Minto in the 1970s

The 1970s is a decade remembered for bell-bottoms and disco music. Yet, it was also a time of great innovation and creativity in housing design. Minto, ever the trendsetter, built a number of pretty groovy designs at the time. Sure, there were shag carpets and harvest gold appliances, but Minto's houses from the era were noteworthy for their daring designs.

Deauville

Minto's 1970s-era houses captured the spirit of the time and were characterized by asymmetrical exteriors often with playful rooflines — sometimes quite bold like the Deauville plan. An uneven roofline and nearly blank second floor façade, save for a small window, made one of the exterior options of the Bramwood design noteworthy. Texture was also an important design feature of the time and many houses had exteriors with a combination of wood or aluminum siding and brick cladding, and occasionally pebble dash accents.

Bramwood

The number of different Minto house designs built at the time in a given neighbourhood is impressive, compared to what was offered in the past. In Orléans Wood and Barrhaven Common there were 14 different semi-detached designs offered, plus nearly as many carriage home designs, which are townhouses only attached at the garage. Streetscapes had variety due to differing locations of garages, sometimes detached in front of the houses, and a mix of unique façades. Plans included two-storey designs, split levels, and bungalows with 3 to 4 bedrooms. The detached homes had just as much variety and were characterized by plans that included vaulted ceilings, sunken rooms, open concept layouts, and main floor bedrooms or dens.

Interior

The same interest in texture from the exteriors of the houses was carried inside with brick, tile and wood accents, usually in earth tones, creating warm and inviting interiors. A popular look was to combine stark white walls with the warmth of wooden accents and a pop of colour in the wall-to-wall carpet.

The same interest in texture from the exteriors of the houses was carried inside with brick, tile and wood accents, usually in earth tones, creating warm and inviting interiors. A popular look was to combine stark white walls with the warmth of wooden accents and a pop of colour in the wall-to-wall carpet.

In addition to being innovative in exterior designs and layout, during the 1970s Minto built “Energy-Wise” homes with higher than standard insulation, heat circulating fireplaces, “thermopane” windows and enclosed vestibules to keep heating and cooling costs down.

Many of these designs were built up in to the early 1980s, but later in the decade more traditionally inspired houses became popular, thus phasing out these more daring plans. In more recent years there has been a return to unique and daring façades in Minto's portfolio.

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