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


see Willows Racetrack

Rattenbury, Francis Mawson
pioneer Oak Bay landowner and resident (1898) / signatory on 1906 petition to incorporate Oak Bay as a municipality / reeve of Oak Bay (1913) / BC's foremost institutional architect
F M Rattenbury
Click on image to view enlargement
Architect Francis Mawson Rattenbury is remembered for his landmark buildings throughout British Columbia. But he's also remembered for his brazen lifestyle and tragic death.
Click on BIOGRAPHY to learn about Francis Mawson Rattenbury's remarkablle life and death

Reay, Billy
NHL great changed careers in Oak Bay
Billy Reay
Click on image to view enlargement
After helping the Montreal Canadiens win two Stanley Cups (1946, 1953), NHL star Billy Reay moved to Oak Bay in 1953 to become player/coach of the Victoria Cougars for two years. He then hung up his skates as player in 1955, and started on what would be a lengthy career in coaching. In 1963 he became head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, taking the team to three Stanley Cup finals.

Billy Reay, credited as the first player to raise his stick after scoring a goal, died September 23, 2004 at the age of 86.

Reeves of Oak Bay
a listing of reeves during Oak Bay's first fifty years
1906 W E Oliver
1907 W E Oliver
1908 W E Oliver
1909 William E Henderson
1910 William E Henderson
1911 William E Henderson
1912 W E Oliver
1913 Francis Mawson Rattenbury
1914 W E Oliver
1915 W E Oliver
1916 M P Gordon
1917 M P Gordon
1918 N T Burdick / C E Wilson
1919 C E Wilson
1920 S J Drake
1921 S J Drake
1922 S J Drake
1923 H F Hewlett
1924 H F Hewlett
1925 Herbert Anscomb
1926 Herbert Anscomb
1927 Herbert Anscomb
1928 E C Hayward
1929 E C Hayward
1930 E C Hayward
1931 E C Hayward
1932 E C Hayward
1933 Robert W Mayhew
1934 Robert W Mayhew
1935 Robert W Mayhew
1936 R R Taylor
1937 R R Taylor
1938 R R Taylor
1939 R R Taylor
1940 R R Taylor
1941 W Len Woodhouse
1942 W Len Woodhouse
1943 W Len Woodhouse
1944 W Len Woodhouse
1945 W Len Woodhouse
1946 W M Walker
1947 W M Walker
1948 Robert A B Wootton
1949 Robert A B Wootton
1950 P A Gibbs
1951 P A Gibbs
1952 P A Gibbs
1953 P A Gibbs
1954 Fred E Norris
1955 Fred E Norris
1956 Fred E Norris

Reliable Grocery
2164 McNeill Avenue
(19401968 city directories / phone books)

Previous location of K Gent groceries and meats
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Reliable Plumbing & Heating Co
2069 Fort Street
(19321936 city directories / phone books)
2280 Cadboro Bay Road (1940–1944 city directories / phone book)
Chas. Ballam, Propr.
Expert Service, Installations and General
Jobbing at Moderate prices
Day or Night - See Us
2069 Fort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Garden-1641
ad in 1934 phone book
ad in 1941 phone book
Click on image to view enlargement

The 2069 Fort Street address was actually in Oak Bay and would subsequently be recognized as 2069 Cadboro Bay Road.
Click here to enjoy the recollections of Phil Ballam, who lived at 2069 Fort Street in the early 1930s.
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Rippingale, Mrs Annie confectioner
947 Monterey Avenue
(...1923–1925 city directories)

Subsequent location of Handy Store
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Robbie's Coffee Shop
2053 Cadboro Bay Road
(...1959 phone book)

Former location of Willows Confectionery
Subsequent location of Londonderry Ice Creamery
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Robertshaw Specialty Pies
2865 Foul Bay Road
(1965–1970... phone books)
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Robin's Corner Shop
2000 Oak Bay Avenue
(19361937 city directories)

Previous location of Jones' Corner Shop
Subsequent location of Henderson's Corner Store
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Rock Quarries
Oak Bay Archives | 1994-001-023
Gonzales Hill Quarry
Click on image to view enlargement
After Oak Bay incorporated as a municipality in 1906, one of its top priorities was to build streets to open development. Its first major roadwork acquisition, in 1908, was the purchase of a rock crushing unit to produce gravel for street beds in prep for paving.
Several rock quarries were established in the municipality. The largest of these was on Gonzales Hill where "the Cut" developed into King George Terrace. There were also quarries at rock outcroppings on Kings Road and Burdick Avenue.

Roller Rink
an old concrete slab on the former Willows Fairgrounds served as a community roller rink in the late 1940s and early 1950s
Roller Skates
There was a large concrete slab slightly southwest of where Haultain and Eastdowne intersect today. It was the foundation of the Women's building on the former Willows Fairgrounds. The building burned to the ground in 1948. The surviving slab foundation served admirably as a roller rink for about five years from 1948 to 1953.
see frog ponds
Click on MEMORABILIA to view recollections of the old roller rink

Rosary Florist, The
2548 Windsor Road
(19501954 phone books)
Floral Arrangements – Funeral Designs
Free Delivery
2548 Windsor . . . . . . . . . 2-4152
ad in 1954 phone book
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Rose Bowl Coffee Bar
2881 Foul Bay Road (19511955 phone books)
2867 Foul Bay Road
(19561964 phone books)
.Ice Cream – Milk Shakes – Confections
.Open 8:15 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
text from ad in 1960 OBHS Oak Leaves yearbook
"My family owned this cafe/store in the late 1950s. My grandparents, Ivy and Gilbert Gardiner, ran the store
Rose Bowl Coffe Bar
Click on image to view enlargement
and my parents, Vera and Charlie Friedrich, assisted. We all lived upstairs in the same building. My first memories are selling candies there. . . ."
Roberta MacLaren, granddaughter of owners

Former location of Dean Heights Confectionery
Subsequent location of Isobel's Kitchen (1965) and from 1967, Buttons-N-Bows
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Ross, Charles
HBC chief factor who supervised the building of Fort Victoria in 1843 / husband of Isabella Ross
Charles Ross was born in 1794 in Scotland. In 1818, at age 24, he signed on with the Hudson's Bay Company and sailed for York Factory on Hudson's Bay. For the next 26 years Ross was promoted through the ranks while working at various Company posts throughout western Canada, all the while concealing his failing health. In 1843 he supervised the building of Fort Victoria. He died the following year.

Charles Ross is remembered by Ross Bay and Ross Bay Cemetery
see Isabella Ross

Ross, Isabella
wife of Charles Ross / one of Oak Bay's five original landowners / BC's first woman landowner
Isabella Ross
Click on image to view enlargement
Isabella (Merilia) Ross was the Métis/Ojibway wife of Charles Ross, the HBC chief factor who supervised the construction of Fort Victoria in 1843. When Charles suddenly died in 1844, Isabella received nothing from his estate so, in 1846, moved with her children to Fort Nisqually in Puget Sound1 where she farmed for the next seven years. In 1853 she returned to Victoria2 and purchased land, Ross Farm,3 that included the future Ross Bay Cemetery and Harling Point.
She homesteaded the farm with family members until about 1880, but it was difficult, and parcels of land were sold off to pay various debts.
She spent her latter years cared for at St Ann's Convent, where she passed away in 1885.4
Isabella Ross was the first registered female landowner in British Columbia and, with her Harling Point property, one of Oak Bay's five original landowners.5

1 In 1846 the Oregon Treaty determined the Canada/USA border west of the Rockies. Washington Territory was created in 1853 and became a state in 1889.
2 In 1852 land around Fort Victoria was surveyd by Joseph Pemberton and made available for sale to HBC employees. Governor James Douglas, in deference to the loyal service of deceased HBC chief factor Charles Ross, inteceded on behalf of Isabella Ross to assist her in acquiring land despite the fact that she was a woman and non-white. She became the first registered female landowner in British Coumbia. It's possible she was the first non-white, woman landowner in Canada, and perhaps beyond.
3 Often referred to as Fowl Bay Farm as she considered her waterfront property to be situated on Fowl Bay, rather than Foul Bay. Both names appeared in literature of the time, which was confusing until the bay was officially renamed Gonzales Bay in 1924, afterwhich the bay was known by three names.
4 Isabella Ross is remembered by Ross Bay Cemetery, Ross Street, in Victoria (where her home was located) and Merilia Passage, near Bella Bella, British Columbia.
5 She was, in fact, one of Oak Bay's FOUR original landowners, as Joseph Pemberton, as of 1853, had yet to purchase his vast holdings in south Oak Bay. In 1863 Isabella sold the Oak Bay portion of her land (Harling Point) to her daughter Flora.
Click on BIOGRAPHY to learn more about Charles Ross and Isabella Ross

Ross, Jennie
see Princess Chikhmatoff

Royal Cleaners
2217 Oak Bay Avenue
(19321935 city directories)

Previous location of Chas Harrison groceries and meats
Subsequent location of Small's Bakery
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Royal Victoria Yacht Club
(...1918–1934... phone books)
3475 Ripon Road
(...1947–1957... phone books)
relocated from Victoria's inner harbour to the Uplands in 1912
Profile under development

Roye Photography
2186 Oak Bay Avenue
(19491950 phone books)
This was one of several photography businesses operating out of this space prior to its usage as a banquet hall for the Goblin Coffee Shop in the early 1950s and subsequent conversion to a night club — the Club Tango — in 1954.
see Photo Centre (Pacific Coast) Ltd, Victoria Clinical and Color Laboratory, Camera Studies Club

Formerly the space of Gibson Studios and Hill-Tout Studios
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Rudyard Kipling, The apartment block
1962 —
1420 Beach Drive
Built in 1962 on the grounds of former Oak Bay Hotel / The Old Charming Inn. Renowned English writer/poet, Rudyard Kipling, once stayed at the Oak Bay Hotel and immortalized it in a poem.
see Rudyard Kipling, The Old Charming Inn, Oak Bay Hotel
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Rupert Wright grocer
2202 Cadboro Bay Road
Photos, artifacts and recollections welcomed

Ryland Huntley Radiolounge
2180 Oak Bay Avenue
(1948–1970... phone books)
a stylish Art Deco environment that showcased the very latest radios, hi-fi equipment and records
Click on image to view enlargement
Click on MEMORABILIA to view photographs, artifacts and recollections of Ryland Huntley Radiolounge

Please click here if you have photos, artifacts or
recollections on a topic, or can suggest a new Encyclopedia topic