ARCHITECTURAL STYLES

STYLE AND ARCHITECTURE

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These porticos on Hingston in the heart of Monkland Village are inspired by the Palladin architectural movement in England which itself borrowed from the Renaissance school of Italian design of the 16th century.

 

 

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Some houses offer stylistic references; other are in special settings. These semi-detached houses on Grand Boulevard south of Sherbrooke street are special in every way. The half timbering in the upper storey is Tudor or Elizabethan. The magnificent arcaded porch is more Georgian in taste. The public sidewalk set back from the street lends a special air to this part of Grand Boulevard while old trees frame the setting.

 

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This fourplex of the late 1930′s on Harvard avenue reflects the modern movement in its clean smoth styling, while remainin in the context of Georgian Revival interpretation. The tall French windows, ironwork doorframes and cornice refer to the Regency Style of Georgian England.

 

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This portico on Marlowe Avenue is a Greco-Roman concoction of antiquity featuring a full Greek pediment supported by smooth Tuscan columns. 

 

The 1910′s and 1920′s were the peak of wooden porch building in Montreal. Of all the neighbourhoods, N.D.G. has the best. It also has the most to lose from the tragic disappearance of so many of its works of art to unsympathetic steel railings or worse. The variety is endless, each representatice of a different taste in architecture.

 

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The duplex variety followed suit, sharing the same treatment as the single-family type, except for the double entrance and double porch. This exemple on Walkley Avenue retains every element of its spectacular wooden porch, N.D.G.’s true trademark.

 

 

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It took from 1910 to 1960 to fill up N.D.G. with housing. Two world wars and an economic depression provided the only pauses in the building process. This single-family house on Old Orchard Avenue is the quintessential suburban structure of the 1910′s and 1920′s: Italianate styling, rusticated brown bricks with tinted mortar, decorative parapet, wooden porch, bay windows, small panes of glass, concrete foundations and a comfortable setback from the street.

 

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By 1910, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce was annexed Montreal and became eligible for city services (sewers, water mains, sidewalks, etc…). The suburban rush was on as developers swarmed in to buy up lots and build houses. They set the tone for N.D.G. by opting for attached or semi-detached single-family and duplex houses. This example on Marcil Avenue is among the earliest of the developer-built houses. The left-handed unit has since had its roof woodwork hidden under sheets of aluminium, although the spectacular porch has been retained.

 

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Georgian styling remained popular even into the 1950s as demonstrated by these expansive English Baroque doorways and delicate iron railings on Hingston Avenue.

 

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This unique porch on Vendôme Avenue combines Japanese inspired Prairie styling with paired classical piers tied together with a rythmic balustrade.

 

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Another example of the early wooden suburban cottage, this one more urban in its architecture, shows how extensive this form of housing once was. Located on Madison Avenue near Somerled, such houses were once scattered throuhout N.D.G. but have since disappeared.

 

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These duplexes on Marcil Avenue near Monkland were built with enough space between them for automobiles to pass through to garages in the back. Garages gradually became incorporated into the structure of the houses.

 

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This very Spanish-looking fourplex on Terrebonne Avenue represents another style of the 1920′s, especially popular in the United States. The white painted bricks and steel railings make it, in this case, look even more expensive.

 

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This otherwise plain fourplex (semi-detached duplexes) on Terrebonne Avenue is interesting because of its distinctive Paladian windows. The heavy wooden doors with their round headed windows are meant to complement the Paladian design.

 

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Chimneys built into the front façade distinguish these Anglo-Dutch cottages on Kensington Avenue south of Monkland.

 

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This duplex on Kensington Avenue south of Somerled was built with Tudor England in mind, its side entrances constructed to give it a single-family dwelling look.

 

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Romanticism is very often found in housing and perhaps nowhere is the concept of the home as a person’s castle better expressed than in this simple structure with its large Château entrance on Hingston Avenue.

 

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After a pause in construction during the Great Depression of the 1930′s, housing development resumed slowly around 1937. Styles had changed, however, and the Modern Movement introduced streamlined styling with plainer, more functional façades. This 1930′s fourplex on Harvard Avenue reflects the new taste for rounded balconies, steel railings, unadorned parapets and fluted stonework. 

 

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An elegant Edwardian period house, built of imported brick, this mansion represents the wealthy side of N.D.G. that never really took hold. It is located at the corner of Côte St. Antoine Road near Northcliffe Avenue. The imposing lamppost suggests it was once the Mayor’s house.

  

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Site of the Decary farmhouse built in 1698 and once serving as a toll house for the turnpike company, this distinctive building of the 1850′s is now a private home at the juncture of Vendôme and Côte St. Antoine Road.

 

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Because of its proximity to Montreal and panoramic vistas, a number of wealthy Montrealers were attracted to the rural community that was Notre-Dame-de-Grâce parish. Villas and mansions were built, this Victorian survivor being a rare remnant of that era. Although its panoramic vista is lost now, this picturesque limestone house on Côte St. Antoine Road forms an arresting vista in itself.

 

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N.D.G. still retains a few of its farmhouses. Usually well hidden behind the suburban homes of the early 20th century, they make marvelous discoveries for the urban explorer. The Décarie farmhouse is one of these. Hidden behind the corner of Vendôme and N.D.G. Avenues, it represents a somptuous farmhouse of the 1860′s.

 

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The main building of Loyola College, now part of Concordia University, stands as impressive today as it did when it was built fronting Sherbrooke Street in 1919.

 

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The beaver was a favorite among developers for decorating houses as a symbol of Canadian pride. Used throughout Montreal from the 1920s to the 1950s, it was cast in cement and set in a brick façade. Maple leaves and fleur de lys are other symbols often found in Montreal buildings, frequently in combination as is the case here at Sherbrooke and Mayfair.

 

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The most enduring architectural features of a neighbourhood are to be found in its detail work. This sculpture stone symbol used to signify the boys’ entrance to St Augustine school which was, at one time, separate from that of the girl’s. The school is across the street from St Augustine’s Church on Côte Saint-Antoine Road.

 

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This oculus window from the 1920s contains a precious bit of artwork at the time. Stained glass work is a trademark of the 1920s and housing developers throughout the city were the glass’s artist’best customers. It is touches such as these that enrich house and neighbourhood.

 

Help us tell the story of our community with your personal reminiscences or copies of photos or documents. You will enjoy sharing our history with your neighbours. Yvan Pelland
ypelland@n-d-g.com
514-489-2780

 

 

 

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