Walkabout Wednesday

Not long after we moved in here, I noticed something about our little town.

You know how when you walk around a subdivision, there’s usually only a few house styles. People change things up with landscaping and window dressing and such, but you can tell the houses are all the same.

Well, I always assumed it was a relatively modern thing (like 1940s on) but our house was built in 1907, and yet… I see it all over this town.

Over time, people had built additions, built porches, changed colours, added bricks, changed windows, etc., but if you look closely, you can see the original basic house. Just a tall box with two skinny windows on the upper floor, one on the bottom, beside a door. Some have done the changes really well, others rather slapdash.

The pictures above aren’t even remotely all of them. There are dozens throughout the town. Though some you have to look hard to recognize them. Ours is one such.

They didn’t just add on half a house oddly to the side (the lack of and upper window on the left REALLY bothers Dave), but they they completely changed the windows. They put a much bigger window in the lower level, and then changed the upper to one large, horizontal windows.

On the inside, if the light is just right, I can see the outline of where the two windows used to be in the bedroom.

And though our house is over 100 years old… it seems the trend of building the same is even older. Across the street from us is a lovely little brick house the owner told us was built in the 1880s.

And yet it has “twins” all over town too. There aren’t as many, and though some are a little more changed than others.

I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same.

13 thoughts on “Walkabout Wednesday

  1. It’s the same here in NZ, you can look at a house and take a fairly good guess at the decade it was built. Ours is a fairly standard 1980’s house; most were brick, ours is Oamaru stone (limestone).


  2. Love the brick house across from yours.

    I think it is the same in many places. Our neighborhood was built in the 1970s. It looks like there are basically two models, a Cape Cod and a Split Level. Our house is the outlier. It was built in 1852 of river rock. It was basically a big stone square with a rectangular addition in the 1930s and an enclosure of the front entrance in the 1950s to make a mudroom and what we use as an office. The additions don’t have near the charm of the original portion.


  3. It’s always interesting to look at the local architecture!
    Whenever I travel, I look at the buildings; no place is the same.
    Have thought it was because I studied architectural history in school, but maybe everyone does it because it’s interesting!
    Our old house was probably originally built in 1890’s, then added on in the 1920’s then the 1940’s.
    Whomever chose to put asphalt & asbestos shingles on was an idiot, however.


  4. Araignee

    Same here. I live in the typical (and very ugly) S MD box house. All built in the 80’s when the boom happened down here. They have no curb appeal-or closet space but they did have 4 bedrooms and 3 baths which is what we needed at the time with 4 grumpy teenagers all needing their own rooms. The worst part is they sit among really gorgeous little beach cottages and waterfront McMansions that are to die for but we are too priced out of the pretty stuff to be able to move.


    1. My parents’ survey (which was built in the late ’70s, early ’80s) has about 5 different designs – all ranch, side split or back split. They mostly aren’t fancy, but they all have nice big lots. I am not a fan of the new “millienial” look of everything. We call it the Oakville look (after the city where the trend seemed to start here) [Oakville Neighbourhood & Real Estate Guides | Goodale Miller]

      Really big houses (2,500-3,500) sq. feet on small lots (max 50 ft wide.)

      What’s really spreading is the “oakville rowhouse” look [Oakville, ON, Townhouse For Sale | REW] Super tall townhouses (three-four stories). The developers love them because you can still get over 2,000 sq ft of living space in a smaller area, so they can sell more units. All I can think is… that’s A LOT of stairs!!!

      I’d kill for a beachfront cottage, that’s for sure!


  5. OMG I love looking at ways people make their houses their own! Our neighborhood is all rowhouses, and yes, they are the same. But if you pay any attention at all, they are also all different. It makes walking around the neighborhood so much fun – a lot like where you live!


  6. Shirley Elliott

    It is so interesting to see all the houses that were basically the same and how they evolved over the years. I would be just like Dave about the windows.


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