The Ontario Cottage is a style of house that was commonly built in the 19th century in Ontario, Canada. The typical cottage has one-and-a-half storeys and large windows. The most distinctive feature of the Ontario Cottage is the single gable above the door in the centre of the building.
By the second half of the 19th century Gothic had become a popular architectural style in Canada. Many Ontario Cottages built during this era added Gothic ornamentation, most often added to the gable. Usually a rectangular structure, many have incorporated additions over the years.
You can usually see many Ontario Cottages in rural and small town areas, however, a select few can be spotted in the downtown/uptown core of Kitchener and Waterloo.
One example of the gothic style is located in Waterloo, the Voelker House. This house originally stood on 300 acres of land and was built by Barnabas Devitt (former owner of Erb-Kumpf House) in 1849. The Voelkers bought the home in 1940 and Dr. Philip Voelker had his practice in the house. The house received one of Waterloo’s first heritage designations in 1977. The home features turned porch posts, a gothic window in the gable, the two bay windows, paneled front door and bargeboard trim. The Voelker’s were known for the tradition of decorating a Christmas Tree and placing it on the roof of the front porch underneath the gabled window. Neighbours would gather and watch and enjoy a pre-Christmas celebration.
I have recently shown a number of Ontario Cottage style homes, and have fallen in love with their functional charming design.