Heritage Register

1143-45 Burdett Avenue (ex-63 Bellot St)

Built 1901-02
Heritage-Designated 2001

For: Duncan McCrimmon

Architect: attributed to John Gerhard Tiarks
Builders: D.F. & Alex McCrimmon

1143 Burdett


There’s a vaguely Dutch feel to this chunky two-storey house. It has a square basic form, given great individual character by the two-storey front extension with flared upper storey and jerkinhead roof. This unit is tied to the main house by a full-width front porch, partly over an angled bay, and flattened segmental porch arches. The roof flare is carried round the left side, as a pent roof. On the right front, a three-light box bay on the upper floor balances the front door unit which comprises ¾-length side-lights and a transom. The main roof is multi-hipped. The scalloped shingles are recent. The entrance on the right side is likely a later addition, when the house was duplexed.

The property was purchased from architect Tiarks in 1901. He died that year in April after a fall from his bicycle. He had been in the business of buying and selling residential property, on the condition that the buyers use his architectural plans. Therefore, Tiarks and McCrimmon may have reached an agreement and Tiarks may have done the plans before he died. Unfortunately, no plans for the building have been found.


Duncan Farquhar McCrimmon (1850-1907) was a contractor, born in Glengarry County, ON. He moved to Victoria in 1891 with his wife Ellen and family. His son Alex McCrimmon was a prolific designer and builder, many of his houses being on or near Linden Av (504 Linden Av, Fairfield). Duncan McCrimmon died at the family residence, 31 Stanley Av in Fernwood. McCrimmon built this house and had it plumbed in tandem with Robert Hetherington, who built 1153 next door. Hetherington was also a contractor here, from 1890 until his death in 1938.


This property was sold in 1902-03 to William (1857-1935) and Isabelle (McArthur, 1861-1949) Aird. They were born in Glengarry County, ON, and Soulanges County, QC. They lived in Los Angeles, CA, where their eldest daughters were born in the 1890s, before moving to Victoria in the spring of 1901; their last daughter was born here in July. McCrimmon and Aird very possibly knew each other in Glengarry. By 1912 William Aird was manager and proprietor of Victoria Hardware Co. Their 19-year-old daughter Irene Catherine was a teacher at Cadboro Bay School, but still living at home - a considerable distance to travel every day. Olive May (1897-1979) also became a teacher, and last taught at Beacon Hill Elementary (120 Douglas St, James Bay) until retiring. Dorothy Bell became a stenographer before marrying Archibald McKinnon in 1924. The Airds’ only son, Arthur, was killed in WWI. William retired in 1931, and died in 1935. Irene died in 1937, and Isabelle and Olive lived in the house until after Isabelle’s death in 1949.

The Airds made a small addition to the house c.1905. It was converted to a duplex in 1950, and in 1973 it received a large back addition.

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