Model Homes: Modern Semi-Detached

Another in our series of model homes posts – where we look at various styles of Don Mills homes – as they appeared when they were built.

‘Modern Semi-Detached: Semi-detached houses were a gamble in 1954 when single-family homes were in demand. But their compact plan and attractive exterior made them good buys, especially at 13,500. They were carefully sited to avoid the gap-tooth look ofthen found in streets of semi-detacheds. Main door is at front of one house, at the side of its twin, to give greater privacy.’ – Canadian Homes and Gardens, February 1959.

Architect: Henry Fliess, Builder: Parkfield Construction

Spotted: All around central Don Mills. Lots of this one still around!

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7 Responses to Model Homes: Modern Semi-Detached

  1. johnny dollar says:

    wait… are these duplexes, or what? could you show a photo of how a similar example looks today?

    demanding $

  2. johnny dollar says:

    ok i wikipediaed it. kind of like you call it corn, we call it maize, around here those would be called duplexes. two residences sharing a party wall. woohoo, party wall!!!

  3. Jane says:

    I know the term duplex, But here they are more commonly called ‘semis’. I’ll try to get a photo of these same ones today. Unfortunately the builders of the past never planned for giant recycling bins that have to be stored out front. Which makes them less attractive now.

  4. johnny dollar says:

    you learn something new every day.

    now that i think of it, i guess i am sometimes semi-detached.

  5. warmflash says:

    When my family came to Toronto after living in Buffalo NY for 8 years, the first place we lived was DM, in a townhouse, like the one shown in this article. On Sunday’s in the summer, a Good Humor Ice Cream truck would always appear around 4 pm and all the children would run into the cul de sac to great the driver and his delicious load of ice creams and confections.

  6. Ronald Kluger says:

    In Toronto, a duplex is a house with two units in it, not two separate houses. A semi shares one wall with another house that shares no other walls. A row house shares two walls or shares a wall with houses that share their other wall and is also called a townhouse. Henry Fliess is still around and there is a nice interview on the web in the walking tour of Don Mills. He designed my house and I’ve had several chances to see him. While many Don Mills houses are being torn down and replaced with unrelated giants, the semis will survive because you can’t tear one down without the other.

  7. D S says:

    I live in one of these semis. They are wonderfully built on the outside with lovely mature trees and the interior design is just right for a family of four. We live on a cul-du-sac , safe for my children to play outside in the winter and summer. There are only 5 sets of these semis on our street.

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