Heritage Register

902 Foul Bay Road (ex-1940 Quamichan St)

Built 1911
Heritage-Designated 2003

David & Emily Tait

Architects/Builders: Island Construction & Development Co (ICDC)

902 Foul Bay

This house was destroyed by a fire in 2016. The property's rock wall and landscape features were included in the heritage designation.


Located at the confluence of Foul Bay, Quamichan, and Redfern Rds, this rambling, 2-storey, cross-gabled house with its expanse of windows gives the impression of a country estate. It displays Arts & Crafts elements such as the gently sloping roof with its open eaves, exposed raftertails, and brackets in the gables. The 2-storey verandah wraps around three sides with its massive tapering bracketed square supports on granite piers. The half-timbered upper storey and external granite chimney are similar to those found on many Tudor Revival homes in the vicinity. The lower level is shingled. The front façade faces Quamichan, and features a charming little octagonal bay with hipped roof, beneath a narrow sleeping porch which was enclosed later. The original single gable on the north elevation has been expanded to a double one.

ICDC was listed as a general contractor, with president Daniel Clifford Reid, vice-president Howard Farrant and general manager John Walter Givens. Reid and Farrant were also managing directors of Island Investment Co (IIC). Prospective homeowners could get a mortgage for their new home from IIC and have it designed and built by ICDC. The actual designer is not known. By 1914 ICDC was in liquidation.

David Spragge Tait (1878-1952) took out a building permit for this house in 1911, and was married to Emily Margaret Johnston (1878-1965) in Oak Bay three months later. Emily had immigrated to BC from Ireland in the 1880s.


David was born in Brantford, ON, to school teacher Leonard Tait and his wife Agnes. They came to BC in 1889-90. The 1901 Census shows them living on Craigflower Rd, and Leonard was principal of Esquimalt High School. David was living at home and a school teacher, but he was admitted to the bar in 1908. By 1911, David was head of the legal firm, Tait, Brandon & Hall, later Tait & Marchant (1417 Pembroke St, Fernwood). His brother Ernest L. Tait was also a lawyer, with Heisterman & Tait. In the 1930s David formed a mining syndicate which became the Privateer Mine, and was president until 1950. David and Emily lived at 1226 Roslyn Rd in Oak Bay during the 1920s and 30s and later moved to Vancouver.


In the early 1920s the owners were Margaret Jane and Alexander Forbes Proctor (610 Foul Bay Rd, Gonzales).

James Scott (1878-1967) and Sarah Elizabeth (Buckle, 1882-1944) Braidwood bought this house about 1925. Sarah was born in Stockton-on-Tees, England, and came to Canada with her family in 1883; James was born in Crosshill, Ayrshire, Scotland, and came to Canada in 1906. They married in Vancouver in 1911 and lived in Winnipeg for a time before moving to Victoria in 1923. James was an accountant with the HBC for many years and retired in 1952. James lived in the house until several years before his death, then moved to a nursing home.

The Victor J. DiCastri family owned the house by the mid-1970s, and Victor’s brother, architect John A. Di Castri, redesigned the kitchen.


• Gonzales History

• Gonzales Heritage Register

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

House GrantsHeritage HousesResources & PublicationsNews & EventsBuilding CommunityAbout