Everyone knows Toronto as a dynamic multicultural metropolis filled with business towers and tall modern condominiums and skyscrapers. The truth is among all the fantastic features of the capital of Ontario, this diverse city is not just about new and modern towers located in Downtown Toronto. Do you know about the most notable architectural styles of Toronto houses?
Toronto real estate market offers many townhouses or bungalows and heritage houses in every neighborhood, especially in suburban areas. If you are planning to live in Toronto, you better know what types of homes you can find in Toronto’s housing market. You can easily contact top Toronto Real Estate Agents if you have any further questions.
The incredible variety of architectural styles in different neighborhoods of Toronto is wonderful. These beautiful houses belong to different eras and have special characteristics of their time with a rich history. Some of them have international architectural styles and others are uniquely Canadian.
Let’s first review Toronto’s architecture styles and then read about the Toronto’s main types of houses.
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Victorian houses in Toronto
Victorian-style housing is one of the most iconic ones in Toronto belonging to the mid-to-late 19th century. This particular architectural style can be found especially in older neighborhoods, like Cabbagetown, Parkdale, Rosedale, and The Annex. These houses have specific architectural details, such as narrow width, red-brick exteriors, steeply pitched roofs, angular bay windows and churchlike rooftop finials.
The name of Victorian style comes from the time of the ruling of Queen Victoria in Great Britain, exactly when Toronto’s Victorian-style houses were first designed. It was first designed in the 1870s by William Burges, who mixed the medieval Gothic elements from all over Europe and distinctly created Victorian style. Toronto holds the largest collections of Victorian houses in North America. The largest collection of Victorian-era industrial architecture in North America is in the Distillery District of Toronto.
Georgian houses in Toronto
Dating back to 1715 to 1830 and inspired from classical times, the Georgian style focuses more on symmetry. It came to Upper Canada in the late 18th and early 19th by British immigrants. Now, you can find most of these beautiful houses in the Forest Hill, Leaside and St. Lawrence neighborhoods of Toronto.
Both the upper and middle classes population of Toronto liked the Georgian style houses. They are mostly two-story buildings and have distinctive features, including the symmetrical arrangement of windows and doors on the front façade, clapboard exteriors and wood shutters. The main focal point of the exterior design is the front entrance. These beautiful Georgian style brick structures are reflecting the tastes of Toronto’s elite in the first half of the 19th century.
Edwardian houses in Toronto
Between 1901 and 1910, the Edwardian era came while King Edward VII was ruling Great Britain. Canada was experiencing major changes those days, including Toronto’s infrastructure and the introduction of electricity and more importantly the emergence of electric streetcars. But in 1904, Toronto experienced the Great Fire which caused huge destruction in its downtown area. This disaster resulted in the construction of higher-quality and safer houses and they shifted towards Edwardian style architecture.
The Edwardian architecture was much different in aesthetic elements than Victorian houses. Edwardian homes are less ornate and wider with remarkable front porches. You can easily find some of the best examples of Edwardian style houses in the Roncesvalles neighborhood of Toronto. These stunning Edwardian homes have facades of smooth brick designed by stucco or tile on gables or bay windows. This smart shift in home design towards Edwardian style has begun to evolve towards more comfort and convenience.
Tudor Revival houses in Toronto
The original Tudor-style architecture was popular in Europe and the United Kingdom at the time of Henry VII in the late 1400s. However, some houses were built much later in Toronto under the influence of the Tudor Revival architecture.
The beautiful Tudor Revival homes also have multiple gabled ceilings and leaded glass windows. You can easily spot them in the Old Mill, Forest Hill, and Rosedale neighborhoods of Toronto.
Unlike Victorian style, Tudor revival homes had a more rustic look, designed by half-timbering facades, and brick walls with dark wood boards atop bright white stucco or stone. Tudor Revival houses have steeply pitched roofs, casement windows and often herringbone brickwork. These rustic-feel Tudor Revival houses with wood design and brick or stone foundation are more like an English cottage.
Art Deco houses in Toronto
The Art Deco style originated in France after WWI but became popular in the United States in the 1920s. However, these Cubism-inspired buildings were constructed in Toronto mostly for office buildings and theaters between WWI and WWII. The influence of Art Deco movement obviously influenced everything from jewelry to furniture. There are still some of these Art Deco mid-rise buildings around Midtown Toronto. You can find plenty of them in South Hill, Summer Hill and Bayview neighborhoods of Toronto.
Art Deco houses have an overall more modernist style designed by streamlined shapes, vertical projections, as well as facades with angular and geometric patterns. These Art Deco-style homes have some truly unique design features concealed within the rich historical background.
Arts and crafts houses of Toronto
Arts and Craft architectural style was started as a rejection of the Victorian style. It is more focused on simplicity, comfort and function, while Victorian mansions mainly focus on overbearing decorative details. The Arts and Crafts movement was an international trend in the decorative and fine arts started in Britain. Later in the 1900s, and the architect Eden Smith brought it to Toronto. Now, there are many Arts and crafts style houses in Wychwood Park, High Park and Bloor West Village, neighborhoods.
One of the main features of Arts and Crafts homes is side entrances, large main rooms and exposed beams and rafters. Using natural elements and unique handmade details like wood or slate shingles on the roofs and roughcast facades is completely bold. These homes are generally designed from the inside out and have traces of traditional craftsmanship using medieval- or folk-style decoration.
Types of Housing in Toronto
Now, you know all about the history and architectural styles of beautiful houses in Toronto, let’s find out more about the types of housing in Toronto. Here, we are introducing the 6 main types of housing you can find in Toronto.
Toronto’s bungalows date back to the early 20th century, brought to Canada from California. The name “bungalow” is a Hindi word used to describes Bengal style homes that are cozier, cottage-like homes. The main exterior features of bungalow houses are the low sloping roof, large and open porches with supporting columns through the main doorway.
Despite the modern real estate concept that bungalows are considered single-family homes, the beautiful old Toronto bungalows have more than one level and dormer windows. If you like this type of housing, you better search in The Beaches, Upper Beach and Danforth neighborhoods.
One and half-Story
In the post-war era, these homes were the most popular ones. The main focus in the layout of most one and half-story homes is that about 60% of the total living space is based on the first floor. There might be only one bedroom on the upper level. These houses provide more square footage on much smaller land and are more cost-effective than bungalow houses.
Definitely, two-story homes are the most popular houses in Toronto. Maybe that’s because these homes have a large living area on the main floor and a whole divided level for bedrooms and bathrooms. The layout, interior design and roof design of two-story houses are very diverse. You can find these popular two-story homes mostly in suburbs such as Markham, Vaughan, Mississauga and Oakville.
Attached and detached
Detached houses may be suitable for families and immigrant populations to live in, but attached homes have the highest overall valuation. So, this might be the best choice for real estate investors in terms of price and demand. The difference between these two types of housings is that the attached homes have one or more shared walls, while detached homes have no joint wall with neighbors, providing more privacy.
Semi-detached, as its name presents, means only one side of the house is attached to neighbor’s home, but the other side is totally detached. Semi-detached homes are very popular in Toronto, maybe because they are cheaper than detached homes.
Townhouses include three or more separate units joined together in a row by a common wall. Townhouse units generally consist of three separate levels: a main living area, a full basement, and an upper level for bedrooms. The most important tip about townhouses is that they are mostly grouped in sets of three to six units. But they may be available in the real estate market as freehold or condominiums and share the land with other unit owners. You can find a wonderful townhouse at a reasonable price, you better look for them in the Niagara, Liberty Village, Cabbagetown and Riverdale neighborhoods of Toronto.
This was a brief introduction to Toronto’s architectural styles and housing types. You can read it and find your best housing type and style, then you can ask a top Toronto real estate agent to help you find your ideal future home.