The Oak Bay Encyclopedia TM
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


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


Garrison House
1543 York Place
1898 residence of The Honourable Frederick Peters
Garrison House
Click on image to view enlargement
Garrison House was built in 1897/98 by John Tiarks1 for The Honourable Frederick Peters, who resigned as Premier of Prince Edward Island in 1897 to move to Victoria and set up a law practice with Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper, former federal cabinet minister.
The Peters family lived at Garrison House until 1911, at which time Peters left his legal practice in Victoria and moved to Prince Rupert to become City Solicitor for this newly-created town.
Garrison House was occupied by the Punnett family through the 1910s.
From 1920 until 1931 Garrison House was Uppingham House, a private school
In 1932 the house was vacant and soon destroyed by fire.

1 Tiarks built an identical home adjacent to Garrison House for Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper, which was called Annandale. Together, Garrison House and Annandale were often referred to as "The Bungalows."
At this time, John Tiarks was in partnership with fellow-architect Francis Rattenbury to develop 25 acres they purchased between Prospect Street (Prospect Place) and the waterfront. Although Garrison House and Annandale were both built on York Place, a good portion of their grounds were on Tiarks property, probably a consideration for allowing Tiarks to build both Garrison House and Annandale.
see The Honourable Frederick Peters, Uppingham House

Gent, K groceries and meats
2164 McNeill Avenue (19381939 city directories)

Previous location of R D McCullough grocer
Subsequent location of Reliable Grocery
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

George Lovitt shoe repair
1163 Newport Avenue
(1944 –1949 city directories)

Subsequent location of Newport Tailors & Cleaners
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

two ghost stories keep haunting Oak Bay
see Haunted House

Gibbert, Charles
principal of Oak Bay High School (1952–1962)
Biographical material welcomed

Gibbs, P A
reeve of Oak Bay (1950–1953)
P A Gibbs
Biographical material welcomed

Gibbs Road
see Street/Place Names section

Gibson, Wilfred H Jr photographer
2186 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1946 phone book)
Portrait Photographer
2186 Oak Bay . . . . . . . . . E mpire-0451
ad in 1946 phone book
This space would be the home of several photography studios before its conversion to a night club — the Club Tango — in 1954.
see Hill-Tout Studios, Roye Photography
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Girls' Drill Team
see Oak Bay Girls' Drill Team

Glen Avenue
see Street/Place Names section

Glenlyon Preparatory School for Boys
1701 Beach Drive
boys' private school, started in 1932
Major Ian Simpson began Glenlyon1 School in a rented house on St. David Street in 1932. Three years later, in 1935, he purchased F.M. Rattenbury's former residence at 1701 Beach Drive and relocated the school to this seaside estate.2 Major Simpson retired in 1964 and his son Hamish took over as headmaster.
In 1986 Glenlyon School amalgamated with Norfolk House to become Glenlyon Norfolk School, a co-ed, university preparatory day school.

1 Glenlyon is named after Major Simpson's former home on the Lyon River in Scotland.
2 The purchase agreement for the building and grounds was signed one day before Rattenbury's tragic death in England.
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Goblin, The coffee shop
2186 Oak Bay Avenue (
1937–1939 city directories)
2188 Oak Bay Avenue
(1940,19421951, 1953 city directory/phone books)
Oak Bay's first coffee shop
". . . a greasy spoon with wallpaper decorated with pictures of goblins and fantasy creatures. A pre-war jukebox moaned the hits of the day while the men in the area would drop in to chat with Buxom Betty, who provided service with a smile." 
Richard Goodall, OBHS class of 1960
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Golden Galleon Cafe
2239 Oak Bay Avenue
(1950–1970... phone books)
coffee bar, fish & chips and jukebox
BC Archives | I-02288
The Golden Galleon
Click on image to view enlargement
Meals at Moderate Prices
Magazines and Smokers' Supplies
2239 Oak Bay Ave.
ad in 1958 OBHS The Oak Leaf yearbook.
Click on MEMORABILIA to view or contribute recollections, photographs and artifacts

Goldsmith Street
see Street/Place Names section

Goodall, Edward
Oak Bay artist of international renown
Edward Goodall
Although coming from a distinguished line of important British artists, Edward Goodall was dissuaded from pursuing art by his lawyer father. Seeking experience, young Edward travelled widely (India, China, Japan, Canada) and offset expenses by selling his drawings along the way.
Arriving in Victoria he married in 1937 and sold stocks and bonds. With the outbreak of World War II he served with the Royal Engineers.
After the war he approached his art with renewed enthusiasm and published a pencil postcard series of Vancouver Island scenes that met with great success. In 1945 he purchased a beautiful home, Inchgarth, on Wilmot Place in Oak Bay and set up a studio in the coach house. From here his reputation grew.
As much of his work reached people on post cards, Christmas cards and calendars, it tended to be commercial — usually scenes of familiar buildings and places. He shifted from the pencil drawings of his earlier work to water colour in his latter work, for which he was sought out for private commissions.
Commissions from clients such as the Royal Canadian Navy, the C.P.R., the B.C. Government, the Illustrated London News and other publications allowed his work to be enjoyed by an international audience.
His original work can be found today hanging in homes worldwide.

Visit for an extended biography of Edward Goodall with an impressive sampling of his work showcased at a tribute website developed by his son Richard Goodall. It's here that you'll also see an impressive body of work by the Goodall family of artists.

Goodwin Street
see Street/Place Names section

St. Charles Street and Rockland Avenue
1885 home of Oak Bay's largest landowner, Joseph Despard Pemberton
BC Archives | A-07779
Although Joseph Depard Pemberton was Oak Bay's largest landowner, his 10,000 square foot home, Gonzales, was not situated in Oak Bay. It was built at the southeast corner of St. Charles Street and Rockland Avenue. With grounds extending down to the water, Gonzales boasted 20 rooms, five bathrooms, a conservatory, a billiards room, a writing room and a library.
Gonzales became the residence of Norfolk House School in 1945 but was again sold in 1950, only to sit vacant until it was destroyed by fire while being razed in 1953.

Pemberton named his home after nearby Gonzales Hill, which was named after Gonzalo Lopez de Haro, pilot of Manuel Quimper aboard the Princesa Real when the Spanish were exploring the Strait of Juan de Fuca in 1790.

Gonzales Bay (Foul Bay, Fowl Bay)
see Street/Place Names section

Gonzales Hill
"Gonzales Hill was one of my childhood hangouts.
Paul Lawrance and I used to spend hours up there. We used to build forts and hide acorns and chestnuts around the hill to ward off attacks (quite good natured) from John Youson, Brian Wallace (Vic High) and a few others. I think Ron McMicking might have been one of John's gang.
We used to tear each others forts down, and if we were in ours when they came around we defended it by thowing the nuts at them.
A year ago our eldest son and his family were visiting Victoria at my mother's for Christmas. I took my eldest grandson for a hike up Gonzales hill and told him all about Opa's exploits when I was a little younger than he is now. I tried to show him where we hid the acorns in Walburn Park but couldn't find them because the area is now overgrown with oak trees.
So the next time any of you visit Walburn Park just to the left of the parking area you will see a lovely grove of trees which you can thank Paul and I for.
Matthew, grandson number 1, thinks I had the best place to grow up in. He lives in a massive subdivision in Edmonton with no interesting rocks or trees."
Tom Miles, OBHS class of 1960
see Street/Place Names section

Gonzales Hill Cairn
a tribute to early navigators
BC Archives | G-05338
Gonzales Hill Cairn
Profile under development

Gonzales Farm
Joseph Despard Pemberton's 1200-acre estate sprawled across much of south Oak Bay 1
After Pemberton's death in 1893 his wife, Teresa, and family continued to live on the property until Teresa's death in 1916, after which time the house, Gonzales, was sold and parcels of land were bequeathed to the children. Three of the children, Susan, Ada and Joseph Jr., built their homes — Moulton Combe, Arden and Wilmot House — on Pemberton land in Oak Bay

1 The Victoria Golf Club first leased a portion on this property in 1893 with the proviso that Pemberton's cows had the exclusive use of the course for grazing during the summer months.

Gonzales Point
see Street/Place Names section

Gordon, M P
reeve of Oak Bay (1916–1917)
M P Gordon
Biographical material welcomed

Goring's Confectionery
2284 Cadboro Bay Road
(19471949 phone books)

Previous location of Newall's Confectionery
Subsequent location of Blake's Confectionery
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Granite Street
see Street/Place Names section

Grant, Mrs G chocolate shop
1179 Newport Avenue (1921 city directory)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Gravel Pits
One of Oak Bay's first priorities as a new municipality in 1906 was road building. The first pieces of equipment purchased by the Public Works department were a rock crusher and a steam roller1 for constructing road beds.
There were four early municipal gravel pits:
Gonzales Hill ("the Cut")
Victoria Golf Club property
Kings Road, west of the fairgrounds
Burdick Street, opposite lots 15, 16 and 17

1 This old steam roller is on display at the Forestry Museum at Duncan, BC.

Greater Victoria Nursery School
2164 Oak Bay Avenue
(19511966 phone books)
"Around 1950, I and some of my little friends had our first 'away from home' experiences at "nursery school" on the corner of Wilmot and Oak Bay Ave.
I remember especially the heavy sliding pocket doors that separated what would have been living and dining rooms in the old (perhaps 1912) house used for the school.
Aside from the tricycle shed to which everyone ran for a chance to get first pick during outdoor time, most of my memories involve the minor calamities that befell us there:
Fingers regularly caught and bruised in the sliding doors.
The bees nest under the tricycle shed and the teacher taking off my slacks in the yard when several wasps stung their way up my leg.
A classmate being whacked in the face with the end of a stilt, causing an amazing looking black eye.
And the powdered skim milk that tasted just like soap..."
Erica Fowles, OBHS class of 1965

By 1967 the Greater Victoria Nursery School had relocated to 1075 Joan Crescent
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Greatford Place
see Street/Place Names section

Guernsey Street
see Street/Place Names section

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