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2006 05 11
Pattern Houses - The Death of Canada’s Trend Houses
Reading Toronto is on the mailing list of a group following Canada's historic "Trend Houses." The Trend House was Canada's version of mass produced modern housing designed for the fifties suburb. A few days ago Toronto lost one that formerly occupied the lot at 48 Rathburn Street. Adam Sobalak says:
In my opinion, what happened with the Trend House at 48 Rathburn--a property of national architectural and historical significance--is, in its way, a bigger catastrophe than the Inn On The Park. Or (pending) the Bata Building. Maybe even than anything else, heritage-loss-wise, in post-amalgamation.

Want to know more about the Trend House? Here's a link.
For anyone with an interest in the fusion of architectural design with techniques of mass production, note that the Trend House concept is part of a bigger post war trend in supplying the market with affordable housing after the Second World War. In the US, the most publicized proponent of mass-production was Buckminster Fuller. His Dymaxion House designs were built by the factories in Kansas that once employed thousands of workers producing B-22 bombers. Fuller figured that by using the same techniques and materials to build houses he could revolutionize the US housing market. He was wrong.

Fuller lamented that on a macroeconomic level governments did not want a mass-produced housing market because it interfered with one of the state's big economic levers: labour building traditional housing. So, to see Canada's last remaining post-war Trend Houses cleaved by the wrecker's bulldozers signals the death of an ideal - affordable housing for all.

[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 05/11 at 05:37 AM

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