Architectural guide: Canadian house styles

by Kate Hogan 04/17/2023

If you’re thinking about buying or building a home in Canada, it’s helpful to know about the most popular styles of Canadian house. While homes across North America share many similarities, there are some key differences to be aware of. Here is a guide to Canadian house designs you’re most likely to encounter:

Ranch style

Canadian house plans use most of the same terminology and style elements you’ll find elsewhere on the continent. However, in Canadian architecture, a ranch style home is a broad term used to describe any single story house plan.

So, you might find “ranch” houses in Canada that also fit into a different architectural design category, such as contemporary or craftsman style.

Ranch style house plans are popular in Canada for homeowners who want the freedom of a floor plan without the logistical obstacle of stairs.

Cottage style

Cottage style homes are extremely popular Canadian house plans. Cottages feature asymmetrical layouts and generous front porches. As for building materials, wood is prominently used for interior floors, walls and ceilings. On the exterior, this type of Canadian home often features half-timbered facades with a mix of wood and natural stone.

Cottage homes are charming and simple without sacrificing style. They’re also versatile, energy efficient and come in single and multi-story designs.

West Coast modern style

A branch of modern architecture, the West Coast style comes from Vancouver and other areas of Canada with uneven terrain. Because of the land’s topography, architects and designers in the region found innovative ways to apply modernist design principles to home building.

Some major examples include homes featuring mixed elevations, bold geometric shapes and floor plans with multipurpose living spaces.

While West Coast Canadian house plans fit beautifully into the difficult terrain of the Western regions, you’ll find this popular style in every province.

Not sure which is the best Canadian house plan for you? While these are only some of the most popular architectural styles of Canadian houses, they are an excellent place to start your search for inspiration. With the wide variety of floor plans and exterior features, you’re sure to find something that fits your personal style.

About the Author

Kate Hogan

Kate Hogan – Amherst MA Realtor ® and Pioneer Valley

Your number one source for Real Estate in Amherst, MA, and surrounding towns!

Kate Hogan, a 20-year resident of Amherst and Top Producer at Brick & Mortar realty, has that unique combination of qualities you need in an agent: a big picture view of the entire Five College area, towns, and neighborhoods, a high standard of professionalism, and an innate talent for understanding homes. All of that, plus this savvy agent is known for being experienced, knowledgeable, and a lot of fun to work with.  As a full-time real estate professional, Kate’s approach is focused on getting to know her clients as real people and taking care of them from beginning to end.