Heritage Register

1421 Grant Street

Built 1913
Heritage-Designated including interiors 2003

For: Aaron & Laura Parfitt

Builders: Parfitt Brothers Ltd.

1421 Grant


This two-storey Arts & Crafts house is front-gabled and has three brick chimneys. All gables have finials. The right side has a pent roof over a small box bay situated beyond a wall chimney. There is a small cantilevered box bay on the shed-roofed lean-to at the left rear beyond a tall stained glass stairwell window midway along the wall. The upper portion of the front gable is pedimented with a bracketed stringcourse and is covered in stucco and half-timbering. There are two offset paired windows on the upper floor. The lower floor façade, also offset, has a gabled portico which separates a wide bracketed box bay on the right and an enclosed corner porch on the left. The portico and porch have chamfered square tapered posts. The portico posts are on slightly battered granite piers. Its front door has side lights and a transom. The body is sheathed in double-bevelled siding, and the basement is shingled. It may be compared with 1425 Grant and 2645 Fernwood Rd, Oaklands, both by Parfitt Bros. It was converted to a duplex in 1950.


Aaron Parfitt (b. Carlingcott, Somerset, ENG, 1868-1952) met Laura Annie Matthew (b. St. Mawes, Cornwall, ENG, 1868-1960) in the Metropolitan Methodist choir, and they married in 1897 at her parents’ home (1460 Gladstone Av, Fernwood). Aaron was the third of five Parfitt Brothers, prominent and longtime Victoria contractors (1923 Fernwood Rd, Fernwood). He emigrated to Canada with brothers Jim and Fred (2663 Fernwood Rd, Oaklands) in 1889. They first found work packing bricks for the construction of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (900-924 Douglas St, Downtown). Aaron apprenticed as a carpenter with Moore & Whittington on Metropolitan Methodist Church (1411 Quadra St/907 Pandora Av, Harris Green) and the Legislative Buildings (501 Belleville St, James Bay). Laura came to Canada in 1888. She and Aaron first lived at 100 North Chatham, now 1422 Gladstone Av. They had three children: Victor “Raymond” (b. 1898-1968) signed up for service in WWI in December 1916 when he was still a student. He married teacher Mabel Maud Atherton in 1922. Elsie Eleanor Parfitt (1903-2007) married Douglas Edgar Smith in 1931. [Note: their son Brian Smith served many years on Oak Bay council, five as mayor, then 10 years as a Social Credit MLA followed by five years each as chairman of the CNR and BC Hydro.] Laura and Aaron’s third child Beatrice Lillian died in 1903 at the age of one.

Aaron and Jim founded Parfitt Bros in 1907, and were joined by brothers Fred, Mark and Albert. Aaron was secretary of the company, then president by 1939, and president and secretary of Baker Brick & Tile Co. By 1946 Aaron and Laura had moved to Oak Bay, and their son Raymond was president of Parfitt Construction. Aaron was a member of the board of Metropolitan Methodist, later United Church for 50 years, and a frequent solo cellist. Laura was a member of the church for 67 years.


1941-64: Herbert John Cox (b. Westbury, Somerset, ENG, 1892-1950) and Mary “May” (née Goodfield, b. Cardiff, WAL, 1894-1973) came here in 1911 and 1902 respectively. May was a clerk at Connaught Dairy, 1510 Cook, until her marriage in 1915; during WWI, she and Herbert lived with her parents. By 1920 they had their own house and Herbert was a chauffeur. He was a waiter at the Gorge Hotel in the 1940s until a month before his death; his funeral was conducted by his BPOE lodge brothers. May ran Victoria Pioneer Towel Delivery from this house, then converted it to an up-down duplex in 1950.


• Fernwood History

• Fernwood Heritage Register

• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume One: Fernwood & Victoria West

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