Heritage Register

349 Linden Avenue

Built 1922-23
Heritage-Designated 2009, including garage

For: Ida & John Ross

349 Linden


This front-gabled Arts & Crafts Bungalow is clad in painted pebbledash stucco, possibly over narrow bevelled siding as is still visible on the garage to the rear. The gable has simple vertical half-timbered detail and brackets supporting the eaves; its window has been replaced with a sliding aluminum sash. Two pairs of double casement transom windows with leaded multi-panes still sit above the living and dining room picture windows, now-double-glazed. The entrance on the left side has a gabled open porch supported on plain wooden posts, with front facing steps. The panelled door has three vertical lights and generous leaded multi-paned sidelights. Multi-paned leaded piano windows flank the fireplace on the north side. The brick chimneys remain.


Born in Pictou County, NS, John Ross (1842-1929) was educated in Nova Scotia and completed an apprenticeship in the building trade before moving to Exeter, ON, in 1861. Within three years he established a sash and door factory, and also served on city council. In 1864 he married his first wife, Mary McConnell, and they had three children. In 1882 he sold his business and moved to Winnipeg, MB, where he was in charge of constructing a new jail. He and his family left for Regina, SK, after his son contracted smallpox, from which he recovered. John was hired to build the barracks for the Royal Northwest Mounted Police, where Louis Riel was held before he was executed in 1885.

The Rosses continued west to Wetaskiwin, AB, where John worked for three years as a government farm instructor, then as Indian Agent at Saddle Lake. In 1897 they moved to Edmonton, and John worked in real estate and insurance, until retiring in 1905. In 1914, they came to BC, and were in Victoria when Mary died in 1915. John was living in Vancouver in 1917 and age 75 when he married 35-year-old Ida May Gowland, who was born in Caistor, ON, in 1882. They came to Victoria in 1922 and had this house built, and John lived here the rest of his life. Ida lived here until c.1939-40, and may have re-married.


Alan Whittaker and Marie (Savitsky) Ogden lived here c.1941-43. They had lived in Vancouver, where Alan was an officer with the Mercantile Marine. He married Marie in 1927. He was employed with the BC Pilotage while he lived here. Frank and Lillian Wakeham lived here in the mid-1940s.

From1978-2013 the house was owned by Oak Bay-born artist and writer Rosemary James Cross, who came home in 1977 after living in various places across Canada. The only child of architect Percy Leonard James, she published a book on her father in 2005, The Life and Times of Victoria Architect P. Leonard James.


• Fairfield History

• Fairfield Heritage Register

• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume Four: Fairfield, Gonzales & Jubilee

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