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Canadian farmhouses were influenced by European settlers. In Quebec, the style varied from Gothic to Swiss, with the kitchen being the most important room in the house. In Ontario, the farmhouses of the late 19th century were of Victorian influence. Earlier ones used clapboard and later variations had brick. Many had front porches. In the west dwellings varied from single story wooden homesteads to straw huts. Wooden houses were built later as railroads brought wood from the Rockies (Alberta, BC). By 1915 houses could be purchased as kits from Eaton’s catalog. Canadian homes often differ from their American counterparts in that the porch was often enclosed.
Bungalows are very convenient for the homeowner in that all living areas are on a single-storey and there are no stairs between living areas. A bungalow is well suited to persons with impaired mobility, such as the elderly or those in wheelchairs.
Neighbourhoods of only bungalows offer more privacy than similar neighbourhoods with two-storey houses. With bungalows, strategically planted trees and shrubs are usually sufficient to block the view of neighbours. With two-storey houses, the extra height requires much taller trees to accomplish the same, and it may not be practical to place such tall trees close to the house to obscure the view from the second floor of the next door neighbour. They are a very cost-effective way of living. On the other hand, even closely spaced bungalows make for quite low-density neighbourhoods, contributing to urban sprawl. In Australia, bungalows have broad verandas and as a result are often excessively dark inside, requiring artificial light even in daytime.
In the 10th century, the Chacoan people constructed large, multi-room dwellings, some comprising more than 900 rooms, in the Chaco Canyon area of what is now northwest New Mexico. In 1839, the first New York City tenement was built, housing mainly poor immigrants. The tenements were breeding grounds for outlaws, juvenile delinquents, and organized crime. Muckraker journalist Jacob Riis wrote in How the Other Half Lives:
The New York tough may be ready to kill where his London brother would do little more than scowl; yet, as a general thing he is less repulsively brutal in looks. Here again the reason may be the same: the breed is not so old. A few generations more in the slums, and all that will be changed.
Building styles in the 13 colonies were influenced by techniques and styles from England, as well as traditions brought by settlers from other parts of Europe. In New England, 17th-century colonial houses were built primarily from wood, following styles found in the southeastern counties of England. Dutch Colonial structures, built primarily in the Hudson River Valley, Long Island, and northern New Jersey, reflected construction styles from Holland and Flanders and used stone and brick more extensively than buildings in New England.