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Local Focus: Whitchurch-Stouffville

Local Focus: Whitchurch-Stouffville

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Local Focus: Whitchurch-Stouffville

by Gale Beeby

HOUSING OPTIONS

The Town of Whitchurch–Stouffville consists of several distinct communities and the intermediary countryside. The largest urban area is the community of Stouffville while other communities include Ballantrae, Bethesda, Bloomington, Cedar Valley, Gormley, Lemonville, Lincolnville, Musselman’s Lake, Pine Orchard, Pleasantville, Preston Lake, Ringwood, Vandorf, Vivian, and Wesley Corners. Click here for a list of homes for sale in Whitchurch-Stouffville.

LEISURE PURSUITS

The former Stouffville Town Hall (constructed in 1896) is now a multifaceted arts, culture and entertainment called 19 On The Park: The Lebovic Centre for Arts & Entertainment. The Latcham Gallery features exhibits of traditional and contemporary work by local and provincial artists.

The Stouffville Strawberry Festival is a traditional community fair held on the Canada Day weekend and celebrates the area’s agricultural heritage. The Markham Fair is hosted by the Markham and East York Agricultural Society and supported by both the City of Markham and the Town of Whitchurch–Stouffville. The Markham Fair dates back to 1844 and is one of Canada’s oldest and largest fairs, hosting upwards of 80,000 visitors yearly. The fair is held on the weekend before Thanksgiving in the Markham Fairgrounds.

The Whitchurch–Stouffville Museum includes five historic structures, including the Bogarttown Schoolhouse (1857), a pioneer log cabin (c. 1850), a Victorian farmhouse built by James Brown (1857), a barn (c. 1830) and the Vandorf Public School (1870). In 2012, the museum added a community centre and the new facility includes a research room, exhibition gallery, discovery room and two rental spaces.

Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area hosts an annual Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival over four weeks in March and the Musselman Lake community hosts an Winter Carnival at Cedar Beach in April.

PARKS & REC

More than 2,800 acres in the 20 York Regional Forest tracts are found within the borders of Whitchurch–Stouffville. The Whitchurch Conservation Area covers 25 acres and is connected to a larger York Region Forest Tract and to trails of the Oak Ridges Trail Association.

An extensive trail system within urban Stouffville is being developed that will connect to the larger forested areas. The most significant trail begins in town along the Stouffville Creek and leads through a mature forest around the Stouffville Reservoir.

Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area is the northern gateway to the Rouge National Urban Park. The Master Plan for the conservation area includes not only a trail system but also future trail connections to inter-regional trails.

RETAIL THERAPY

A stroll down Main Street of Stouffville offers many experiences and showcases the small-town charm and welcoming ambience that the town is known for. There are many shops, restaurants and community events for residents and visitors to enjoy. There is also a SmartCentre in Stouffville while the closest mall is Markville Shopping Centre in Markham.

EASY ACCESS

Highways 48, 407 and 404 serve the area while GO Transit has train stations in Stouffville and Lincolnville and also provides bus service north to Uxbridge and south to Union Station.

BY THE NUMBERS

Whitchurch-Stouffville

Population: 2.81 million

Walk score: 32

TownofWS.com


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Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian house for sale

Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian house for sale

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Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian house for sale

Toyhill, the first home the great architect built in the Usonia community in Pleasantville, features a central fireplace, built-in furnishings.

The Sol Friedman House, in the Usonian Historic District in Pleasantville, New York, 30 miles north of Manhattan, is now for sale for $1.5 million (U.S.).

Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural designs appealed to consumers and critics in a way that no other American had before his time. In a career spanning over 70 years, he worked during a time of innovative and improved building materials that no longer required homes to have tiny windows and low ceilings to preserve heat in the winter and screened sleeping porches to catch a slight breeze in the heavy night air of deep summer.

Wright understood human nature and its love of space, freedom and connection to the natural environment. As children dreamed of living in tree houses, Wright modified the concept for adults that would touch their inner child’s sense of wonder.

Some of his clients had land with special features they wanted to highlight. Wright’s most famous residential project, Fallingwater, was designed over a waterfall for the Pittsburgh Kaufmann Department Store family. He studied the land at length and built the house with the waterfall as the focal point.

After World War II, he knew returning soldiers would need affordable homes so in the 1940s he developed a new concept that people could build mostly by themselves with a minimum of help and expense. He named them Usonian and one of the developments he started was located north of New York City in Pleasantville.

Usonian living areas had a fireplace as a point of focus. Bedrooms, typically isolated and relatively small, encouraged the family to gather in the main living areas. The built-in furnishings related to the Arts and Crafts movement’s principles, which influenced Wright’s early work. Spatially and in terms of their construction, the Usonian houses represented a new model for independent living and allowed dozens of clients to live in a Wright-designed house at relatively low cost. His Usonian homes set a new style for suburban design that influenced countless developers. Many features of modern homes date back to Wright: open plans, slab-on-grade foundations and simplified construction techniques that allowed more mechanization and efficiency in building. A total of 47 homes were built by various builders in Pleasantville and homes on the 100-acre site were built at prices ranging from $10,000 to $85,000 (many of the homes have been expanded over the years and sell for well over $1 million). Wright designed three homes; the first one he built was Toyhill, better known as the Sol Friedman House. Friedman was a book and record merchant who also sold toys in some of his stores. Wright picked up on that point of interest and decided upon the name Toyhill for the home.

It was a combination of a large treehouse and a small Guggenheim Museum with two circular interconnecting levels topped by a mushroom-shaped roof. Wright also coined the term “carport” and created one for the Friedman house, also with a mushroom roof. The exterior of the house is sloped and covered in finely worked ashlar masonry, giving the aura of having just grown out of the ground.

At 2,164 square feet of living space, the interior includes cathedral ceilings, skylights, walls of glass to capture the bucolic surrounds, three bedrooms, three baths and Wright’s signature large stone fireplace, which he believed critical for families to gather around for conversation at the end of the day.

Now for sale priced at $1.5 million (U.S.) is one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most important Usonian homes, the The Sol Friedman House, in the Usonian Historic District in Pleasantville, New York, 30 miles north of Manhattan.

More information available at amyvia.houlihanlawrence.com

Source: Top Ten Real Estate Deals


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