Heritage Register

504 Linden Avenue

Built 1911

For: Alex & Edna McCrimmon

Architect: attributed to Louis R. Hazeltine
Builder: Alex W. McCrimmon

504 Linden


Although situated on a corner, this 1½-storey Craftsman-style house is hidden behind an overgrown garden on a sloping lot. It was designed and built by Alex McCrimmon for $3,000. The roofline is composed of double front-facing gables with large shed dormers on both sides. The open eaves have wide overhangs, exposed rafter tails and heavy triangular knee brackets. There is a prominent granite front-wall chimney and another further back. The cladding is granite on the first floor corner with stucco and half-timbering on the remainder. The offset entry porch is recessed with heavy wooden posts on battered granite piers. Many of the casement windows are leaded multi-panes. A substantial stone wall surrounds the property and there are remnants of a stone and brick converted garage at street level on Fairfield. Alterations and additions have been made to the back of the house.


Alexander McCrimmon (c.1877-1958), the only son of contractor Duncan Farquhar McCrimmon and his wife Ellen, was born in Cornwall, ON, and came to Victoria in 1891. Duncan died in 1907 at 57 and Alex continued in the business, becoming a prolific designer and builder. He built at least 10 homes on or near Linden Av, including at least five speculative houses in the first block and five in the 500 block, most in 1911-12. 75 and 532 Linden are in his most distinctive 1-storey design, a bungalow with a chunky hipped roof and front hipped extension sheltering the corner verandah; this design appears in a number of places in the city. Four of the houses in the 500-block Linden, as well as the Sangster house at 161 South Turner St in James Bay, are elegant versions of the 2-storey Arts & Crafts Edwardian Four-Square common in Victoria.

The earliest plans found by McCrimmon are for the 1908 house at 135 Medana St in James Bay. His last known project was an alteration in the Rockland district in 1957. But his most renowned building was the landmark Alkazar Mansions at the NE corner of Fairfield Rd and Linden Av, also designed by Louis R. Hazeltine, which McCrimmon built for himself in 1913. Perhaps Victoria’s most distinctive early apartment block, it was demolished in 1977.

Alex married Edna Heathfield Simons (1893-1971) in Victoria in 1909. Born in Grand Rapids, MI, she came to Canada in 1901. They had two sons, Leslie and Ronald, and lived here until c.1917. Alex was a life member of BPOE, and a member of Woodmen of the World.


By 1921 Kenneth Kingsford lived here, and Isobel Proctor in 1924. Her husband Frederick had died in 1921.

In 1925 the house was sold to Dr. John Harvey Moore (1889-1984), physician and surgeon. That year he married Dorothea McBride (1901-1988), daughter of Christine Margaret Gillivray and Hon Sir Richard McBride, BC Premier 1903-15. Here they raised their family and lived until 1949. Born in Walkerton, ON, John came to BC in 1912 and interned at Vancouver General Hospital. He served overseas with the medical corps in WWI, then came to Victoria. John established Victoria’s first blood donor clinic, pioneered the pathology department at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and became a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. John was coroner for South Vancouver Island from 1949-64, and a part-time pathologist for 18 years.

Francis John (1896-1984) and Margaret Hurdon Keifer bought the house c.1949-50 and lived here for many years. Born in London, England, Frank trained in Germany and lived in Thunder Bay, ON, with Margaret before coming to Victoria in 1946. A shipwright by trade, he was also an artist and played in military bands. He retired in 1971. Margaret was a musician and poet, and published several books, including The Tallest Totem and Other Poems (1970). Her daughter, artist Frances Keifer Bezeau (1937- ), illustrated Margaret’s books.


• Fairfield History

• Fairfield Heritage Register

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

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