A backyard house in Tétreaultville for sale for $310,000

A “backyard” house is for sale for $310,000 in Tétreaultville. Back to the origins of this type of construction.

The house in question is located in an alley behind a duplex on rue Desmarteau, very close to avenue Pierre-De Coubertin. According to information available on the centris.ca website, the construction of the house dates back to 1952. It contains five rooms, spread over an area of ​​45 m².

It was not possible to confirm whether this backyard house was built before or after the duplex which occupies the same lot, as the real estate broker responsible for the sale did not return the call from Subway at the time of this writing.

“It could be simultaneous,” says the policy director of Heritage Montreal, Dinu Bumbaru.

The property assessment role of the City of Montreal also estimates the construction of the duplex in 1952.

Industrial Revolution

Originally, Montreal backyard houses were workers’ dwellings typical of poor neighborhoods and associated with the industrial revolution, we can read in an article available on the Érudit website.

Built in the back yard, [la maison de fond de cour] is hidden from the street by another building at the front of the lot. It is mainly a flat-roofed two-storey duplex or quadruplex, leaning against the back of the lot and connected to the street by a porte-cochere.

Luke Carey, The Decline of the Backyard House in Montreal, 1880–1920

Also according to this text, the number of backyard houses increased until the end of the 19e century, then declined until the phenomenon almost completely disappeared around 1980. Improved living conditions, urban exodus, shrinking lot sizes, downtown expansion and municipal regulations would the main causes of this decline.

The Desmarteau case

Regarding the alley house in rue Desmarteau, the latter is distinguished from “historical forms, as they were done in the 1840s-1850s”, explains Dinu Bumbaru.

“We see this in neighborhoods like Pointe-Saint-Charles and Centre-Sud, where the urban fabric was developed in particular before the great fire of 1852, following which we will make alleys almost compulsory to prevent the spread of fire. from house to house,” he says.

The case of the alley house in Tétreaultville is interesting, according to Dinu Bumbaru, since it reminds us that this form of construction existed at several times.

The alley house is behind a duplex on rue Desmarteau. Photo: Jason Pare

Intergenerational house

For Dinu Bumbaru, this type of construction is also similar to the current trend of so-called “intergenerational” houses.

“There may be interesting formulas to look for in the popular architecture of our neighborhoods,” he believes, which would promote their densification without opting for skyscrapers.

An article on the Avenues.ca site echoes Dinu Bumbaru’s comments. According to it, architects and urban planners use the term “secondary dwelling unit” (AHU) to refer to secondary dwellings created in family homes or backyards.

This would allow a moderate densification of a city or a district, these dwellings favoring intergenerational cohabitation. A phenomenon that would give retirees the chance to age in their neighborhood and young people to buy a first home.

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