Reconstructions of Iroquois villages in southern Ontario have shed some light on how these groups lived and coped with the climate. The first Europeans settlers to build in the area also used the readily available wood. Moreover, rather than emulating native building practices, the Europeans built forts and cabins out of logs, using building methods in a way that was quickly imitated in the architecture of other frontier towns.
In the mid-19th century, the industrial revolution transformed cities like Toronto. As populations were bolstered by immigrants, and farmworkers seeking work in the urban centres, a need for novel solutions to housing demands developed. While some cities adopted the row house, the semi-detached brick house became a typical feature of 19th century Toronto. Once communities were established, local architecture assumed a more permanent character. A style that was popular for the early residential buildings was called Georgian, named for the reign of Britain's several King Georges. The predominance of English colonial architecture was later complemented by other European traditions, including the architecture of groups like the German Mennonites, who settled near Waterloo.