‘Here’s What It’s Like to Live In Don Mills’ Part One


(Excerpt from Canadian Homes and Gardens, November 1954)

“We decided on Don Mills because we disliked the idea of living in an average development where the houses were like boxes row on row. We anted to live in a neighbourood that wasn’t monotonous, where we wouldn’t feel impelled to escape from our street at every opportunity.”

This was Peter Slaughter’s main reason for choosing Don Mills as his suburb when he was transferred by his firm from Peterborough, Ont., to Toronto. Peter, his wife Ruth and young son, Michael, became Don Mills residents last December. They were among the first families to move in.

The Slaughters, who now have another son, four-month-old David, live in a compact bungalow at 4 Norden Crescent in the first quadrant. Most striking feature of their house is how well lighted the rooms are. Both the front and back doors have unusual window panel treatments that break up the rectangular shape all allow light to flow into their living-dining room. This room also has generous windows on its third side. The doors (including a third service door for the kitchen) are blue-green; the windows have white trim and the overhang and eaves have light oak trim. The exterior walls are buff brick; the roof dark green.

Like its neighbours, the lot slopes upward from the street. The Slaughters’ house is one of more than 500 that are grouped around Norman Ingram Memorial School. This public school, with its 13 classrooms, kitchen and auditorium, was completed in time for classes this fall. Each of the other three quadrants of the central residential area will also group around a public shcool. These schools are planned to be the neighbourhood centres of social and cultural as well as educational activities.

Norden Crescent winds through a cluster of single-family homes of at least seven different designs. From the Slaughters’ home you can see the handsome school building through the openings between the two-story semi-detached homes that front on the large schoolground and playing field. Eventually, one or two churches will be built in this open area. Seven churches in all are planned for the central community. The denominations will be decided by the religious affiliations of the people who live in Don Mills.

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