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Starting with Queen Anne architecture from the late 19th century and ending with spectacularly quirky converted spaces, HGTV’s Great Canadian Homes explores the best in Canadian design. Interior designer and host Tommy Smythe tours private residences all over the country, and interviews current owners and architects to uncover the historical and architectural value of each property. While the documentary elicits serious house-envy, the hour-long special is more educational than it is hyperbolic.
Veering from HGTV’s DIY/remodeling/fixer-upper trajectory, Great Canadian Homes taps into the historical narrative of each home, including the “story” of the current and previous owners, and offers an insightful glimpse into time period-specific design. It manages to condense entire design histories into short segments, and the viewer walks away feeling as if they really know something about, let’s say, the arts & crafts movement or mid-century design.
The featured homes include the calculus-inspired Integral House in Toronto, Tony Robbin’s Origami House in the Gulf Islands, a mid-century schoolhouse conversion in Ontario, and even a modern church loft conversion.
Read our full interview with interior designer and host Tommy Smythe here.