Let’s All Go For a Swim at the Inn On The Park!

innontheparkToronto is having a hot and crazy summer, so what better way to beat the heat than to but on your cotton bikini or high waisted woolen swim trunks, and go for a swim at the elegant Inn on the Park? Oh, wait. Right. It’s been torn down for a car dealership. But you can still buy a vintage postcard to remember the good times that were… on Ebay!


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Model Homes: A Courtyard Shelter by James Murray

James Murray House Don Mills courtshelters1Welcome to another in my series of posts called ‘Model Homes’, where we look at the photos and floor plans of our Don Mills homes as they were when they were built! This unusual model – one of my favourites – has a courtyard feature that isn’t found on most other homes in the area. You can see several of these models still around today, in the southeast quadrant of the Donway, on Waxwing Place, Deepwood Crescent, and Plateau Crescent. I really like the wood partition wall seen in the photo, which seems to be a feature that most modern owners have removed. The architect was James Murray, and this baby would set you back a cool 16 grand in 1955. 

Bonus round: Go to my November 27, 2012 post to see how one of these looks now… or at least… looked in November!

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Ranch House Love on Houzz


Check out this article on Houzz (my new favourite home inspiration site) on ranch house renos. You know I don’t like any old renos. Especially to mid century homes. But there’s some decent work here. So, a little more summer browsing for y’all! And if you do decide to remodel your DM home, remember, STUCCO IS THE TOOL OF THE DEVIL. Cheers.


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I’m Still Here! With Some Reading Suggestions

bk_atomicranchSweet fancy moses, I haven’t posted since January! In truth, it’s because I was abducted by aliens and taken back to the 1950’s to do more research on midcentury architecture. But I am back, with some summer reading suggestions!

Firstly, if you are not hip to this jive already, you need to check out Atomic Ranch magazine. I have a subscription and I highly recommend it for fantastic ideas on how to furnish and decorate your midcentury Don Mills home. You can also just join their Facebook page which is a great resource as well, with lots of fan-submitted photos. Or, you could just get yourself their fancy-dancy coffee table book pictured above.

Another great site, that has more of a nuts and bolts approach to midcentury homes, is Retro Renovation. Here you can learn where to get that elusive formica countertop, or how to source vintage knobs and pulls, or simply what period-appropriate colour to paint your home. You can post questions and have them answered by a very enthusiastic community of retro renovation fans.

Lastly, the Eichler Network, although specifically about California Modern homes, has a lot of great articles and photos you can use for inspiration. Just don’t attempt to emulate their landscaping, as catctii and orange trees don’t fare so well in Don Mills.

Happy reading!



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Another Vintage Aerial Photo of Don Mills

donmillsvintagepicHere’s a great aerial photo of our newly built suburb in the 50s, mainly focusing on the Donway East and West – I can actually see my house in this one (but I’m not telling you where!). This same photo now would be so covered in trees over the houses, you couldn’t see too much. Check out Don Mills Collegiate and the oval track in the upper left corner, and the old Don Mills Center in the upper right!


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Vintage Foresters Building Postcard

forestersThese vintage Foresters building postcards keep popping up on Ebay… I’m not sure who they were originally intended for – would you really visit Toronto and send back a picture postcard of an insurance company to your friends back home? Nonetheless, they certainly do make the building look glamorous and futuristic. I almost expect to see a flying car whizz by those unusual clouds in the background!

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Wood Panelling IS NOT The Devil


Wood panelling is not the devil. But painting over wood panelling? Now that’s a sin. See how happy these people are in this ad? That’s because they have beautiful, practical, wood panelling! My Don Mills rec room had wood panelling too… until some well meaning person painted over it in an attempt at updating the house before we bought it. Trust me, I would have much preferred my original grey masonite panelling (seen above) than the buttercup yellow painted panelling I have now. And once you paint it, you can’t go back.

And, this may come as a shock, but wood panelling is making a comeback. It may look a little different than the 50’s version, but it’s baaaaaaaaack!

So think twice before you paint, people. Maybe it’s not the panelling that has to go… it’s our attitudes towards it!

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