Bungalow (1900 - 1945)
The Bungalow style is an American invention,
popularized in California in the early 20th century. It was brought
to Canada in the early 1910s. The Americans got the idea from
the British who had copied a version of the banglas style
of home, meaning built in the Bengali style. The British built
small homes, bungalows, that imitated the style of home they had
lived in while in the tropics either with the navy or the East
India company. The North American version is very different than
the British style.
Craftsman Bungalows - most of those below - were promoted
by the Craftsman magazine, published in California. This was a
truly American house style, popular with many middle class and
wealthy Californians in the early 20th century. Greene and Greene
houses were the most well known.
Bungalows are generally one or one-and-a-half storey
homes with broad, low-pitched, roofs that
seem to blanket the building. Large porches, overhangs,
and verandahs link the bungalow with
the usually ample exterior space surrounding the building. Bungalows
are almost exclusively residential and are often made of rustic
materials such as stone and brick.
The roofs are usually constructed with exposed structural
framing. Brackets and braces can be
quite ornate, but seldom contain any Classical
elements; instead they are more like "Arts and Crafts"
designs. In many Bungalows there are sleeping porches or a raised
central sleeping area in the middle of the building. Magazines
from the first half of the 20th century are filled with Bungalow
designs like the ones shown in the photographs below.
This classic California style Bungalow in London
Ontario is just a gem. The exposed structural roof
brackets and two-tiered, low-pitched, roof are indicative
of the style. Yellow brick is used throughout Western Ontario
in Neo-Classical and Italianate
buildings. It looks terrific here with the green and terra-cotta
paint colours. The attention to detail and placement of windows
is reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts period of British architecture.
The long, low profile is reminiscent of Prairie
Style architecture in Chicago and northern United States.
Across Ontario there are many unique variations
on the Bungalow style but few are as winning as this one in
Thunder Bay. The exterior has charming oriental detailing on
the roof and window detailing from the 1930s with multi-panes
above large fixed or sash windows.
This house has been included in home shows in
the past, and anyone who has visited it can tell you that the
interior has the same attention to proportion and brilliant
design that is found on the exterior. This house, like many
others in the neighborhood, will restore your faith in well-constructed
Thunder Bay Ontario
The front porch is a necessary feature on many
Ontario Bungalows. This porch emphasizes the long, low, ground-hugging
The lower half of the building is made from local
stone, giving it a rustic look. The gabled
porch is an extension of the roof, creating an outdoor room
that is attached to the interior with the same exposed roof
beams that you would find inside. The
wood has subtle detailing with sturdy columns
and an unadorned fascia.
This Bungalow is a little higher than the others
with a dormer that makes it a storey and a half. The detailing
on this is relatively ornate with paired dentil
blocks on the cornice of the porch,
"clustered columns" holding
up the porch roof and paired braces
supporting the overhang. The tympanum
in both the porch and the dormer have
vertical bar detailing. The dormer has six-over-six sash
windows on three sides and wide eaves. The landscaping of the
building flows from it emphasizing the grounded and earthy quality
of the design.
This Bungalow in Ancaster appears to be quite
small from the front façade.
There is a lovely porch with three rustic columns
made in the same rough stone that the rest of the house is in.
A look at the side of the house, however, shows that there is
a great deal of living space.
The roof on this house is not exactly bell-cast
in that the sweep from the ridge to the soffit is not curved,
but the roofline is still very pleasing, as is the wood detailing
on the sides. The sun room - sometimes called a Florida room
- on the side is a very elegant residential touch.
In contrast to the Bungalow above, this one is
made entirely of wood. The basic shape is the same, but the
porch in this case has four columns
with intricate capitals, and the
entrance to the porch is from the side.
The roof extends down to the ground level on the
back of the house instead of at the front. There is a single
dormer instead of a double, and the
sun room is somewhat smaller. The chimney
and window placement and detailing
are much the same as in the example above.
This seems to have almost the same plan as the
bungalow above, but it is constructed of brick with two large
brick pillars (one on either side) supporting the porch roof.
The dormer is very large, Note that the windows on the dormer
as well as on the first floor are Arts and Crafts in style:
two large panes below 8 small ones.
This is also an one and a half storey with dormers,
but the porch in this case is fully enclosed to make a sun room.
This bungalow is larger than the ones above but
still in the craftsman style. The dormer is extended on the
This is a very large Craftsman Bungalow in Belleville.
It is made with 'clinker bricks', bricks that are irregular
in shape and colour. This is a cross over from bungalow to Edwardian.
This is a close up of the 'clinker brick' used
on the bungalow above
Bungalow Extra Reading
Blumenson, John. Ontario
Architecture A Guide to Styles and Terms. 1978
Cruickshank, Tom, and John de Visser,
Old Toronto Houses,Toronto:
Firefly Books, 2003.
Harmon, Robert B., The
Bungalow Style in domestic architecture,Monticello,
Ill. : Vance Bibliographies, 1983
King, Anthony D., The
bungalow: the production of a global culture, London ;
Boston : Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984
Murman, Eugene Otto.
Los Angeles : Eugene O. Murmann, 1913
Powell, Jane Svenson, Lida.
Utah: Gibbs Smith, 2000.
Powell, Jane Svenson, Lida.
Utah: Gibbs Smith, 2009.
information on Neo-Classical architecture in specific areas within
Ontario there are some very good books listed under the About
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