The Canadian Home from Cave to Electronic Cocoon by Marc Denhez
4to. pp. viii, 256. profusely illustrated. bibliography. index. hardcover boards. dw.
Toronto & Oxford: Dundurn Press, 1994.
ISBN-10: 1550022024 / ISBN-13: 9781550022025
Would you want to live in a factory-molded cube made of plastic, asbestos, and UFFI? With an "H-bomb shelter" and the nuclear furnace underneath? Or a house designed by God to harmonize with the cosmic Muzak?
The Canadian Home explains how our housing came to be including the pagan origins of "colonial" homes, why "Tudor" is not Tudor, and where so many predictions went wrong. But the book is not just about tastes and floor plans; it also celebrates technological innovation, from prehistoric Inuit windows (of stretched seal guts) to the R-2000 house and habitation in space. For the first time, records of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association have been opened to reveal the power plays of bureaucrats, developers, architects, and financiers and how they affect the quality, affordability, and choice of our housing today. Fiery debates over the sublime and the ridiculous (e.g. 1940s architectural articles on whether Toronto should be bombed) are set against the backdrop of Canadian politics and industrial history. Whether the reader’s interest is in construction, politics, or home decor, this book explains why the roof over our heads is the way it is.