The Oak Bay EncyclopediaTM
T . H . E . . E . A . R . L . Y . . Y . E . A . R . S

A listing of noteworthy
people, places and things from
Oak Bay's early years

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Click on any letter, above, to visit specific section of encyclopedia

B


B C Agricultural Association (1892 city directory)
B C Agricultural & Industrial Association
(1900 city directory)
B C Agricultural Association
(1948 city directory)
Willows Park
owners of the exhibition grounds at Willows Park
see Agricultural Fair, Willows Fair
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

B C Craft House
2248 Oak Bay Avenue
(19551956 phone books)

Previous location of Bryson Home Craft
Subsequent location of Hudson's Leathercraft
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

B C Electric and Railroad Tennis Club
see Oak Bay Tennis Club

B C Electric Railway Athletic Grounds
see Oak Bay Ball Park

B C Ladies' College
Oak Bay Avenue
(1904 city directory)

Reverend Joseph McCoy, M A, principal. The college had no street address, but was located between Hampshire Road and Newport Avenue.

B C Plumbing Co
2465 Cranmore Road
(...1934... phone book)
Sanitary Engineers.
HEATING, FURNACE WORK, REPAIRS
2465 Cranmore Rd.
. . . W.G.J. Haswell, prop,
Office Oak Bay & St. Patrick
. . .Empire-5512
ad in 1934 phone book
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

B & K Food Market
2187 Oak Bay Avenue
(1954–1955... city directory / phone books)
One of a small chain of grocery stores developed by partners, Borthwick and Killick out of Vancouver, BC. The Oak Bay franchise was built in 1953 on the empty lot at the corner of Oak Bay Avenue and Hampshire Road. The B&K store became a Shop Easy, which was subsequently demolished to make way for Athlone Court.

Subsequent location of Shop Easy Stores
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Baldwin's Nurseries
2546 Cadboro Bay Road
(19441946 phone books)
2545 Cadboro Bay Road
(19471949 phone books)
— ad in 1944 phone book
Click on image to view enlargement

The 2546 address was the previous location of Victoria Floral Company
The 2546 address ceased to exist in 1947 when a new service station was built on this spot, which was the entrance road to the greenhouses. Consequently, proprietor Charles Baldwin used his residence address (across the street) as the address of the greenhouses until 1949.
In 1949 the business was called Uplands Greenhouses with the address, 2270 Kinross Avenue.
see Uplands Greenhouses
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Bank of Montreal
2201 Oak Bay Avenue (19241953 city directories / phone books)
2219 Oak Bay Avenue (1954–1970... phone books)
After absorbing Merchants Bank of Canada (Oak Bay's first bank) in 1921, the Bank of Montreal assumed the space occupied by Merchants Bank at 2201 Oak Bay Avenue before establishing its Oak Bay branch at 2219 Oak Bay Avenue.

The 2201 Oak Bay Avenue address was the subsequent location of S.R. Tyler & Son Exclusive Men's Wear
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Barkley Terrace
see Street/Place Names section

Bartlett Avenue
see Street/Place Names section

Bayley, Charles
first manager of the Hudson's Bay Company's Cadboro Bay Farm, later called Uplands Farm
Bayley arrived in Victoria aboard the Tory in 1851 and was assigned 17 men to develop the Hudson's Bay Company's farm overlooking Cadboro Bay. He was involved in the only-recorded Indian attack on whites in Oak Bay, in 1854, barely escaping with his life.
Click on HISTORICAL NOTE for a brief accounting of the attack as reported by Governor James Douglas to the HBC office in London.

Beach Drive
see Street/Place Names section

Beauty Salons
originally listed as Hairdressing Parlors

Beaverbrooke Place
see Street/Place Names section

Bee Street
see Street/Place Names section

Bellevue Court
see Marine Chalet Apartments

Beresford Street
see Street/Place Names section

Bett's Book Shop & Lending Library
2224 Oak Bay Avenue
(1947–1948 city directory / phone book)
Bett's Book Shop & Lending Library
Click on image to view enlargement
"The business was sold in the late 1940s and renamed Dogwood Book Shop which, by the late 1950s, evolved into Dogwood Gift Shop. The business eventually relocated to 2180 Oak Bay Avenue at Wilmot Place, the former site of Ryland Huntley Radiolounge."
Richard Goodall, OBHS class of 1960
see Dogwood Book Shop
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Bicycle Licenses
Early Undated License
1952 Bike License
Click on either license to view collection of Oak Bay bike plates
In 1911 the municipality passed bylaws to regulate bicycles and dogs in Oak Bay.
"Being a kid in Oak Bay during the early 1950s was a relatively hassle-free experience, but we did have to ante up for an annual bicycle license. These were purchased from the police station at the back of the original municipal hall at 2200 Oak Bay Avenue."
Gary Wilcox, OBHS class of 1960.
* * *
"Sgt Green of the OB Police gave me a ticket for riding without a light."
Phil Johnston, OBHS class of 1960
Recollections welcomed

Billboards
Oak Bay's ongoing crusade against visual pollution
Billboards
Click on image to view enlargement
On July 6, 1922, Oak Bay council passed a bylaw prohibiting the erection of billboards in the municipality. Advertisers responded by erecting billboards at the municipal border — aimed into Oak Bay.

Click on photo above: For many years, two huge billboards at the Fort Street and Foul Bay Road intersection (Victoria side) were aimed into Oak Bay. These two billboards formed a "V" with two other billboards that faced drivers approaching Oak Bay. Note the bridge railing over Bowker Creek.
Photos / Recollections welcomed

Billings, J M
fourth principal of Oak Bay High (1930–1932)
J M Billings
Biographical material welcomed

Bishop, Kenneth
filmmaker who brought Hollywood to Oak Bay in the 1930s
see Commonwealth Films, Northern Films, Central Films, Willows Park Studio
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Bishop and Clark Dairy
Willows Beach
(1909 Vancouver Island Directory)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Blair Gowie
2031 Runnymede
1916 home of Harry Ross and Jennie (Butchart) Ross
Blair Gowie
Click on image to view enlargement
Blair Gowie1 was designed by Samuel Maclure and built in 1916 for newlyweds Jennie Butchart 2 and Harry Ross.3
The original property was quite extensive and featured impressive gardens around the Italian Renaissance-style home.
Harry and Jenny had a son, Ian Ross,4 in 1918.
Harry died in 1930 at the age of fifty-two and Jennie, in 1934, married an impoverished Russian Prince to become Princess Chikhmatoff. The Prince and Princess lived at Blair Gowie for a period, but the marriage was short-lived. The Prince soon left for the night life of New York and Paris. Jennie remained at Blair Gowie until the early 1940s.

1 Blair Gowie undoubtedly derives from Blairgowrie, Scotland, where Harry Ross' family originated.
2 Jennie Butchart (1885-1971) was the daughter of Robert and Jennie Butchart, whose home and property developed into Butchart Gardens from the property's original attraction as a limestone quarry for Robert's pioneering and extremely successful cement company, the Vancouver Portland Cement Company.
3 Harry Ross (1878-1930) was treasurer of the Butchart's cement company. It's here that he met Jennie, whom he married in 1917.
4On his twenty-first birthday, Ian Ross (1918-1997) inherited Butchart Gardens from his grandfather. He subsequently moved to the former D.M. Rogers home at 1069 Beach Drive. (Sitting on 2.86 acres of Oak Bay waterfront property, this house was on the market in 2014 for over eight million dollars.)
see Princess Chikhmatoff

Blake's Confectionery
2284 Cadboro Bay Road
(19501954 city directories / phone books)

Previous location of Goring's Confectionery
Subsequent location of Hindson Upholstery & Draperies
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Blakey, H A grocer
2509 Estevan Avenue
(...1941 phone book)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Blay's Pharmacy
2522 Estevan Avenue
(1947–1955 city directories / phone books)
2525 Estevan Avenue
(1956–1970... phone books)
PRESCRIPTION SPECIALISTS
FREE DAY & NIGHT DELIVERY
Phone 3-8934
DRUGS - TOILETRIES - STATIONERY
"Your Neighbourhood Druggist"
2525 Estevan . . . . . . . . . . 3-8934
ad in 1957 phone book
"In 1950-1951 I worked for Bruce Blay. At age 10, I delivered prescriptions all over the community on a bicycle. I suspect that it would not be safe to allow a ten year old to cruise around on a bike with valuable drugs nowadays. But life then was much simpler. I was never robbed or rolled. I was well paid earning a fabulous 17.5 cents per hour. Later, I delivered groceries for McLure's Food Market next door for BIG MONEY -- 35 cents per hour
Bruce Blay was a very nice man. The store was quite small and much of his inventory was stored in a garage behind the store. His wife was an optometrist, Pauline Gill Blay, who ran her practice out of their home on Dunlevy Street."
Terry Murphy, OBHS class of 1958
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Blueberry Hill (Anderson Hill)
see Street/Place Names section

Bob's Cycle Shop
2067 Cadboro Bay Road
(19671968 phone books)

Previous location of Cliff's Cycles
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Boland's Bakery
1163 Newport Avenue
(1968–1970... phone books)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Bongate
1159 Beach Drive
seven-acre waterfront property of William E Oliver, Oak Bay's first reeve (1906)
Bongate
1912
Click on image to view enlargement
Bongate was the name of the 7-acre waterfront property owned by William E. Oliver, Oak Bay's first reeve (1906).
His home once stood where Hampshire House stands today.1 Bongate later became the home of the Merston family 2 until it was demolished for the Hampshire House Apartments in the 1960s.
Oliver and his Chinese gardener built the sea water pool that became part of the original Oak Bay Beach Hotel's garden.

1 Also now standing on Oliver's former property are Harrogate Apartments and Oak Bay Beach Hotel.
..
2 Builder/original owner.of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel in 1927
see William Oliver, Hampshire House
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Borrowman's Corner Grocery
1199 Newport Avenue
(19201923 city directories)
Gloria (Borrowman) Crawford
Borrowman's.Grocery
Winnipeg store
Borrowman's Grocery was first established in Winnipeg before the Borrowman family moved to Oak Bay and established Borrowman's Corner Grocery on Newport Avenue in 1920.
" This was my grandfather's store. My father worked there [Oak Bay store] when he was 15 for a few years."
Gloria (Borrowman) Crawford, granddaughter of owner
see Borrowman's Grocery Store
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Borrowman's Grocery Store
1175 Newport Avenue (19241939 city directories)
see Borrowman's Corner Grocery

Subsequent location of Tapley's Grocery.
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Boundary B/A Service
2035 Cadboro Bay Road
(...1959... phone book)
B-A PRODUCTS & BATTERIES
Corner Cadboro Bay Rd. & Fowl Bay
E. J. Bent
2035 Cadboro Bay . . . . . . . . . . EV 3-0441
ad in 1959 phone book
BOUNDARY B/A SERVICE
E. S. BENT

2035 Cadboro Bay Rd. . . . . . . . . . .EV.3-0441
ad in 1959 OBHS Oak Leaves yearbook
This service station was not in Oak Bay, but in Victoria — just across the Foul Bay Road border. It's included here because it's interesting for several reasons:
. note Cadboro Bay Road address, although in Victoria
. note "odd" address on "even" side of street
. note spelling of "Foul Bay" in phone book ad
. proprietor E.J. Bent previously operated Cranmore Service, in Oak Bay
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Bourke Hardware & Paint Co
2003 Oak Bay Avenue
(19281930 city directories / phone book)

Subsequent location of Lowe Bros fruits and vegetables.
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Bowker, John Sylvester
Oak Bay pioneer / son-in-law of John Tod
John Bowker was an American sheep rancher who lived and worked on San Juan Island during the 1850s and 1860s. He befriended John Tod, Oak Bay's first landowner, and married his daughter Mary in 1864. After their marriage, John and Mary lived on San Juan Island for many years. Bowker eventually aquired 40 acres of waterfront property on John Tod's land and developed Oak Bay Farm between Bowker Creek and Bowker Avenue. His house is still standing at 1931 Bowker Place

Bowker Avenue was originally called Oak Bay Road as it was the access road to Bowker's Oak Bay Farm.

Bowker Avenue
see Street/Place Names section

Bowker Beach
see Street/Place Names section

Bowker Beauty Salon
2279 Bowker Avenue
(1941–1970... phone books)

ad in 1957 phone book
Click on image to view enlargement
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Bowker Creek
see Street/Place Names section

Bowker Place
see Street/Place Names section

Brighton Avenue
see Street/Place Names section

Brodie's Bakery (store #2)
2296 Cadboro Bay Road
(19501952 phone books)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Broom Road
see Street/Place Names section

Bryson Home Craft
2248 Oak Bay Avenue
(19491954 city directories / phone books)
children's wear / handicrafts

Previous location of Henry Oliver, women's clothing
Subsequent location of B C Craft House
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Bryson's Children's Wear
2041 Cadboro Bay Road
(1955–1970... phone books)
BRYSON'S
Children's wear & crafts
infants to 14 yrs.
"YOU'LL DO BETTER AT BRYSON'S"
Phone 3-0833 . . . . . 2041 Cadboro Bay Rd.
ad in 1956 OBJHS OBEJAY yearbook
Bryson's
CHILDREN'S WEAR and NOTIONS
EV. 3-0833 . . . . . 2041 Cadboro Bay Rd.
Isabel Hunt — Proprietor
ad in 1959 OBHS Oak Leaves yearbook
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Burdick, Newton Townley
reeve of Oak Bay (1918) / realtor
N T Burdick
Burdick served as reeve of Oak Bay for just over three months in 1918 and is remembered by Burdick Avenue. He was a partner in the real estate firm of Green & Burdick Bros Real Estate.
Biographical material welcomed

Burdick Avenue
see Street/Place Names section

Busby, Joe barber
see Joe Busby

Button 'n Bows
2867 Foul Bay Road
(1967–1970... phone books)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Byng Street
see Street/Place Names section

Byron Street
see Street/Place Names section



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The Oak Bay Encyclopedia
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