documentation and conservation
of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods
of the modern movement
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    Toronto Trend House 1

    48 Rathburn Road, Toronto, ON.
    architect(s):
    constructed: 1952

    Designed by architect Fred Brodie of the Vancouver firm Sharp Thompson Berwick Pratt, this modest single-family house in Thorncrest Village, Etobicoke, was commissioned by the British Columbia wood industry to demonstrate modern trends in residential design, showcasing B.C. wood products.

    As described by Allan Collier:

    “The first Trend House was designed to appeal to a small family with an average income. It was a simple rectangular two-storey structure with a low-pitch gable roof extending over a deck at one end. There was a flat-roofed carport attached to one side and a wide bay of tall windows facing a view on the other. The exterior was clad in vertical cedar siding which, at the time, would have been a novelty in Toronto, where brick was the norm. With only 1,000 square feet of living area, the architect succeeded in creating a sense of interior spaciousness by employing an open-beam ceiling and by consolidating the kitchen, dining, and living areas. Plywood built-ins left extra floor space for light-weight chairs and tables that could be re-arranged into various groupings. The overall look was modern and clean, with visual warmth provided by the natural finish of the cedar walls and ceilings.

    … From home to contents, this first Trend House was a thorough demonstration of the state of Canadian design at the time and proved immensely popular with the public.”

     More than 200,000 people visited the house in 1952, prompting the B.C. sponsors to expand the program to a national scale.  Ten Trend Houses were built in 1954, across the country from Victoria to Halifax. Two were constructed in Ontario: one in Lawrence Park, Toronto, and one in Stoneybrook Heights, London.

     Following the death of the original homeowner, Hugh MacDonald, Toronto Trend House No. 1 was sold and it was demolished in 2006.

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