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Montreal Trend House (2 Woodland Avenue)

The end of World War II ushered in a new era in modern architectural design featuring new materials and construction methods to meet the needs of a booming population with contemporary and affordable design elements. Similar to the Case Study House Program in the United States, the national “Trend House” program sponsored by the BC Softwood Lumber Association spanned from 1952 to 1955.

The goal of the competition was to create houses that were 5 years ahead of current building technology to give people a view of what residential homes might be in the future. Innovative design entries from local area architects would employ western Canadian wood products in a modern manner as a demonstration project for post-war industry, builders and interiour designers. All homes were open for public viewing following construction to demonstrate the innovative ways they planned for modern life, used wood products and furnished with modern amenities and appliances. The interior of the homes were furnished by Eaton’s, employing primarily furniture and textiles from Canadian designs, selected by the National Industrial Design Council of Canada. There were 11 homes built across Canada with only one example in Quebec. 

 

The Montreal area Trend House site was selected to be in Beaconsfield, beyond the growing suburbs of Lachine, Dorval and Pointe Claire and located along the “King’s Road” overlooking the majestic Lake St Louis at the beginning of historic Woodland avenue that connected to Beaurepaire Train station. Similar to Ontario's Oakville community having both commercial and historic districts in close proximity to the water and still affordable properties, the Beaurepaire location having seen a century of visitors escaping the big city during summer to enjoy a calmer life in harmony with nature was ideal.

See on wikimapia


Well publicized in the local newspapers, over 100,000 people people came to visit the house such that the Beaconsfield council (at the time) discussed the necessity of making Woodland Avenue one-way on the weekends to regulate the flow of cars.

 

To find more on the innovations included in the Montreal Trend House, read the old newspaper articles:

The Gazette Tuesday, May 25, 1954

La Patrie, Dimanche 23 mai 1954


The Montreal Trend House interior design and the lifestyle ideas of the Architect can be found from the 2012 Roberta-Angell Prize History Contest entry written by Jane Marcuse of Beaconsfield, QC entitled “The Montreal Trend House” edited by SHBBHS.

 

If you have additional information or photos of the Montreal Trend House they can be posted on the Facebook group Save 2 Woodland Avenue.

 

Number 2 Woodland Avenue has been replaced by 501 Lakeshore in 2011 by the City of Beaconsfield despite country wide appeals.

 

The Other Trend Houses

 

The Victoria Trend house was formally recognized by Canada's Historic Places in 1997.


On 13 January, 2015 Calgary City Council voted unanimously to pass a bylaw that will formally designate the Trend House as a Municipal Historic Resource, the first mid-century modern buildings in Calgary to receive heritage protection! An excellant site documenting this piece of Canadian Architectural History is the Trend House Chronicles.