The Canadian Home - Dundurn

The Canadian Home

From Cave to Electronic Cocoon

Published September 1994


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." Pierre Berton

"In his fascinating study of Canadian shelter, Marc Denhez takes us on a 20,000-year journey from the days of the cave, the tipi, and the igloo, to the H-bomb shelter and the mobile home. This is, in short, a lively as well as an erudite study of the development of housing . [It] deserves a permanent position on any library shelf."

"If you live in a house or own one or build one if you have a roof over your head read this book. A housing book with punch and humour immensely enjoyable."

-Charles Lynch author, journalist and former governor of Heritage Canada.



Marc Denhez

Marc Denhez is an Ottawa author and lawyer specializing in older buildings and their re-use. He has been published in seven countries and has won Canada's National Heritage Award and an award from the International Association of Business Communications.

Book Details

September 1994
8.75x11.25 in
256 pp
September 1994
256 pp