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Old Toronto Houses [Paperback]

Tom Cruickshank , John Visser
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 39.95
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Book Description

Aug. 15 2008

A guided tour of the city's most interesting homes.

Urban skyscrapers and suburban sprawl identify Toronto as a typical modern city. Yet there exists another, hidden Toronto a place of quiet tree-lined streets, graceful houses and appealing neighborhoods rich in character.

Old Toronto Houses is illustrated with brilliant color photographs that explore the signature styles of Toronto's urban architecture. It opens with Henry Scadding's rough-hewn log house built in 1794, then progresses through the city's landmark styles: Georgian, Regency, Gothic, Victorian, Greek Revival, Dutch Colonial and Art Deco. The book then chronicles the houses of 10 distinct Toronto neighborhoods, including laborers' cottages in Cabbagetown, Yorkville's Second Empire terraces, and St. George Street's Romanesque mansions. Many of these older homes have been beautifully restored inside and out, preserving their original character. Each one is an example of a time in Toronto's richly diverse history.

A new chapter explores Toronto's ever-expanding boundaries and illustrates the houses located in what is now known as the Greater Toronto Area -- in locations including Etobicoke, Scarborough, Thornhill, Richmond Hill and Oakville.

Featuring over 250 houses and over 400 color photographs, this book offers a loving look at how old houses add beauty and grace to a modern city.


Frequently Bought Together

Old Toronto Houses + Toronto's Visual Legacy: Official City Photography from 1856 to the Present + Toronto Street Names: An Illustrated Guide to Their Origins
Price For All Three: CDN$ 62.59


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Review

Those interested in architecture, Toronto or old houses will enjoy this impressive book. [blog carried by Alliston Herald, Barrie Advance, Blue Mountain Courier Herald, Collingwood Connection, Huronia Bush Times, Innisfil Journal, Midland Mirror, Meaford Express, Orillia Today, Stayner Sun, Wasaga Sun) (Glenn Perrett http://www.metrolandnorth.typepad.com/glenn_perret 2008-10-01)

[Review from earlier edition:] The admirable writing is overshadowed only by the stunning photos. (Greg Gatenby Books in Canada 2004-09-01)

[Review from earlier edition:] A book that consciously decides to put the city's best architectural foot forward, and does it beautifully... very visually impressive... dramatic. (Catherine Nasmith Acorn: The Journal of The Architectural Conservanc 2003-09-00)

[Review from earlier edition:] Tom Cruickshank does it again, in illustrating the rich diverse and sometime eclectic architecture in Toronto... breathtaking photography of John De Visser. (Edifice Magazine 2004-04-00)

[Review from earlier edition:] There isn't a lot of esoteric information here, but there's lots of eye-candy. (Annette McLeod Toronto Sun 2003-11-27)

[Review from earlier edition:] Like taking a heritage tour... distinguished by rich, diverse histories and unique architectural character. If you love older graceful houses... (Style at Home 2003-11-00)

[Review from earlier edition:] Stunning pictorial books, such as [these], inspire and encourage us to keep looking for that beautiful old house. [Featured with Old Ontario Houses] (Gillian Hobbs Antique and Collectibles Showcase magazine 2007-06-00)

[Review from earlier edition:] Elegantly done. (Clive Irving Conde Nast Traveler 2005-04-00)

[Review from earlier edition:] A thing of great beauty and charm, something that will draw from you oohs and very possibly aahs. (Nicholas Pashley University of Toronto Bookstore Review 2003-09-00)

[Review from earlier edition:] An expansive look at residential gems ... beautifully illustrated with more than 400 photographs. (Simon Avery Globe and Mail 2003-08-29)

[Review from earlier edition:] The pictures and detail encourage a walking tour of homes in Rosedale, The Annex, Parkdale or Wychwood Park and many other neighbourhoods. (Waheeda Harris National Post 2003-09-27)

[Review from earlier edition:] Tours of outstanding Toronto neighborhoods... lavish... sure to popular with architectural and historical buffs and serves as a renewed wake-up call to preservationists. (Brian Dexter Toronto Star 2003-10-04)

From the Author

To a photographer the delightful assignment to photograph some 250 old Toronto houses, as delightful as it most certainly is, nevertheless presents some specific problems. Several of the houses will, of course, face north. This means that the sun will shine on their facade for only one period of time during the summer. And, because the early light is the most desirable light, it means getting up very early indeed... The very pleasant part of that is that nobody else is up yet so that for at least an hour or so one can drive around with ease and work in terrific 'peace and quiet.'

Toronto is favored with many beautiful, tree-lined streets. The problem that this presents, however, is that many of the trees stand right smack in front of and very close to the houses! In order to get a good photograph of such houses one is therefore limited to taking the picture in late fall, winter, or early spring.

Another circumstance one learns very quickly is the garbage collection and on which day of the week it happens in different parts of the city. As lovely as a well-separated collection of blue-box material may be to garbage collection fans, a street-long line of blue boxes does not add much quality to a photograph...

But all in all, the experience of really seeing such a variety of architectural styles, such a collection of interesting color schemes and so many houses obviously so lovingly maintained has been very rewarding, indeed.

John de Visser

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sumptuous feast of beauty March 2 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is a truly wonderful book, packed with gorgeous pictures of lovely old houses. The pictures are all perfect, and they even include some interiors. The Victorian houses are especially interesting, as they're different in style from what we have in the U.S. If you're familiar with the "painted ladies" books, this is a similar idea, with better quality photos. Highly recommended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous 'Coffee Table' Book (for Torontonians) Sept. 20 2009
Format:Paperback
Not only are the pictures amazing, the organization of this book and the historical comments are delightful. I especially enjoyed the Rosedale section.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sumptuous feast of beauty March 2 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a truly wonderful book, packed with gorgeous pictures of lovely old houses. The pictures are all perfect, and they even include some interiors. The Victorian houses are especially interesting, as they're different in style from what we have in the U.S. If you're familiar with the "painted ladies" books, this is a similar idea, with better quality photos. Highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Toronto Feb. 22 2005
By Shannon Deason - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a wonderful book filled with colorful pictures and interesting text. I expecially appreciated the way the author divided the book between house styles and neighborhoods. Toronto is blessed with wonderful neighborhoods and this book does a commendable job of giving a quick glace at each one. The photos are so vivid and the cross section of homes wonderfully selected. I really didn't know what to expect from this book and I was wonderfully surprised about the text on the different neighborhoods. Very well done, indeed.
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