About Mel

Since 1969 Mel Shakespeare has been designing award-winning homes in the tradition of early 19th century Ontario. The company name, Tradition Home, is now synonymous with period homes of distinction.

The “Wallflower” Hexagonal Log House

THE WALLFLOWER One of the biggest ideas I ever had, architecturally speaking, that is, was coming up with the design and material needed to create the one-hundred-and-twenty-foot-long hexagon. She was a real looker, that’s for sure. She required four of my best-by-hand built log buildings, each dressed carefully as runway models in subtle shades [...]

By |2023-07-17T13:41:51-04:00July 17th, 2023|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The “Wallflower” Hexagonal Log House

A Nice Farm Relic

One of my craftsmen, who has developed a fair eye for spotting an ancient building, tipped me off to a house not too far from his own near Tweed Ontario. It sounded promising so we drove to its nearest driveway for a closer look. Clomping over an overgrown roadway and up a hill, there [...]

By |2020-10-05T14:26:30-04:00August 24th, 2020|post & beam house, Vintage Homes|Comments Off on A Nice Farm Relic

Built Like a Fortress

Our early history suggests the reasonable assumption that log homes were built for the protection of farmers, woodcutters, fishermen and others whose temporary huts offered scant security against Indian raids, not to mention our sometime ruthless weather. This is borne out by the character of the buildings, whose exterior walls are of square-hewn logs [...]

By |2018-08-06T13:37:03-04:00August 6th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Built Like a Fortress

Westward Ho

The Thibideau stone house north of Cobourg was one of our more ambitious projects. This classic five bay Georgian house was resurrected from Forfar, a small village in eastern Ontario. It took me years of search then negotiation to finally purchase the building that, although built solidly of the local sandstone, was not too far [...]

By |2018-08-01T20:08:24-04:00August 1st, 2018|log homes, post & beam house, stone houses|Comments Off on Westward Ho

Your Own Mini Country Estate

What would it have ...you might ask? Well there’s one available right now that may answer that question for you. Here’s a list of the features we would expect a “Mini Country Estate” to have. It should come off a good well-maintained road for easy access to schools, shopping, health clinic, etc. Probably in that [...]

By |2018-01-22T09:34:58-05:00January 4th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Your Own Mini Country Estate

Why Tradition?

After much deliberation, I couldn’t think of a better name for my log building company than Tradition. It seemed to exemplify everything I came to appreciate regarding the ongoing work of artisans that respectfully endeavor to preserve and maintain it. The earliest houses were an example of the direct outgrowth of architecture from function [...]

By |2018-01-26T13:35:54-05:00September 15th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Why Tradition?

A Post & Beam Hidden Treasure

Southern Ontario is a treasure trove of early architecture for those inclined to history. And it is the abundance of its various histories represented in visual architectural form that adds to its interest and beauty. In my expeditions through the countryside and towns I always spare an eye for the homes of our past. [...]

By |2018-01-26T13:42:32-05:00August 21st, 2017|post & beam house, Vintage Homes|Comments Off on A Post & Beam Hidden Treasure

Restoring an 1840 Tavern/Inn

“There’s a house I think you’d better look at west of town.” This from a realtor friend who knew the kind of place that might interest me. I’d been looking around Port Hope, Ontario for about seven years for something worth restoring. When I saw the house, such as it was, set well back [...]

By |2018-01-26T13:38:19-05:00August 20th, 2017|post & beam house, Vintage Homes|Comments Off on Restoring an 1840 Tavern/Inn

A Successful House

A successful house, particularly one that has survived centuries of living will be invested with soul. How did it come to inhabit the house? Perhaps it was passed on by the original builder that sought shelter for his brood who put his heart into every stroke of the broadaxe. Perhaps the first tree that offered [...]

By |2017-08-28T09:20:18-04:00August 18th, 2017|Vintage Homes|Comments Off on A Successful House

Stone “L’Atelier”

If you were to look for Canada’s earliest tradition other than the aboriginal you must start with the French style. I’ve always been intrigued and beguiled by it, particularly those field stone cottages often whitewashed over with their multi-paned casements and colourful shutters. I think of the habitants themselves, who have shown us their strength [...]

By |2017-08-28T09:21:05-04:00August 18th, 2017|stone houses, Vintage Homes|Comments Off on Stone “L’Atelier”
Go to Top