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


O


Oak Bay 10c Taxi
2013 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1934... phone book)
The name of Oak Bay Taxi during the early years of the Depression

ad in 1934 phone book
see Oak Bay Taxi

Oak Bay 25c Taxi
2013 Oak Bay Avenue
(1938 guidebook ad ...1941–1942... phone books)
The name of Oak Bay Taxi during the latter years of the Depression

ad in 1938 Welcome to Victoria guidebook
see Oak Bay Taxi

Oak Bay Arena
see Patrick Arena

Oak Bay Avenue
see Street/Place Names section

Oak Bay Baggage & Transfer Company
2013 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1941–1942... phone books)
2246 Oak Bay Avenue (...1944–1946... phone books)
see W E Ferriday
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Bakery
2249 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1941–1970... phone books)

Former location of Mrs Drake's Bakery. (...1930–1934... phone books)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay (Ball) Park (Windsor Park)
Built in 1895 to encourage winter ridership on the Oak Bay streetcar
In 1891 the city streetcar line was extended into Oak Bay from the Junction. Ridership during summer months was encouraged by destinations like Oak Bay Beach, Mount Baker Hotel (1893) and the Victoria Golf Club (1893) but, to bolster ridership during winter months, the tram company built Oak Bay Ball Park in 1895 and promoted athletic events. The park boasted a cinder track and a grandstand seating 2,000. Many athletes of renown played here, including Hal Chase, considered the greatest first baseman of all time.
In 1918 the tram company offered the park to the municipality for $10,000. The proposal was put to the ratepayers and was defeated by one vote.
In 1921 the park was again made available to the municipality for the same $10,000, but this time payable over five years with no interest. It was again put to the ratepayers, and this time accepted.
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Beach
An early Oak Bay attraction

Oak Bay Beach was an early name given to the foreshore between today's Oak Bay Marina and Glenlyon Norfolk School.
The Oak Bay streetcar, which started in 1891, was a shuttle service that connected the Oak Bay junction to Oak Bay Beach.
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed
see Oak Bay Camp

Oak Bay Beach Hotel
1175 Beach Drive
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Beauty Salon
2239 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1941–1950 phone books)
1505 Wilmot Place (1951–1959... phone books)
Cold Wave Specialists
FREE SET AFTER ALL PERMS.
2239 Oak Bay . . . . . . . Beacon-2833
ad in 1947 phone book
COMPLETE BEAUTY CARE
Around Corner from Oak Bay Theatre
JUNE LOWE
1505 Wilmot Pl . . . . . . . . . 2-2833
ad in 1957 phone book
The old house at 2239 Oak Bay Avenue that served as Mrs. Dollie Darling's hairdressing salon in the 1930s continued to serve, under new ownership, as Oak Bay Beauty Salon through the 1940s until 1950. When this old house was demolished, Oak Bay Beauty Salon relocated to 1505 Wilmot Place in 1951.

The new building that replaced the old house created two retail addresses with the Golden Galleon retaining the 2239 Oak Bay Avenue address and the Canadian Bank of Commerce occuping the other space at 2241 Oak Bay Avenue.
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Boathouse
1327 Beach Drive
(1890s–1962)

Click on image to view enlargement
This structure was demolished in 1962 to make way for the Oak Bay Marina.
"Thanks so much for the wonderful old photo of the Oak Bay Marina as it once was.
I can remember riding my bike down to the boathouse and watching the fishermen unloading and cleaning their boats. It was a great place to spend some idle time. One could even catch a jellyfish, it always felt so squishy and when it was dropped it made a very satisfying splat. Somehow, it just isn't quite the same inviting place today.
How do we know we might be a little bit older? When the pictures of our special memories come courtesy of the Provincial Archives."
Gloria (Manson) Knudsen, OBHS class of 1960
* * *
"The Oak Bay Boat House is very warm in my heart.
Bob Moffatt and I would clamber over the rocks from the golf club to Rattenbury Beach several times a week and stop at the Boathouse for a chocolate milk shake, which were the best."
Ian Else, OBHS class of 1960
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Camp
1889–1908

An Oak Bay summer tradition for 20 years
In 1889, eight enterprising young men conceived the idea to build a summer camp on Oak Bay Beach — not just for themselves, but also for guests on special occasions. The campsite consisted of individual tents for the campers and a kitchen — complete with cooking range and Chinese cook! The Camp's annual "At Home" gala became an Oak Bay tradition, with hundreds of invited guests dancing on the beach and sailing in lantern-lit boats on the bay.
Click on the MEMORABILIA button to view or contribute recollections, photographs and artifacts

Oak Bay Clock Shop
2223 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1941–1942... phone books)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Delicatessen
2217 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1946–1957... phone books)
"The Oak Bay Delicatessen was run by Mr. and Mrs. Fisher. They prepared all their food in the back, and the aroma was fantastic. Mrs. Fisher had a rather shrill voice and called you "dearie" while her husband was quite quiet. He had a lame leg which may have been paralyzed from a stroke so tended to drag it when he walked. They lived in a large house on Monterey Avenue, just north of the Oak Bay Grocery."
Richard Goodall, OBHS class of 1960
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Dress Shop
2182 Oak Bay Avenue
(1949–1950... phone books)

Former location of Oak Bay Girls' Shop
Subsequent location of Individual Dry Cleaners
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Dry Goods Store
2207 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1930–1956... phone books)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Fire Department
1703 Monterey Avenue
Original Oak Bay Fire Department
Click on image to view enlargement
Profile under development

Oak Bay Flower Shop
1200 Newport Avenue
(...1934... phone book)
2194 Oak Bay Avenue
(1938 guidebook)
2223-A Oak Bay Avenue
(...1941–1959... phone books)

1938 ad in Welcome to Victoria guidebook
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Furniture Company
1179 Newport Avenue
(...1941... phone book)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Garage and Service Station
2675 Saratoga Avenue
(...1918... phone book)
2675 Windsor Road
(...1930–1957... phone books)
Oak Bay Garage
1942
Wilson Motors Ltd
1948
Click on images to view enlargements
In 1913, Victoria car dealer Thomas Plimley expanded his enterprise into Oak Bay by building Oak Bay Garage — a facility that offered a gas station, storage facilities and a motorcycle dealership. Plimley already had bicycle and car dealerships in town.1
This was Oak Bay's first service station.2
In 1929, new Oak Bay Hotel owners C.E. Wilson3 and A. McDermott applied for a zoning permit to build a gas station and storage garage opposite the hotel.
The 1930 Victoria phone book shows that Thomas Plimley is no longer associated with Oak Bay Garage.
The 1948 photo, above, shows both Oak Bay Garage and Wilson Motors signage.
During the late1940s the Community Cab Company also operated from this address but, with new ownership in 1950, was called Newport Taxi.

1 Thomas Plimley arrrived in Victoria from England in 1893 and started a bicycle business that same year. He expanded into automobiles and sold his first car in 1901. His wife Rhoda was the first woman driver in Victoria.
2 A building permit for the construction of this facility was refused by Oak Bay Council in November 1913, but the builders proceeded regardless. Council applied to the Court for a restraining injunction but was advised that the municipality had no powers to regulate the placing of any type of building in a particular location. From this lack of municipal control would evolve the Town Planning Act which is strictly adhered to today.
3 C.E. Wilson was Reeve of Oak Bay (1918-1919)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Girls' Drill Team
1944–1948
Drill Team at Windsor Park
Click on image to view enlargement
The Oak Bay Girls' Drill Team, sponsored by the Oak Bay Community Centre, was active from 1944 until 1948. The drill master was barber, Jim McCrimmon.
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Girls' Shop ladies clothing
2182 Oak Bay Avenue (...1948 phone book)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Golf Links
1110 Beach Drive
see Victoria Golf Club
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Grocery Company
2292 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1918... phone book)
2252 Oak Bay Avenue (...1930–1948 phone books)
This building, designed by Percy Leonard James and built in 1912, is one of the oldest buildings in the Village. It is now the site of Blethering Place. see McBratney's Fine Foods, Henderson's Oak Bay Grocery
Click on the MEMORABILIA button to view or contribute recollections, photographs and artifacts

Oak Bay Grocery, Meat Department
2248 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1918... phone book)
Meat department of Oak Bay Grocery
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Hardware
2213 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1918–-present day)
Possibly Oak Bay's most-enduring business

Click on image to view enlargement
Oak Bay Hardware Co,
J. Harness
General Hardware
Ranges - Builders' Supplies - Paints, Etc.
2213 Oak Bay Ave. . . . Phone EV. 3-0141
ad in 1959 OBHS "Oak Leaves" yearbook
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay High School
Two buildings have served as Oak Bay High School
RBCM(F-00118)
C
.
Profile under development

Oak Bay High School Principals
A listing of Oak Bay High principals for the first fifty years
Original school on Oak Bay Avenue
1915–1923 H P Hope
1923–1929 Gordon Downes
Current school on Cranmore Road.
1929–1930 T S Whittemore
1930–1932 J M Billings
1932–1952 D H Hartness
1952–1962 C A Gibbard
1962–1970 Jack G Wallace

Oak Bay Hotel
1225 Newport Avenue
(...1918–1930... phone books)
Immortalized in Rudyard Kipling poem
RBCM(F-00008)
Renamed Old Charming Inn with new address in 1930s
see Old Charming Inn, Rudyard Kipling
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

"Oak Bay House" (John Tod's house)
Oldest house in Canada west of the Great Lakes
RBCM(A-02985)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Jeweler
2225 Oak Bay Avenue (1957... phone book)

Former location of W H Davies, jeweler
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Junior High School
2101 Cadboro Bay Road
RBCM(I-01692)
"Oak Bay.Junior opened in 1952 and we were in the first Grade 7 class. Mr Rudyard Kipling was the Principal. We were so impressed with the new school. It had a dedicated Gym and a dedicated Auditorium."
Terry Murphy, OBHS class of 1958
Profile under development

Oak Bay Kiwanis Club
The Oak Bay Kiwanis Club is a part of Kiwanis International which was founded in 1915, and brought to Canada in 1916. The Oak Bay Club was formed in February, 1947 and received its Charter the following April. There were 46 members at the time of charter.
Today the club is called the Kiwanis Club of Oak Bay.
Click here to visit the website of the Kiwanis Club of Oak Bay

Oak Bay Land and Improvement Co. Ltd.
Profile under development

Oak Bay Lawn Bowling Club
2190 Harlow Street
Over the years there were numerous requests for a lawn bowling facility in Oak Bay, but to no avail. An opportunity presented itself in the early 1950s with the subdivision of Willows fairground and the development of Carnarvon Park.
The OBLBC was founded in 1951 and debentures and memberships were sold to raise development capital. A green (now the east green) was prepared and seeded in 1954 and, after three years of grooming, was ready for play in 1957.
Today the club boasts two of the nicest greens in Canada and has produced many Provincial and National champions.
Click here to visit the website of the Oak Bay Lawn Bowling Club

On a historical note: today's two greens sit just within the northeast turn of the old racetrack and, it's reported, the clubhouse flagpole once stood before Mount Baker Hotel — over 100 years ago.

Oak Bay Leader
1509 Wilmot Place
(...1956–1959... phone books)
Community Newspaper
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Library and Book Shop
2247 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1930... phone book)
2552 Windsor Road
(...1934–1957... phone books)

The 2247 Oak Bay Avenue location would become the address of Hampshire House Ladies Wear.
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Lockers
2044 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1949–1959... phone books)

This was also the address for Island Food Distributors (...1950... phone book)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Marina
1327 Beach Drive
In 1962, when it was decided to replace the old boathouse with a modern marina complex, the municipality received three proposals ranging from $60,000 to $1,000,000, the latter including a shopping centre. The contract (and an unprecedented 30-year lease) was given to Bob Wright for his $450,000 Oak Bay Marina/Restaurant concept.
Oak Bay Marina was officially opened in April 1964 and became the homebase of Wright's extensive Oak Bay Marine Group enterprise.
In 1969 Wright added the Sealand attraction to the marina complex when Charlie White relocated his popular Undersea Garden to Victoria's inner harbour.
see Oak Bay Boathouse, Undersea Garden, Sealand (of the Pacific)

Oak Bay Marine Ways
1327 Beach Drive
(...1930... phone book)
The municipality-owned Oak Bay Boathouse had many lessees before it was demolished in 1962. Oak Bay Marine Ways was one such enterprise in the early years of the Depression.
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Municipal Hall (original)
2200 Oak Bay Avenue
Original Municipal Hall
1912–1954 (?)
Click on image to view enlargement
Profile under development

Oak Bay Municipal Yard
2065 Milton Street
(...1954... phone book)
Public Works Crew at Municipal Yard
circa 1955
Click on image to view enlargement
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Nursery
2075 Goldsmith Street
(...1930... phone book)
2057 Meadow Place
(...1941–1957... phone books)
M. D. Jamieson, F.R.H.S., Prop.
Greenhouses on Shelbourne Street
. Albion-134.
Residence G arden-3588
2057 Meadow Pl . . . . . . . G arden-3552
ad in 1949 phone book
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Park (Oak Bay Ball Park)
see Oak Bay Ball Park

Oak Bay Pharmacy
2248 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1930–1934... phone books)
2228 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1941–1959 phone books)
2200 Oak Bay Avenue (1960–1970... phone books)

Click on image to view enlargement
OAK BAY PHARMACY
John J. Weicker
Cosmetics - Prescriptions - School Supplies
Phone EV. 4-2532. . . 2228 Oak Bay Ave.
ad in 1959 OBHS "Oak Leaves" yearbook
Formerly known as Pattinson's after pharmacist/owner R.C. Pattinson. Subsequently sold to John J. Weicker. (1957 phone book)

The 1918 phone book lists 2248 Oak Bay Avenue as the address of the meat department of Oak Bay Grocery.
Click on the MEMORABILIA button to view or contribute recollections, photographs and artifacts

Oak Bay Produce
2194 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1941–1957... phone books)
An Oak Bay Produce Co was listed at 1867 Oak Bay Avenue (Victoria) in the 1930 phone book but was not listed in the 1934 phone book.

Former location of Oak Bay Flower Shop (1938 guidebook)
Click on the MEMORABILIA button to view or contribute recollections, photographs and artifacts

Oak Bay Radio Service
2271 Bowker Avenue
(...1946–1949 phone books)

1947 AD COMING
Expert Repairs to all Makes and Types of Radios
Automobile Radio Specialists
Repairs to Small Household Appliances
Garden -1217
— ad in 1947 phone book

Oak Bay Radio Service was listed in the 1950 phone book at 1407 Store Street, in town
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Service
2675 Windsor Road
(...1959... phone book)
see Oak Bay Garage

Oak Bay Shoe Repair
2240 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1959... phone book)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Streetcar
Built in 1891 to help realty consortium sell land

Click on image to view enlargement
Oak Bay was one of three streetcar lines to service Oak Bay in the early years. The other two lines were Willows and Uplands. see Wards
The Oak Bay line started on July 1, 1891 as a shuttle service between the city's Fort Street line and Oak Bay Beach, and served the community until May 16, 1948.
Click on the MEMORABILIA button to view or contribute recollections, photographs and artifacts

Oak Bay Tailor
2225 Oak Bay Avenue (...1941–1942... phone books)
2225-A Oak Bay Avenue
(...1944–1954... phone books)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Taxi
1795 Foul Bay Road
(...1930... phone book)
2013 Oak Bay Avenue (...1934... phone book)
2246 Oak Bay Avenue (...1944–1948... phone books)
2019 Oak Bay Avenue, stand (...1957... phone book)
The address of Oak Bay Taxi, like the service it provided, was always on the move. And the name modifications (Oak Bay 10c Taxi and Oak Bay 25c Taxi) during the 1930s reflect the tough economic times proprietor W E Ferriday faced during the Depression.
see W.E. Ferriday

Oak Bay Tennis Club
2506 Bowker Avenue
Originally a private club for employees of the BC Electric and Railway Company
Established in 1911 as the BC Electric and Railroad Tennis Club (BCERTC), the club was originally created for the employees of the BC Electric and Railway Company (BCER) playing on courts at Oak Bay Park (Windsor Park). Oak Bay Park was owned by the BCER until 1921, when it was sold to the municipality.
In 1912 and 1913 the BCER purchased two abutting lots on Bowker and Cavendish Avenues to serve as a possible terminus for the Uplands streetcar line built in 1913. These two lots were never so-used.
These two lots sat vacant until 1923 when the BCERTC relocated from Windsor Park (now owned by the municipalty) to the Bowker Avenue site where the BCERTC built a clubhouse and two courts. A third lot was purchased in 1938.
In 1960 the club became self-supporting and leased the Bowker Avenue facilities from the BCER.
A year later, in 1961, the BCER (soon to be called BC Hydro) offered to sell the property to the Club for $9,000.
At first this amount seemed unattainable, but the Club set itself to the task, starting with a name change — the Oak Bay Tennis Club. Finally, after a series of unsuccessful counteroffers and the selling of debentures, the $9,000 was raised and the sale finalized on December 31, 1964.
The original clubhouse, built in 1923, was replaced in 1984 with a fully equipped, architect-designed facility.
Click here to visit the website of the Oak Bay Tennis Club

Oak Bay Theatre
2184 Oak Bay Avenue
"Temple of Refined Entertainment and Education"

Click on image to view enlargement
The Oak Bay Theatre opened in 1936 to become the second motion picture theatre built in the municipality. The first, the Avenue Theatre, opened in 1913 but closed its doors at the onset of the Depression in the late 1920s or early 1930s.
For decades the Oak Bay Theatre was an integral part of community life. It was even used by the schools to show curricula-related films.
In 1986, after fifty years of entertaining and educating, the Oak Bay Theatre was gutted and converted to office/retail space.
The "Oak Bay Theatre" sign remains standing as a poignant reminder of Oak Bay's early years.
Click on the MEMORABILIA button to view or contribute recollections, photographs and artifacts

Oak Bay Transfer
1795 Foul Bay Road
(...1918... phone book)
2013 Oak Bay Avenue (...1934... phone book)
2246 Oak Bay Avenue (...1947–1948... phone book)
1774 Fort Street (...1957... phone book)
see W E Ferriday

Oak Bay Transfer & Baggage Company
2246 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1947... phone book)
see W E Ferriday

Oak Bay Transfer and Storage
2013 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1934... phone book)
see W E Ferriday

Oak Bay U-Drive
2019 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1951–1952... phone books)

1952 AD COMING
see W E Ferriday
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay United Church
1355 Mitchell Street
Oak Bay Methodists and Presbyterians amalgamated to form the Oak Bay United Church in 1926
The Oak Bay United Church was built in 1914 and originally served as St Columba Presbyterian Church. In 1925 Presbyterians and Methodists amalgamated nationally to form the United Church of Canada, and this building subsequently served as St Columba United Church.
Observing the amalgamation, the Hampshire Road Methodist Church was renamed Hampshire Road United Church.
A year later, in 1926, these two Oak Bay congregations merged under one pastoral charge, worshipping together at the newly-named Oak Bay United Church.
The cornerstone for this building was laid on June 13, 1914 by architect William Henderson

Oak Bay Upholstery
2271 Bowker Avenue
(19511953 phone books)

1953 AD COMING
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Volunteer Police
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay War Memorial
Unveiled November 11, 1948 to honour Oak Bay's fallen in World War II
Profile under development

Oak Bay Window Cleaners
2034 Marrion Street
(...1947... phone book)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Bay Wool Shoppe
2004 Oak Bay Avenue
(...1946–1954... phone books)

Former location of Price's Shoe Store
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oak Farm
Cadboro Bay Road
Pioneer dairyman Alexis Casanave's 10-acre farm, which became the playing fields of Oak Bay High School.
1883 Oak Farm Invoice
Click on image to view enlargement
see Alexis Casanave
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

"Off Beat "
An unlikely Oak Bay legacy from the "Summer of Love"
Off Beat was published during the Summer of Love (1967). Its first issue predates the regional Georgia Straight and the international Rolling Stone, making it one of the first teen music/lifestyle newspapers in America and, who knows, perhaps the world. That's quite a distinction, especially considering it was published from a basement studio in Oak Bay — hardly the epicentre of pop culture.
Click on the MEMORABILIA button to see sample pages and photos from Off Beat and the Summer of Love

Old Charming Inn
1420 Beach Drive (...1942–1962... phone books)
Built in 1905 and oiginally called Oak Bay Hotel. Demolished in 1962 to make way for Rudyard Kipling apartment block.
"Here is a link to an 8mm movie of the destruction of the Old Charming Inn that my Dad took circa 1962 and that I posted to Youtube. The hotel was at the corner of Windsor and Beach Drive where the Rudyard Kipling apartments now stand.  My father managed to get one of the fireplace frontispieces (mantels?) before the place was pulled down, and that was in our basement at 855 Hampshire Road until 2001 when my sister and I sold that house."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-rFF2Z_HqU
Greg Windwick
* * *
"I remember the Old Charming Inn! Very fond memories spent there as a child."
Brenda A.
see Oak Bay Hotel
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Old Men's Home (Mountain View Lodge)
2251 Cadboro Bay Road

Called Aged Men's Home in 1950 phone book
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Oliver, William E.
First reeve of Oak Bay (1906–8, 1912, 1913–14)
see Bongate
Biographical material welcomed

Our Lady of Lourdes
1912–1960
First Catholic church in Oak Bay

Click on image to view enlargement
Our Lady of Lourdes, the first Catholic church in Oak Bay, was built in 1912 on what was then called Third Street (Haultain). It served the community until 1960 when St. Patrick's Church was built on the same property, after which time the Our Lady of Lourdes structure became the private chapel of the Poor Clare Sisters.



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Contents copyright © 2004-2014 Gary Wilcox Studios Incorporated.
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