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Architectural styles unique to Toronto

adma

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Anyways, there is one style of housing that is extremely common in Toronto and I've yet to see in other regions, which are homes like these semis in the Jane-Finch area. They seem to have been built all over the suburbs in the 60s, especially in the North-East 416 suburbs, but also in parts of Scarborough, Western North York, Mississauga and Brampton. They were built in a very specific way, with two single-car garages adjacent to each other. The driveway is a bit wider (on each side) than the two single car garages. Much of the building is inset, with the inset being the width of the driveway and including the garages, two balconies above them and usually a door on either side of the garage. There would usually be a wall partitioning the inset, and a large window onto the balconies above each garage, with a door to access the balcony on either side. The main entrance to the house would be raised usually halfway between the garage level and balcony, on either side of the house and be the only part of the house that's not inset. The rear of the house is sometimes raised so that it is two floors high facing the back yard. The semi-detached homes sometimes have their own hip roof, sometimes a shared hip roof.

I haven't seen any homes like these in American cities.

Seems to me like the suburban bungaloid cousin to the "Toronto Special".
 

Memph

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Seems to me like the suburban bungaloid cousin to the "Toronto Special".

I guess you could look at it that way. If you're willing to include other low rise buildings under "Toronto Special" and not just triplexes, then Keelesdale has a lot of them. 583-589 McRoberts Avenue looks like a cross between the triplex and suburban bungalow version. Woodenhill Court has 2 story semi-detached versions. 42 Donald looks like the detached bungalow version and there a plenty in the area that look like 2 story detached single family versions.
 

Tewder

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It's amazing how blind to them we are. I can't tell you how many times I've had visitors from other places comment on the poles with amazement that they aren't buried. It's quite something how much the streetscape changes not having them around. They screw up the scale somehow.
 

Tewder

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When you transform Yonge Dundas into your aristocratic 18th century fantasy we'll have some installed for you dear.
 

pman

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It's amazing how blind to them we are. I can't tell you how many times I've had visitors from other places comment on the poles with amazement that they aren't buried. It's quite something how much the streetscape changes not having them around. They screw up the scale somehow.

I've traveled a lot in Europe and the US for work over the past 20+ years, and I've never seen anything like this frontier-town mess of wooden poles and wires on main streets in major cities elsewhere. I believe that the wooden hydro pole and associated overhead wires and transformers are truly unique to Toronto in the developed world.
 

Tewder

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Yes, maybe a few could be preserved as 'art installment'... and then lets move on already!
 

adma

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I've traveled a lot in Europe and the US for work over the past 20+ years, and I've never seen anything like this frontier-town mess of wooden poles and wires on main streets in major cities elsewhere. I believe that the wooden hydro pole and associated overhead wires and transformers are truly unique to Toronto in the developed world.

Then again, compared to the back-alley arrays in Vancouver...
 

junctionist

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It's amazing how blind to them we are. I can't tell you how many times I've had visitors from other places comment on the poles with amazement that they aren't buried. It's quite something how much the streetscape changes not having them around. They screw up the scale somehow.

You're right. They dominate the streetscapes to an unacceptable degree, imposing a uniformity of utilitarian ugliness. There are also the big yellow traffic signals which hang over intersections that become generic focal points. These signals are a bizarre one-size-fits-all variety used everywhere from isolated intersections of concession roads in rural Ontario to our most historic and beautiful urban streets and it just doesn't work. Many Torontonians who aren't blind see these things and assume the architecture here is bad or the city just isn't attractive. It's like an ugly mask in front of the great work of so many generations of architects and builders.
 
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