phases of Beaverbrook. 

Remarkable for the time is that every single plan has an ensuite off of the master bedroom, something that was not common during this period.

Notice the variety in garages, some are attached, in one and two-car garage versions, while some are detached and located in front or to the side of the houses.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

And now for some shameless self promotion: Back in December I started publishing chapters on Wattpad from my epic historic-fiction novel (with some mid-century modern content): The Dream That Was. I have finally published the entire book online, and I have now begun to release chapters from one of my other novels: Teardrop. It is a fast-paced mystery/thriller, so if this is a genre that interests you, please check it out:   


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Beaverbrook Project

On the weekend I had the pleasure of taking the walking tour of the Beaverbrook neighbourhood in Kanata offered by Heritage Ottawa. A big thank you to all who were involved, especially our tour guide Neil.

Beaverbrook has always been of special interest to me for its architecture, but also for its history, as in many ways it is similar to my hometown of Bramalea (the subject of my other blog: bramaleablog). Both were planned as complete suburban communities that included places to live, work and play, although each was executed differently and at different scales.  

After the walking tour, I went home and poured over my binder on Beaverbrook. In it I have floor plans (for most of the houses and apartments), site plans, maps, original price sheets and brochures. I also have have a folder with numerous historic articles on Beaverbrook, Kanata and Teron. 

In the coming weeks I will begin sharing all of the historic material I have on Beaverbrook. I am still working out how I will present the material, and I am toying with the idea of creating a separate blog. My collection is not complete, but I would like my posts to be a collaborative approach with input from community members past and present.  

So, please stay tuned for "The Beaverbrook Project"!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Regional in Convent Glen

By request, below are the plans for the houses built by Regional in Convent Glen, Orleans. These houses were built on the following streets: Acadian Gardens, Beaujolais Crescent, Bordeau Grove and parts of Vineyard Drive, between 1978-1984.

The exteriors of the houses are a good reflection of the styles of the time - straddling the mid-century modern/1970s contemporary era and an interest in more traditional design that became popular in the 1980s.  

Also of note is how the layouts are compartmentalized with separate rooms, as opposed to a more open concept arrangement. This is also a sign of the times where there was a movement away from the open concept layouts found in some mid-century modern houses. It would be interesting to see how many of these houses have been renovated to open up the kitchens to the family rooms, now that open concept layouts are en vogue again.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The cover house

When I first started this blog I wanted to choose an image of a house that really defined the mid-century modern style in Ottawa. Over the years I have had many comments on the image, with many readers saying they even recognize the house. 

While many builders constructed similar models in the city, the one I chose is from the cover of a c.1959 Campeau brochure for Queensway Terrace and Bel-Air Heights. 

Campeau had a number of similar style side-split designs, but the one specifically depicted in the image is the B-21 plan shown below. So, now you know!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The final posting of Costain/Coscan plans

It has been a while since I first embarked on a project to scan and post all of the Costain/Coscan plans that I have in my collection. This is the final installment from my collection of plans that were built in Ottawa by the builder.

These plans in particular were all printed as large fold-out brochures, making them tricky to scan - but I have done my best!

The "Look of New England" designs were built in the Fallingbrook area of Orleans and very few were actually built. The houses are quite narrow and have protruding garages, a common design of the time. In more recent years builders have shied away from these types of houses (sometimes called "snout houses"), in favour of houses where the garages are recessed in to the facade. 

First introduced in the early 1970s, the ForestWood Collection took on many incarnations over the years. Here are the most recent plans (c. 1999) in the collection built by Costain before they ceased operations in Ottawa. These were built in Fallingbrook.

The Heritage Hills neighbourhood in Kanata was the last project Coscan built in Ottawa:

The Carriage Homes in Heritage Hills are a modern take on the linked townhouses first built by Costain in the 1970s in Blackburn Hamlet and Convent Glen.

After the millennium Coscan ceased operations in Ottawa, although I am not sure why. The company continues to build in the Toronto area under the name Brookfield Homes, and is part of a larger company that builds across North America.