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"Usonian" usually refers to a group of approximately sixty middle-income family homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright beginning in 1934 with the Willey House, with most considering the Herbert and Katherine Jacobs First House, 1937, to be the first true "Usonian.” The "Usonian Homes" are typically small, single-story dwellings without a garage or much storage. They are often L-shaped to fit around a garden terrace on unusual and inexpensive sites. They are characterized by native materials; flat roofs and large cantilevered overhangs for passive solar heating and natural cooling; natural lighting with clerestory windows; and radiant-floor heating. Another distinctive feature is that they typically have little exposure to the front/'public' side, while the rear/'private' sides are completely open to the outside. A strong visual connection between the interior and exterior spaces is an important characteristic of all Usonian homes. The word carport was coined by Wright to describe an overhang for sheltering a parked vehicle.

Excerpted from:

Wikipedia contributors, "Usonia," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,

(accessed July 3, 2021).


Vaughan is home to a very rare and small enclave of houses built in this style that are nestled along the Humber River valley just outside the village of Kleinburg.  Each home was designed by William McCrow, an artist and set-designer known for his work at the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation).  The occupants of the homes were mostly writers and other creatives that established a community called the Windrush Cooperative.  Playwright Lister Sinclair and writer Pierre Burton were among the first to reside there.

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