Heritage Register

621 Trutch Street

Built 1912

For: Herbert & Horace Knott

Architect: Samuel Maclire
Builderw: H.T. & H.J. Knott

621 Trutch


In designing this house Maclure seems to have attempted to modify his “Maclure Chalet” to suit a smaller lot and more modest budget. An earlier attempt at the same goal c.1900 at 1807 Oak Bay [demolished] was a miniature version of 1598 Rockland Av (Rockland), except narrower and with a steeper roof.

This 1½-storey house, like many of Maclure’s chalets, is a cross-axial building, front-gabled with two side wall-dormers. It is similar to 550 Foul Bay Rd (Gonzales), built four years earlier, with similar granite piers on the front corners. However in fitting the basic plan to a constricted lot Maclure narrowed it without changing the slope of the roof, so that the eaves terminate several feet above the junction of the first and second floors, rather than between them as they do in his purer chalets. As well, the granite piers are placed beyond the sides of the house, disguising the reduced width. A hipped roof entry porch was put on the right side.

Perhaps reflecting a change in public taste, the details of this house are more Craftsman than the British A&C of his earlier chalets. The half-timbering that filled most or all of the upper-storey gables in Maclure’s early 20th C examples of this genre (e.g., 1598 Rockland Av, 911-13-17 Burdett St (Fairfield) and 550 Foul Bay Rd) is reduced to a token in the gable peaks, and the unadorned extended raftertails in the open eaves and beam-ends in the gables have little of the medieval about them.

The façade is symmetrical, with a broad stringcourse separating the two levels. Three indentations on the lower storey rhythmically separate the two granite columns and two box bays. A small triangle of half-timbering over a stringcourse tops the second storey. Most windows are ribbons of three or four double-sashed units with leaded-glass panes. A small gabled wall-dormer near the back of the right side may be a later addition.


Horace James Knott, the first owner, was a partner in Knott Bros & Brown, Real Estate & General Finance Agents. Knott was well-known for his interest in the prohibition movement and church. He was president of the YMCA, Superintendent of the Metropolitan Sunday School and teacher of the Excelsior Bible class. Horace married Letitia Andrews in Victoria in 1895, and died in 1932 at the age of 61.


The Knott brothers quickly sold the house to Charles H. (c.1852-1927) and Alice Preston (c.1866-1929) Rust. The Rust family came from Toronto, where Charles was city engineer. Charles was an engineer at City Hall from 1911-1918, taking over from Angus Smith (616 Trutch St, Fairfield). He also helped develop by-laws, and supervised the Sooke Waterworks. The Rust family returned to Toronto in 1918, where Charles continued his previous post.

The next known occupant was Joseph D. O’Connell, of O’Connells Ltd, clothiers and furnishings. He lived here until 1926 and died in Calgary, AB, in 1927. Accountant John F. Errington was here in 1929. Richard H. and Therese Ley lived here in 1931. Richard was an inspector with the Liquor Control Board. Michael C. Bernard bought the house in about 1933 and lived here for a year or two. He was retired.

George Campbell (1881-1955) and Stella Belle (Taylor, 1880-1950) Clark lived here in the mid-late 1930s. George, a train dispatcher, was born in Ontario. In 1905 he married Stella, a native of Halifax, NS.

This pattern of variable occupancy continued through most of the 1940s until about 1949 when Thomas Edward (1887-1965) and Annie (Thompson) Robinson purchased the house. They lived here until at least the 1960s, and were proprietors of Linden Grocery. Born in Yorkshire, England, Thomas came to Canada c.1908, to Victoria in 1943. He and Annie were shopkeepers for about 15 years.


• Fairfield History

• Fairfield Heritage Register

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

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