The most popular architectural styles for homes in Toronto include historical designs from the 19th century.
Some residential properties even share similarities with well-known landmarks such as the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Union Station. In exclusive neighborhoods such as The Bridle Path, the residents are just as famous as the homes’ designs.
Barry Cohen Homes , the leading luxury property broker in Toronto, has decades of experience when it comes to the most popular designs for houses in the city.
Annex-style homes in Toronto trace their heritage from the mid-19th century. The Bedford-to-Spadina Roads and the Bloor-to-Dupont Streets areas used to be outside Toronto’s jurisdiction until 1887.
If you buy an Annex-style property. you’ll own a house with a design that’s only unique to Toronto. It’s difficult to find a house outside the city that has similar features such as:
- Brick and sandstone for constructions materials
- Domes and turrets
- Other diverse design elements
Apartments, including the Prince Arthur Towers and Vincennes, replaced many of the neighborhood’s original homes between the 1950s and 1960s.
Canadian-Estonian architect Uno Prii’s unique designs for the Prince Arthur Towers and Vincennes remain noticeable even up to now.
Despite being an old neighborhood, The Annex brims with life and vigor. You’ll see a diverse crowd that includes artists, businessmen, and University of Toronto faculty and students.
Bay-and-gable homes became popular before the emergence of Annex-style properties. In fact, many homeowners in Toronto chose bay-and-gable architecture during the 1870s.
The popularity of bay-and-gable properties reflected the city’s acceptance of Victorian-style architecture in the late 19th century, according to Barry Cohen. You’ll find more bay-and-gable properties in older neighborhoods:
- The Annex
Bay-and-gable homes became popular because the design adapted to the neighborhoods’ narrow lots. Homeowners back then focused on maximizing cost before thinking about aesthetics.
That’s not to say that bay-and-gable homes lack visual appeal. Many properties are designed to harmonize with the surrounding greenery.
Rustic elements such as a wooden front door and trimmings for window treatments suggest a vacation-like house in the city.
In the past, the design principles of Georgian architecture catered to the tastes of Toronto’s elite. Most Georgian homes featured a rectangular or squarish façade.
The use of bricks led to a distinct symmetrical appearance, which was further highlighted with proportioned columns, shutters and windows.
Georgian architecture may not be as popular as other styles, but it remains a classic choice for home design. You’ll find many of them in Rosedale and The Bridle Path.
Perhaps taking their cue from history, residents of The Bridle Path use Georgian styles for their luxury properties. The area is “the most affluent and prestigious neighborhood in Canada” after all, according to Barry Cohen.
Past and present residents of Bridle Path include likes of Celine Dion, Drake and late pop artist Prince. Luxury properties in the area can cost as much as CAD 45 million (US $35.3 million).
Not everyone has liked neoclassicism, so designers have provided homeowners with non-conformist styles. Unconventional architecture for homes in Toronto became common only in the past few decades, according to Barry Cohen.
Some of the non-traditional home designs drew inspiration from Gehry Partner’s redesign work for the Art Gallery of Ontario.
If you’d rather leave the guessing to an expert, hire a specialist broker that can distinguish among different designs.