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


Jack Burgess Men's Wear (...1959–1960 phone books)
Jack Burgess Men's & Ladies' Wear
(19611966 phone books)
Jack Burgess Ltd
Boys' Wear
(1967 phone book)
Jack Burgess Ltd
Men & Boys' Clothing
(1968 phone book)
Jack Burgess Ltd
Men & Collegiate Clothing
(1969–1970 phone books)
2201 Oak Bay Avenue
2201 Oak Bay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EV 4-7924
ad in 1959 phone book
"In the early 1950s, Mr Tyler ran the Oak Bay Theatre. When the Bank of Montreal moved from the corner of Hampshire and Oak Bay Avenue, in the mid '50s, Mr. Tyler and his son opened a clothing store at this location. It was subsequently taken over by Jack Burgess."
Richard Goodall, OBHS class of 1960
* * *
" . . . dad and mom went on to purchase S.R.Tyler Exclusive Men's Wear which became Jack Burgess Ltd and eventually also took on Ladies ready-to-wear.
Ironically, I continued on in the Clothing Business and did build and operate Pickwicks Restaurant in Athlone court."
Rick Burgess, Oak Bay resident, 1944-1998

Previous location of S.R. Tyler & Son Exclusive Men's Wear
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Jackson's Grocery & Confectionery
947 Monterey Avenue (...1966... city directory)

Previous location of Del's Handy Store
Subsequent location of Monterey Grocery
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

James, Percy Leonard
renowned Oak Bay architect
P L James
Living and working in the same community as fellow architects Samuel Maclure and Francis Rattenbury, Percy Leonard James doesn't often get the full recognition he deserves. Working alone or in partnerships, James designed some of the city's most noteworthy buildings, many in Oak Bay.
P. Leonard James was born into an artistic family on December 7, 1878, in London, England. He studied architecture, articled in 1893, and worked for several firms in London.
Ambitious and desiring more opportunity, he emigrated to Canada in 1906 and within two years had settled in Oak Bay. In 1910 he was joined by his architect brother, Douglas, and together they formed the firm James and James.
James and James built Oak Bay's first high school (1912), Oak Bay's first Municipal Hall (1912), Oak Bay Grocery (1912) and St. Mary's Church (1912). The James brothers also built some of the most beautiful homes in the city before the partnership was dissolved in 1914 when both brothers enlisted to serve in World War I.
Upon returning from the War, P.L. James entered into a working relationship with Francis Rattenbury that would last four years. They teamed on several projects, most notably the Crystal Garden and the CPR Steamship Terminal building. But working with Rattenbury wasn't worth the headaches, so he terminated this relationship. In 1928 James teamed with Hubert Savage to work on high-end homes in Oak Bay and throughout the city. This partnership lasted until 1933, when James closed his office to travel in Europe for a year.
He returned home and re-opened his office in 1934. In 1938 he designed the Oak Bay Firehall.
While abroad he was influenced by the new International Style of architecture — "function dictates form" — an influence he expressed in later commissions such as the Federal Building and Post Office1 (1948) and, most notably, Oak Bay Junior High School (1951).
James died on January 2, 1970 at the age of 92. His biography — The Life and Times of Victoria Architect, P. Leonard James — was published in 2005 by his daughter, Rosemary James Cross.

1 In 1996 the refurbished Federal Building was officially named "P L James Place."

Jas Shanks barber
2242 Oak Bay Avenue (19371938 city directories)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Jeanne's Harper Method Beauty Salon
2541 Estevan Avenue
(1956–1957... phone books)
2448 Dunlevy Street (1959 phone book)
2541 Estevan Avenue (
1960–1970... phone books)

— 1957 ad
Click on image to view enlargement
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Jeffrey, John F grocer
891 Newport Avenue
(1913 city directory)
2661 Saratoga Avenue
(19141921 city directories)

John F Jeffrey assumed proprietorship of the confectionery business (Newport Confectionery Store) his wife, Joan, started from their home a year earlier.
He ran the business from this address for one year, at which time their house was demolished to make way a large apartment/commercial block, Newport Apartments.
Their business reestablished itself in one of the new retail addresses that became available – 2661 Saratoga Avenue – which was on the very spot where their house once stood.
In 1921 Saratoga Avenue was renamed Windsor Road and the Jeffrey's new retail address became 2661 Windsor Road
John F Jeffrey would enlarge upon this space to establish Newport Grocery.
His wife, Joan, was proprietor of Newport Apartments, where they lived.
Previous location of Newport Confectionery Store
Subsequent location of Newport Grocery
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Jiminy Crickets Kindergarten (1956 phone book)
Jiminy Crickets Nursery & Kindergarten (1955, 19571968 phone books)
Jiminy Crickets Junior Primary (...1965–1968 phone books)
1061 Foul Bay Road
popular pre-school in 1950s and 1960s
Alastair Wade
1958 Afternoon Class
Click on image to view enlargement
"I attended Jiminy Crickets in the late 1950s. It was attended by a great many Oak Bay kids.
It was located in a renovated house with a converted garage just off the corner of Oak Bay Avenue and Foul Bay Road, very close to Frost’s Corner Store.
Half-day and all-day kindergarten was offered. The school uniform was blue blazers and red corduroy pants.  
The house was later demolished and replaced with an apartment building."
Alastair Wade, Jiminy Crickets student in late 1950s

By 1968, Jiminy Crickets had relocated to 3410 Shelbourne Street in Saanich
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Jimmy Chicken (Jimmy Chickens)
? –1901
Songhees native and local character
BC Archives | F-03795
Jimmy Chicken
During the 1890s many Songhees lived on Chatham Island and, for the most part, avoided contact with Oak Bay residents except, perhaps, to dig for clams on local beaches.
But there was one notable exception — Jimmy Chicken. Jimmy lived in a little shack on Mary Tod Island with his wife Jenny.
According to Bea Hamilton, who lived in Oak Bay during the 1890s, Jimmy Chicken got his name, well, by stealing chickens. In her recollections, written in 1965, she stated:

My sisters would see him scuttling into his canoe and paddling away in a hurry and they knew that someone in the neighbourhood was minus a bird or two that day.

Jimmy and Jenny also harvested the sea, and did business with John Virtue of the Mount Baker Hotel. The proceeds of their enterprise went, sadly, to alcohol. T.W. Paterson in Capital Characters says

This amazing eccentric and his wife Jenny lived in their little shack during the rare intervals between enforced stays "inside the precincts of the durance vile on Comorant Street or the brick mansion on Topaz Avenue" (the city and provincial jails).

Commenting on Jimmy's court appearances, one official speculated that
it has taken more than three gallons of ink and four boxes of steel pins for the city's clerk to register the entries in which the classic name Jimmy Chickens appears, while the liquour that Jimmy and his wife punished so far in their life time would fill the Esquimalt [dry] dock three times, floating two such boats as the Westmore, or keeping 18 dudes, of ordinary capacity, drunk for a decade!

Despite their antics, Jimmy and his Jenny were loved by all.
After Jenny died, Jimmy seemed to find solace within the four walls of a jail cell. He was a model prisoner, and was often released for short periods to run errands afterwhich he would faithfully return to his cell.
When Jimmy died in 1901 there was a massive Indian funeral. Early residents recall over one hundred canoes on Oak Bay Beach as Songhees attended ceremonial dances to the beating of drums. Then his body was put aboard a large canoe which led the procession to Chatham Island where, with further ceremonies, he was laid to rest beside his beloved Jenny.1
Mary Tod Island is remembered by many as Jimmy Chicken Island.

1 An article in an 1901 issue of the Daily Colonist states that Jimmy and Jenny were buried on Mary Tod Island.
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Jimmy Chicken Island (Mary Tod Island)
see Street/Place Names section

Joan's Beauty Salon
2530 Estevan Avenue
(1949 phone book)
2519 Estevan Avenue
(19501954 phone books)
2527 Estevan Avenue
(1955–1970... phone books)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Joe Busby barber
2067 Cadboro Bay Road
(1955 city directory)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Johnny Dunn shoe repairs
2240 Oak Bay Avenue (1935–1944 city directories)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Johnson, William grocer
2069 Cadboro Bay Road
(19141921 city directories)

First occupancy at this address
Subsequent location of Arena Grocery
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Johnston's Pharmacy
2067 Cadboro Bay Road
(19531954 phone books)
2043 Cadboro Bay Road
(19551959 phone books)
1955 Fort Street
(1960 phone book)
2067 Cadboro Bay Rd . . . . . . . . . 2-7831
ad in 1954 phone book
Next to Oak Bay Junior High School
2043 Cadboro Bay . . . . . . . . . . . 2-7831
or . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-9687
ad in 1957 phone book
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

1936 Hampshire Road
1892 home of William Herbert Bainbridge

Oak Bay Heritage Building
Winner of 1986 Hallmark Society Heritage Award

Jones' Corner Shop confectionery
2000 Oak Bay Avenue
(19301935 city directories / phone books)
popular confectionery during the 1930s

Jones' Corner Shop was the first business at this address.
Subsequent location of Robin's Corner Shop
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Jones TV
2248 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1959–1960... phone books)
Guaranteed Repairs To All Makes Of
EV 5-8222
25 Years Canadian & English Experience
2248 Oak Bay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .EV 5-8222
ad in 1959 phone book

Previous location of Hudson's
Subsequent location of Music Box HiFi-TV
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Juan de Fuca
Profile under development

Juan de Fuca, Strait of
see Street/Place Names section

Jubilee Cabs
2019 Oak Bay Avenue
(1957... phone book)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Jubilee Florist
2067 Cadboro Bay Road
(19501952 phone books)
1952 ad
Click on image to view enlargement

Junction Road
see Street/Place Names section

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