Etobicoke is full of old wartime bungalows that at one time entire families lived in. Years ago families required less living space. More time was spent outside the home therefore, mega-McMansions weren’t necessary. Now we have more stuff, bigger stuff and everyone requires there own living space. Sharing bedrooms, TV’s etc is unheard of.



I recently came across a listing that completely reimagines old wartime bungalows. 86 UNO DR appears to have been gutted from its original layout. It is no longer anywhere near being a home for a family, which is fine because families these days require much more square footage. This is definitely a home for a single person or childless couple. 44 Treeview Dr. There were many different plans as you will see around Royal York Rd and The Queensway in South Etobicoke. 

While I am in no way enamoured with most of the finishes in this house (eek garish tile all over the basement) or the open concept which was taken a smidge too far in the basement, I do like the concept.

Gone are all bedrooms on the main level. Walking into the house you have now entered an almost entirely open space. All living/dining, kitchen and a washroom. While this is pretty neat layout I would personally have devoted more square footage to the kitchen & put it at the back of the house near the walkout to the backyard. These are the different plans of war time housing all across Canada. Thomas Wicks writes about these types of architectural styles in this Etobicoke article. In all over 30,000 houses were built across Canada through this program under the direction of the Wartime Housing Corporation (later to become the Canadian mortgage Housing Corporation or CMHC).

Where are you to sleep? You ask. Good question. The bedroom (yes there is only one) is now in the basement. It appears they dug down and made larger windows for more light. The entire basement with the exception of the laundry is now a master suite including walk-in closet. I’m not crazy about how open everything is but if it's just you and/or your partner I guess it doesn’t matter, you probably have a very open relationship with no secrets.

So onto why I think this idea has merit. Without having to bulldoze all wartime bungalows in favour of McMansions or dot the Etobicoke landscape with more condo buildings, people should consider converting bungalows into condo-alternatives. You get the space that most condo buildings don’t have, a backyard for barbequing, sun tanning, off leash dog space etc but no condo fees, the neighbours aren’t practically on top of you and you haven’t laid to waste a perfectly good structure.

More and more people have kids later in life or are deciding to forgo children altogether. Families are smaller and sometimes consist of just you, your partner and possibly your fur baby. The downside , of course, is that resale on a home like this is probably not fabulous because it is geared towards a very specific market. Buyers in this market would also be looking at a neighbourhood catered more to their needs with night life, walkability etc being available. So houses like this would be better closer to downtown. It would also likely be very hard to convert the house back to a family dwelling.

Perhaps we will see more houses like this in the future.

Posted by Kathy Gordon on


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