An era of elegant designs

New book shows rich legacy of early 20th-century Canadian architecture.

Text by Phil Koch

March 20, 2018

In his second book about art deco architecture, Tim Morawetz shares the results of three decades of work documenting and photographing the country’s buildings. Art Deco Architecture Across Canada: Stories of the Country’s Buildings between the Two World Wars includes over 400 photographs — most of them made by Morawetz, but also rare archival images — that portray the rich legacy of Canadian architecture and design from the early part of the twentieth century.

The book shows homes and residential buildings as well as a great variety of public and commercial buildings that incorporate elements of art deco style. Morawetz begins by explaining the material, sculptural, and decorative elements that characterize art deco and then describes some 150 buildings along with many of their marvellous details.

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In the process, he shows not only where but also how Canadians lived, worked, travelled, and enjoyed themselves, particularly between the late 1920s and early 1950s. While highlighting remarkable structures and craftsmanship, Art Deco Architecture Across Canada is also a story of Canadians’ lives and aspirations as reflected in elegant and inventive designs.

This article originally appeared in the April-May 2018 issue of Canada’s History Magazine. 

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

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