A typical Ontario Cottage in the Strathroy area
A typical Ontario Cottage in the Strathroy area
If you go for a country drive along the Sydenham river, you notice many beautiful old yellow-brick homes. The colour comes from the sandy clay that was used in local brick works until the turn of the century. There are 4 main styles of historic homes in this area: Georgian, Gothic Revival, Italianate and Queen Anne.

It can be difficult to pin down the style of many homes in the Sydenham River area. Before people became as mobile as they are today, families would work with the same basic building for generations, unless they were wealthy, and the structure of the home would be updated regularly. Today, a homeowner might paint their doors if they needed a change; one hundred years ago, the homeowner would add major elements to their houses to change the look.

After the log-cabin days, most families started with a basic "Ontario Cottage," a one-story building with a window on either side of the door. The look was very basic and symmetrical. Later, when the Gothic Revival Style became popular, roofs were raised and gables were added. "Gingerbread" was added along the roof-line, and finials topped the gable-peaks. Many of these homes were originally made of wood, and then bricked over.

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