25 Balsam is an excellent example of a 1960's split level. This was a popular style, which provide a separation of the public living and dining rooms and kitchen from the bedroom area.
Larkhill subdivision, bounded by Victoria Avenue, Park Avenue, 26th Street and 34th Street, is a 30 acre site southwest of Brandon’s centre.
1959 was a pivotal year for Larkhill’s development. On the ground, it began with the extension of water mains into Larkhill in the winter 1958/59.
In January, the Provincial Planning Office announced that they were finalizing plans for Larkhill and hoped to have lots available for sale by spring. By mid-May, Larkhill’s registration at Land Titles was pending. Eventually, a total of 348 lots were made available.
In March 1959, the City received applications for 215 lots. Jacobson and Greiner alone were seeking 50 lots.
In late May, the school boards petitioned the city for 7 more acres for school purposes. They required 20 building lots plus some space allocated to public parks. An elementary school and a high school designed for about 900 students were planned for 1960. An outdoor hockey rink, basketbaII courts, baseball diamonds and tennis courts were also planned. In the fall, a school board advertisement promoted a bylaw to fund two new high schools in Brandon - one of them for Larkhill. Larkhill’s Vincent Massey High School opened on the last day of November 1960.
In July 1959, the Brandon Builders’ Exchange lobbied city council to reduce the minimum floor area for bungalows in Larkhill from 1,000 square feet to 900 square feet to reduce costs and to allow a lower starting price. Council agreed to 960 square feet.
Ads for homes appeared regularly from summer 1959 through spring 1962. Sutherlands Agency advertised Parkdale Builders’ homes in “seven custom styled designs”. Norm White Agencies advertised two display homes by the Home Development Company - a split-level and a bungalow.
Over the course of Larkhill’s development, display homes were located at 40 and 43 Balsam Crescent, 826 26th Street and 50 Almond Crescent.
In spring 1962, an advertisement announced that the Lyndale Apartments near Vincent Massey High School were ready for occupancy. Following a trend in other subdivisions, city council decided to down-zone Larkhill from R3 to R1 one year later, prohibiting any further apartment construction in Larkhill.