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About This Site

This site was conceived and created by Shannon Kyles. All photographs and text are by Shannon Kyles who teaches the History of Western Architecture as well as the History of Ontario Architecture at Mohawk College.

The site has been active since 1999. Shannon has travelled to Europe, Africa, Australia, and the Middle East to provide a wide range of architectural terms for comparison. Sixty two countries are represented in the "Terms" pages.

Shannon Kyles would like to thank the following people for their help and support:

Chris Blackwood and Cheryl Jensen of Mohawk College for making the leave possible,

Brian Gould of Mohawk College and Bob Edmonds of Electra for help with design and concept,

Ron Bruch and Andrew Connery for their help, encouragement, and technical support.

Wendy Moore-Spors of HHCA for encouragement and help,

This website was originally made possible through a generous grant from The Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Shannon would also like to thank:

Helen Pickering and James Owen for limitless generosity and kindness, not to mention travel advice in London, England,

Judith Chapman and Nadine Bornor in Fordingbridge, England,

Susan Schneider in Streatham, England,

The Wavre family in Geneva Switzerland,

La famille Germain in the Loire Valley,

La famille Boudrika in Morocco,

Jennifer and Murat, Sandy, Pierre and Françoise in Turkey,

Betsy Sheffield and family in Nova Scotia,

This is a free, non-profit website. If you have found it useful and would like to contribute to its continued success, your donation can be securely accepted through PayPal below.


Your generosity is appreciated.


While every attempt has been made to make this site as accurate as possible, the providers take no responsibility for any errors and omissions. We would be very happy to receive your feedback, both negative and positive at

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Please find below an Annotated Bibliography followed by some relevant web links.

Annotated Bibliography

Angus, Margaret.The Old Stones of Kingston. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1966.

Ashenburg, Katherine. Going to Town: Architectural Walking Tours in Southern Ontario. Toronto: Macfarlane, Walter and Ross, 1996.

Atkinson, Dan. ed. A Decade of Sundays, Quinte Walking Tours. Belleville: volume 1, Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, 1994.

Blake, Verschoyle, and Ralph Greenhill. Rural Ontario. Toronto: University of Toronto Press,1969.

Blumenson, John. Ontario Architecture A Guide to Styles and Terms. Canada: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1990

Those who are interested in Styles and Terms of Ontario Architecture should definitely avail themselves of this book. It is the most comprehensive overall guide to Ontario Architecture, but is sadly out of print. The book can be found in most Ontario libraries and in some good remainder stores. Many of the buildings on the "styles" pages of this website can be found in this book, and it is interesting to note the changes that 30 years have seen on the upkeep, colours and landscaping of the buildings.

Cathcart, Ruth. How Firm a Foundation: Historic Houses of Grey County. Wiarton: Red House Press, 1996.

Cathcart, Ruth. Seeking permanence in a New Land: Historic Houses of Grey and Bruce Counties. Owen Sound: Ampersand Printing, 2009.

Excellent research and thoughtful presentation make this one of the best books on the subject. Every county should have a record of its historic properties that comes at least close to this standard.

Clerk, Nathanial. Palladian Style in Canadian Architecture, Ottawa: Parks Canada, 1984.

Cruickshank, Tom, and John de Visser. Old Ontario Houses. Toronto: Firefly Books, 2000.

Residents of Ontario are not taught an appreciation of local architecture in school, and thus, while many people are interested, they don't always know where to start to look. This beautifully produced picture book offers a look at Ontario architecture by region, with stunning photography and insightful prose to introduce the various regions and architectural styles. For those who have not discovered the beauty of Ontario and its architecture, this is a very good place to start.

Cruickshank, Tom, and John de Visser. Old Toronto Houses. Toronto: Firefly Books, 2003.

Like the above, this coffee table sized book is deceptive in that it is so handsome it is easy to overlook the quality of the prose. Like any master of his craft, Cruikshank's style makes writing and researching seem a lot easier than it is. There is a wealth of information presented in a most accessible and agreeable way. De Visser's photographs, taken in all seasons and at all times of day, bring out the beauty of the subjects, many of which will be seen, no doubt, "for the first time" by people who pass them every day.

Cruickshank, Tom, and John de Visser. Port Hope: A Treasury of Early Homes. Port Hope: Bluestone House, 1987.

Cruickshank, Tom, Peter John Stokes and John de Visser. The Settler's Dream: A Pictorial History of the Older Buildings of Prince Edward County. Picton: County of Prince Edward, 1984.

Fox, William Sherwood. The Bruce Beckons: The Story of Lake Huron's Great Peninsula. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1952.

Greenhill, Ralph, Ken Macpherson and Douglas Richardson. Ontario Towns. Ottawa: Oberon, 1972.

Ingolfsrund, Elizabeth. Triumph in Design, Toronto Regional Architectural Conservancy. Toronto: Kingsway Park, 1994.

LACAC. Cobourg: A Guide to the History and Architectural Heritage of the Town of Cobourg. December 2002.

This is a terrifically useful little guide to introduce visitors to the architecture of Cobourg by means of walking tours. The prose is easy to read, the streets are easy to follow, and the buildings are wonderful. This pamphlet is an excellent idea very well produced.

Leaning, John, and Lyette Fortin. Our Architectural Ancestry. Ottawa:Haig and Haig Publishing, 1981.

Lownsborough, John. The Privileged Few: The Grange and Its People in Nineteenth-Century Toronto. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1980.

MacRae, Marion, and Anthony Adamson. The Ancestral Roof: Domestic Architecture of Upper Canada. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1963.

This is the standard book on Ontario architecture; it is the one that all others are measured by. The photography and production are 30 years old, and the results are not in the same league as the much later books, but the in depth research, the witty prose style, and the humourous but caring attitude of authors makes it a book that can be read many times. Sadly, this is now out of print, but second hand books shops often have a copy, and it can also be obtained "on-line".

Maitland, Leslie. Neoclassical Architecture in Canada. Ottawa: Parks Canada, 1984.

Maitland, Leslie. The Queen Anne Revival Style in Canadian Architecture. Ottawa: National Historic Parks and Sites, 1990.

For an introduction to the Queen Anne Revival style, and a wide look at the various manifestations of the style found in England and across Canada, this paperback-sized book can't be beat. There are examples of all types of buildings in all different sizes, repesenting a thorough yet readable and interesting overview.

Marshall, John E. Fifty Years of Rural Life in Dufferin County. printed by Maurice Cline, 1977.

For a small book with no pretensions, this is a book ( or booklet) that you simply can't put down. After reading it, you wish more people would take the time to write some memoirs of their county for future generations. Mr. Marshall describes a time when my own grandfather and uncle lived in the same county. We all remember bits of the stories that they used to tell, but none of us were bright enough to write them down.

McBurney, Margaret, and Mary Byers. The Governor's Road: Early Buildings and Families from Mississauga to London. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1982.

McBurney, Margaret, and Mary Byers. Homesteads: Early Buildings and Families from Kingston to Toronto. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1979.

McIlwraith, Thomas F. Looking for Old Ontario. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997.

Mikel, Robert. Ontario House Styles. Toronto: Lorimer, 2004.

This is a very good book about basic styles with some interesting information related to the various cultural influences of each style. The photographs are beautiful as well.

Morawetz, Tim, Art Deco Architecture in Toronto: A guide to the city's buildings from the Roaring Twenties and the Depression, Self published, see link, 2009

There are loads of pictures of the commercial, civic and residential buildings in toronto plus a very good text. Well worth the investment.

Otto, Stephen A., and Richard M. Dumbrille. Maitland: A Very Neat Village Indeed. Erin: Boston Mills Press, 1985.

Powell, Jane. Bungalow Kitchens, New York: Gibbs Smith, 1920.

Raftery, Anna-Marie. Passport to the Past Heritage Tours. City of Mississauga, On. 1996.

Another rather small pamphlet type of book that does an excellent job introducing the reader to the various towns that became Mississauga, and the builders and buildings that made the towns what they were. If you think you can drive around and visit all of the buildings in one or two days, you are mistaken. But once you have started visiting them, you can't stop; there are some real gems.

Rempel, John I. Building with Wood. Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1967

This is a book written by a teacher who has an obvious love of his subject, not to mention an impressive knowledge of it. For primary building techniques it is thorough and enlightening, giving an insight into both the building methods and the reasons for them. Rempels chapters on polygonal houses are unequaled in anything else I have seen and focus attention onto a very distinct and yet rare Ontario building phenomena.

Shiels, Judy, and Mary Appleby. Sidelights of History: A Guide to Etobicoke's Century Buildings. Etobicoke: Etobicoke Historical Board, 1975.

Stokes, Peter. Old Niagara-on-the-Lake, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1971.

Stokes, Peter, Tom Cruickshank and Robert Heaslip. Rogue's Hollow: The Story of the Village of Newburgh. Ontario, Through Its Buildings. Toronto: Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, 1983.

Tausky, Nancy Z., and Lynne D. DiStefano. Victorian Architecture in London and Southwestern Ontario. Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1986.

Wilson, L.W., and L.R. Pfaff. Early St. Mary's: A History in Old Photographs from Its Founding to 1914. Erin: Boston Mills Press, 1981.

Wright, Janet. Architecture of the Picturesque in Canada. Parks Canada, Ottawa: 1984.

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