Tom Cruickshank Old Toronto Houses

ISBN 13: 9781554073825

Old Toronto Houses

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A guided tour of the city's most interesting homes.

Urban skyscrapers and suburban sprawl identify Toronto as a typical modern city. Yet there exists another, hidden Toronto a place of quiet tree-lined streets, graceful houses and appealing neighborhoods rich in character.

Old Toronto Houses is illustrated with brilliant color photographs that explore the signature styles of Toronto's urban architecture. It opens with Henry Scadding's rough-hewn log house built in 1794, then progresses through the city's landmark styles: Georgian, Regency, Gothic, Victorian, Greek Revival, Dutch Colonial and Art Deco. The book then chronicles the houses of 10 distinct Toronto neighborhoods, including laborers' cottages in Cabbagetown, Yorkville's Second Empire terraces, and St. George Street's Romanesque mansions. Many of these older homes have been beautifully restored inside and out, preserving their original character. Each one is an example of a time in Toronto's richly diverse history.

A new chapter explores Toronto's ever-expanding boundaries and illustrates the houses located in what is now known as the Greater Toronto Area -- in locations including Etobicoke, Scarborough, Thornhill, Richmond Hill and Oakville.

Featuring over 250 houses and over 400 color photographs, this book offers a loving look at how old houses add beauty and grace to a modern city.

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From the Author:

To a photographer the delightful assignment to photograph some 250 old Toronto houses, as delightful as it most certainly is, nevertheless presents some specific problems. Several of the houses will, of course, face north. This means that the sun will shine on their facade for only one period of time during the summer. And, because the early light is the most desirable light, it means getting up very early indeed... The very pleasant part of that is that nobody else is up yet so that for at least an hour or so one can drive around with ease and work in terrific 'peace and quiet.'

Toronto is favored with many beautiful, tree-lined streets. The problem that this presents, however, is that many of the trees stand right smack in front of and very close to the houses! In order to get a good photograph of such houses one is therefore limited to taking the picture in late fall, winter, or early spring.

Another circumstance one learns very quickly is the garbage collection and on which day of the week it happens in different parts of the city. As lovely as a well-separated collection of blue-box material may be to garbage collection fans, a street-long line of blue boxes does not add much quality to a photograph...

But all in all, the experience of really seeing such a variety of architectural styles, such a collection of interesting color schemes and so many houses obviously so lovingly maintained has been very rewarding, indeed.

John de Visser

About the Author:

Tom Cruickshank is the author of five books on architectural heritage, as well as Living the Country Dream. He edits Harrowsmith Country Life magazine, and lives on a hobby farm in Port Hope, Ontario.

With over 60 books to his credit, including Canadian Churches: An Architectural History and Old Canadian Cemeteries, John de Visser is one of Canada's most accomplished photographers. A member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators. He lives in Cobourg, Ontario.

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Tom Cruickshank, John Visser (Photographer)
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