Welcome to the Canadian Architecture blog!

Welcome to the first Canadian Architecture blog brought to you by the Malcolmites! We hope this blog will encourage those interested in Canadian architecture to talk (or more specifically, type) about architecture in Canada.

Featured Building

Featured Building
William Eckhardt House, Unionville, Ontario (1852)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Top 5: Port Hope, Ontario Churches

Port Hope is a great place for anyone interested in Canadian architecture. It has buildings from nearly every style. In terms of Gothic architecture, Port Hope has excellent examples of buildings from every style of Gothic that was used in Canada.
St. Mark's Anglican
Port Hope United

St. John's Anglican

St. Paul's Presbyterian

First Baptist

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Silly Signage

It has been a busy week and it's looking to get even busier, so it may be a while before the next post with any kind of content... On that note, here is a ridiculous sign that we recently found in a church - enjoy!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Canadian Architecture 101

In the last segment, we discussed what architectural historians do.  But what do we study?  Well, basically, we look at buildings... but not just any buildings.  Most often, they are architect designed... although sometimes they aren’t.  Confusing?  Yes, but this is where things can get interesting.

Sometimes buildings are credited to no one or to a certain architect, so we try to figure out the mystery.  Sometimes we have to look at the vernacular tradition (where there aren’t architects) to see where inspiration for other buildings is coming from.  And sometimes we have to look at books, journals and correspondences to see where the ideas for buildings may have come from.  For an example of a non-architect-built house, see this week’s Building of the Week.

In terms of the types of buildings we examine, it is wide open.  We look at churches, houses, town halls, post offices, railway stations, department stores... you name it! Canadian architectural history dates back a long way, so there is lots to see!

Last week, we took a trip to Port Hope, Ontario to look at some of their nineteenth-century churches, but there are lots of other great buildings too.  This is a great place to go if you want to do a drive-by churching or a building hop of your own.  There are lots of great sites like this all over Canada and most towns have at least one or two buildings of interest, so it is always a good idea to go out and explore.

In honour of this recent visit (and to whet your appetite) our Building of the Week is from Port Hope.  This week, we are featuring a Port Hope house, Penryn Park, built in 1859 and which now serves as the club house for the Port Hope Golf and Country Club.  Next week we will be featuring the Top 5 Port Hope churches, so be sure to check back in!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Let's make it a "Top 6" this week...

Above: Candace Iron getting the best shot in the gallery, with the help of a little death-defying, acrobatic skill. 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Weekly Top 5: Less Serious Malcolmite Pics

Above: The Nova Scotia Malcolmite Mobile! (It's not quite the BMW, but it did the job!)
Above: In Port Hope, Ontario we didn't just dine anywhere...we dined where they had the
Menu of Love!

Above: Peter Coffman braving the Nova Scotia elements to find a church key!

Above: Jess Mace in Lunenburg photographing what could possibly be the model for the Barbie Dream House!
Above: Malcolm Thurlby demonstrates the proper method of photographing a wall close up! (Actually he's photographing an archival picture!)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Hi everyone,

If you are just joining us, welcome!
Be sure to check out our newest section "Canadian Architecture 101" if you are new to architecture and are curious to learn a little more. For those of you who want even more, be sure not to miss the links to articles at the bottom of the page and check out our Building of the Week. 
And don't miss our Weekly Top 5 List and our most recent poll!

Thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Canadian Architecture 101

When I tell people what I study, the question I almost always get is “Architecture? In Canada?” This question is the reason for this section that we are calling “Canadian Architecture 101,” which will be an ongoing column on our blog. What we hope to do in this column is to explain a little bit about studying Canadian architectural history, a little bit at a time. The goal here is not to provide an all-encompassing survey of the field, but to share some of the interesting details, as well as the joys and the frustrations of studying this fascinating part of our heritage.

So, to begin, what exactly is it that architectural historians do? The main thing is to figure out why a building looks the way it does. There are many factors to consider when looking at a building and so to begin, it is best to look for answers to some basic questions. What style is it? When was it built? Who designed it? Who was it for? What purpose did it serve?

Other questions that need to be addressed take things a little further, starting with: where did the idea for this building come from? Why was this style used? How does this fit into contemporary trends regarding styles? Does the plan of the building fit contemporary trends in similar buildings? If the architect is known, how does this work fit into his overall oeuvre? What buildings might the architect or patron may be looking at for inspiration?

And that’s just the start. For a lot of Canadian buildings many of these questions are hard to answer. As you can see there is a lot to consider when looking at a building. Over the weeks, we’ll be sure to continue exploring some of these questions and issues, so be sure to check back in for the next edition of Canadian Architecture 101.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

All Saints Anglican Church, Whitby, Ontario

Unfortunately this historic church was gutted by fire Dec. 14, 2009. This church was designed by Henry Langley, Ontario's most prolific church architect of the 19th century. Luckily I (Candace) was able to photograph the interior of this church before this unfortunate incident.

In instances like this there is no warning about the loss of a great building, but often Canada's heritage buildings are at risk of demolition for a time before they are permanently lost. If you hear of an 'at risk' building in Canada, please let us know so we can attempt to document it before it is lost.