The first houses were built in Montgomery Place in 1946. Seventy years later, in 2016, it was an honour for our community to be named a National Historic Site in Canada. Information from Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada regarding historic district guidelines states:
“In order to be considered of national significance, districts must include a group of buildings that comprise a harmonious representation of one or more styles or construction, building types, or periods… or which share uncommonly strong association with individuals, events or themes of national significance. …Intrusive elements must be minimal and may not detract from the “sense of history” of the district.”
Noted in the report that recommended Montgomery Place for National Historic Site status was:
“Montgomery Place, as a community, is visually distinct from other Saskatoon neighbourhoods.”
Following the end of the Second World War, there was a wartime housing shortage. In 1941 the federal government had enacted legislation “to build temporary inexpensive housing in centres with housing shortages.” In 1944, the federal government passed the National Housing Act which provided wide opportunities for home-owning and building for veterans and created veterans communities like Montgomery Place.
House plans used by Veterans Affairs in Montgomery Place included the “Alward & Gillies No. 2” – a 1 ½ story model and the “Van Norman No. 9” – a 74 square metre (795 square foot) bungalow. Some designs boasted “a small house that acts big” – with a basic floor plan of less than 93 square meters (1000 square feet) that had everything a family could wish for.
Times have changed. Many of us are no longer satisfied living in such small homes. Today, building or renovating a house in Montgomery Place is not done in isolation. Your house design is part of our larger community. An important question for people to ask is, “Will the design of my house be compatible with the neighbourhood, and enhance the important historic value of the community?” Choosing a house design that incorporates architectural good manners, keeping the surrounding community and your neighbours in mind, helps maintain the unique qualities of this area.
Sensitivity to our history in Montgomery Place is key when renovating or building in Montgomery Place. Build or renovate today in harmony with builds from previous times.
Although the Montgomery Place Community Association (MPCA) cannot restrict or regulate home-builders, these insights are offered in the brochure to help keep our neighbourhood visually-distinct and history-respectful:
- Embrace our distinct heritage. Think about the rich history of the neighbourhood when you plan your new home or renovation and build with community compatibility in mind. Build homes in harmony with homes from the post-war past.
- Think green. Montgomery Place is known for its lush urban forest. Save trees, plant trees.
- Consider your neighbours when you renovate or build. Will my new home or new addition block my neighbour’s sunshine? Will my downspouts flow directly into my neighbour’s yard? Will a second storey or the positioning of new windows destroy my neighbour’s privacy? Will my outdoor lighting affect my neighbours adversely? Consider air conditioning and central vacuum units and how the noise might affect your neighbour.
- Retain the large lot feel. Keep a consistent house-to-yard ratio to the rest of the neighbourhood, with similar side yard setbacks. Don’t settle for minimum requirements.
- Consider the lay of the land. Be aware that culverts under driveways are mandatory. Think about drainage and do not alter drainage patterns for your property or for that of your neighbours. Montgomery Place was designed to drain rain and spring meltwater through a series of ditches. There is no underground storm water drainage like there is in other parts of the City. Removing a culvert or filling in a ditch is not permitted.
- Think about parking when you design your new home or addition. Our streets are much narrower than in other parts of the City. Plan sufficient off-street parking to help keep our streets safe.
Brochures will be distributed from the City Planning office when permits are given for renovations and new-builds in Montgomery Place. Real estate firms will also be offered brochures for new Montgomery Place home-buyers.
Visit online at www.montgomeryplace.ca/montgomery-building-guide to see the new guide.