Architectural Styles

This page includes sketches and descriptions of architectural styles found on the Kingston Peninsula. The sketches are from the original version of the built heritage project completed in 2005. The Architectural styles descriptions were written by Alice Fudge in 2020.

Maritime Vernacular

This style was common from the 1870s to early 1900s. It was seen in traditional houses that were often based on formal architectural styles, but not designed by architects or built from plans. These vernacular dwellings were fashioned by carpenters who simply constructed the kind of houses they knew how to build - simple in design, minor ornamentation, often built around a central chimney. They were commonly 1 and 1/2 storey wood constructions with shingles or clapboard on the exterior. The simple homes of the Maritimes were influenced by building traditions of Scotland and New England.

Queen Anne

This style was seen from the 1880s to the early 1900s. The Queen Anne style emphasizes asymmetry, eclecticism, and intricate ornamentation born from designs of the Victorian Era. The facade usually incorporates a variety of decorative wood, trims, and shingle work. Windows are irregularly placed and often incorporate coloured glass. Queen Anne style houses usually have a blend of hip and gable roofs with a tower, turrets, verandahs, and dormers often featured on the 2-storey construction.

Gothic Revival & Carpenter Gothic

This style was common between the 1830s and the 1880s Based on the proportions of Medieval cathedrals, the Gothic Revival style emphasized verticality – seeking to draw the eye upwards with strong vertical elements and steeply pitched gable roofs. Gothic Revival houses commonly have a centre gable (sometimes two or three) and an abundance of decorative woodwork on the eaves, gables, and porches. Carpenter Gothic style is a simple adaptation of Gothic Revival based on square, symmetrical massing and sparing no effort on wood ornamentation such as ‘scroll work’.


Georgian architecture is a popular style named for the reigns of the first four King Georges of England. Georgian-style homes were built to provide a more generous sense of space and natural light that had been missing from earlier architectural styles. This style was seen during the late 1700s until the 1840s. Georgian style buildings are 2 storey, simple rectangular blocks with carefully balanced facades. Door and window openings on the facade are always in odd numbers (3, 5, 7), symmetrically located, and evenly spaced. The door is central, often with sidelights and transom panels. The porch is a simple overhang or portico large enough to provide an airlock, which were sometimes later additions. This style, often associated with Colonial Style architecture of the US, is both stately and refined - demonstrating principles of symmetry, proportion, and classical order.

Young Canada Works and the National Trust for Canada