InsulBrick is a tar coated fibreboard siding introduced in the 1930’s which remained popular up to and through the 1960’s. It has a slightly embossed stone or brick pattern and added granular material on the outer surface. It hasn’t been manufactured since the early 70’s, so what’s out there is the original material. All surviving examples show signs of aging, some gracefully, others, some may argue, not so much. Regardless, all suggest a rich history of protecting generations of occupants through many decades. Here’s a tour of dwellings that I’ve noticed in the area still wrapped in the stuff.
First stop is on the edge of the Gatineau River along Rue Jacques Cartier, a bit north of the Lady Aberdeen Bridge. It appears to be holding its own.
Next stop is in Hintonburg at the corner on Hinchey and Armstrong, not far from the Parkdale Market. This one’s my favorite. It has a bunch of nice touches, like an old wooden front door (not in picture) and round wooden porch columns. One senses a lot of tender loving care goes into maintaining this home.
Last stop is in Chinatown on Arthur Street, a block away from home. This is the saddest of the lot, as it is gradually crumbling into complete disrepair. You can see the exposed original wood siding beneath where the Insulstone is falling away. (Nov ’13 update – This house recently caught fire. So sad.)
So there you have it – a tour of some of the few remaining InsulBrick covered houses in the region.
Oct 2014 update – I’ve posted a second tour of Insulbrick covered houses in the region. Click here!