How to tell...
Which Era was your home built in
The late 1800’s is when the Ontario cottage style home was born. The exterior of these homes typically have a door centered on the façade of the house surrounded by two large windows. The building materials of the home (stone, brick & siding) are indicative of social status of the time (stone came in from Thousand Island was more expensive compared to wood siding seen on other homes). These types of homes are more casual with less attention focused on details (ex. kitchen cabinets were often flat). Wide plank flooring made of pine was common at the time. Back then, basements were utilitarian in nature, constructed of stone and dirt and usually used for food storage (comparable to todays cold cellar!).
Homes in the early 1900’s became more focused on the details. These homes are typically 1.5 storeys tall with the second floor having slanted ceilings. Flooring throughout the home varied between thin oak wood flooring on the main floor where you’d show your guests. Pine flooring was used in the bedrooms upstairs as guests would typically not enter these areas. The pine flooring was wide planked as well.
Sometimes, these homes are registered as heritage properties. They are deemed to be historically significant for a series of attributes and often have minimum requirements for repairs, upkeep, and alterations to the home.
Looking for a home from the 1920s? These homes can be identified by their mostly brick exterior (double and triple used for insulation), an often-covered front porch and a door that was not centered to the face of the home. On the inside of the home, the main floor would contain higher ceilings than home styles of the past. Staircases became less ornate and were made of solid wood. Windows in the hallways and upstairs could be diamond and made of stained or leaded glass – these add a lot of charm and character to homes! These homes have a lot of mission influence, think thick spindles, craftsman style with tons of wood. The front door was built offset from the center of the home to allow for larger living room sizes. Builders started to include walk ups in the basements to aid in bringing wood or coal to the basement for fireplaces that would heat the home.
When the 1940s and 50s came around homes took a drastic turn from the 1920s. Bungalows became the most popular home style which came with lower ceiling heights because they thought they lost heat when the ceilings were more than 8 feet. They began putting detached garages beside homes used for cars and storage. Inside the home would have small bedrooms where the primary bedroom wasn’t evident compared to the rest (much different than modern homes!). Although small, they began to include rec rooms in the floor plans. Homes built in this time typically have one bathroom that was shared by all family members. Wood fireplaces throughout the home were common with one located in the basement as well. Basements at this time also became popular as they began putting in small windows and creating more of a secondary living space.