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Heritage Register
Fairfield

527 Trutch Street
Hillcrest

Built 1912
Heritage-Registered

For: William & Alice Dunford

Architect: Charles H. Walker
Builder: Willliam Dunford & Son

527 Trutch

ARCHITECTURE:

This single-storey, side-gabled Craftsman Bungalow has a large shed-roofed dormer with a balcony recessed into the roof. The full-width front porch has square cut granite columns slightly tapered at both ends and groups of three square wooden posts with moulded tops. The central entrance with twin doors has front-facing steps. The porch to the right of the steps is glazed and is open to the left, showing an angled bay with an art glass transom in the centre sash. The windows of the balcony upstairs have art glass on either side of the door. Trim is simple and the overall effect is very dignified.

The north side has a cantilevered box bay with a shed roof. Like its neighbour at 523, the sloping lot has a stone retaining wall and granite gate posts.

ORIGINAL OCCUPANTS:

William Dunford & Son began constructing houses in Victoria in 1908, after moving from Winnipeg where they had been in the lumber business. The company was named Dunford and Matthews on plans from 1909. The December 23, 1911 edition of The Week contained a article on the company (not including Matthews) and their “Dunford Bungalows”: “During the past year they have averaged one bungalow every nine days, and the firm states that each one of these has been sold before the date of its completion….They endeavour to give their customers value received, by contrasting their bungalows in the best and most modern manner possible. With this end in view Mr. Dunford, senior, makes annual trips to California and various sections of the United States to gather new ideas for the design and construction of Dunford Bungalows, which are erected and sold complete for sums from $3,500 to $4,500 each, though there are homes in the city designed and built by the firm at a cost of over $8,000.”

In 1912 they incorporated with a capital of $50,000. A later article in Henry J. Boam’s book on British Columbia states that their houses then cost $4,000 to $10,000. It also states: “Although all the bungalows which they build are of their own design, Messrs. Dunford employing the exclusive services of a fully qualified English architect, they are always willing to incorporate their clients’ ideas. The Californian style of architecture is mostly favoured, but in some of the more expensive of the 150 dwellings which they have built the English style has been frequently introduced.” The Boam article also states that the usual terms for their installment system are: “the payment of one-fifth of the amount involved at time of purchase and the balance in quarterly payments in such sums as with the interest would amount to the rental value.”

William Dunford (1852-1915) was born in Wiltshire, England and immigrated to Canada in 1858. William and Alice’s son John Orville Dunford was born in Ontario about 1883, and in 1909 was married in Victoria to Laura May Greenway of Crystal City, MN, niece of a former premier of Manitoba. William died in 1915. He was a member of the Dominion Lodge.* At the time of his death, William was residing at Hillcrest. His wife, Alice Jane (1854-1928) died in Vancouver.

OTHER OCCUPANTS:

In 1914 T.R. Meyers operated Fairfield College here, of which he was principal. This was short-lived however, as by 1917 John Thill was living here. He was an organist at the Dominion Theatre.

The Raymond family had bought the house by 1921 and lived here for over 40 years. Percy Augustine (1873-1940) and Alison Hume (McArthur, 1879-1951) Raymond previously lived at 816 Linden Av (Fairfield) and then in October Mansions briefly before moving to this home. By this time, Percy was manager of Raymond Wharf, previously operated by his father, John Raymond (1843-1925, 254 Belleville St, James Bay). Their three children, Alison Isabella, Marjorie Elizabeth and Robin McArthur, remained in the house until they married. Robin married Elizabeth Mary MacDonald in 1937. The two daughters married sometime in the late 1930s or early 1940s. Alison remained in the house after Raymond died until her death.

* From research by Jennifer Barr for Building the West: The Early Architects of British Columbia, compiled & edited by Donald Luxton, 2003

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & IMAGES:

• Fairfield History

• Fairfield Heritage Register



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


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