Heritage Register

1310 Topaz Avenue

Built 1911
Heritage-Designated 2002

For: Ester & Robert Tait, Jr.

Designer/ Builder: Robert Tait

1310 Topaz


This house is a front-gabled, 1½-storey Craftsman Bungalow. Like Edwardian Vernacular Arts & Crafts (EVA&C) houses, it has an asymmetrical main floor front façade with an inset corner front porch balanced by cantilevered box bay, and a symmetrical upper façade. The sleeping porch has a deeply inset door and windows, and a balustrade jutting onto the pent roof over the main floor. However, unlike EVA&C houses, this has a low, wide roofline and no dormers, more like a California Bungalow. There are two more box bays on the left side of the house, one with a small, high, stained glass piano window. In 2004-06 a large addition was made to the back end, but separated from the original portion physically and stylistically.


Although this house was built by and for Robert and Esther Tait, they did not live in it for several years. The earliest known resident was Henry Samuelson, a machinist at Lemon Gonnason & Co. The Taits occupied this house until the early 1920s. Robert (1885-1953) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and came to Canada with his family in 1889. In 1909 he married Esther Dougan, of Dublin, Ireland, who died four years later of appendicitis aged 30. In 1915 Robert married Phyllis Madge Carter (1895-1977) of Sheffield, England. Robert was a carpenter, and later worked for the BCER until retiring in 1951. His parents, Robert Sr and Mary Tait, lived at 86-88 Dallas Rd (James Bay) for many years.


Frederick Boot Hall, a millworker, purchased the house in April 1926 and married Vera Margaret Raven in July. Fred was born in Sheffield, England, in 1903 and Vera in Rossland, BC, in 1900. The Halls sold the house in 1935. Vera died in 1973.

William Henry and Viola Alice (Harmston) Wain lived here until c.1940. Both born on Vancouver Island, they married in Cumberland in 1912. William was a garage proprietor, later a mechanic with Vancouver Island Coach Lines. He died in 1975 at 80, Viola in 1983 at 85.


• Map of Victoria Heritage Register Properties

• Hillside-Quadra History

• Hillside-Quadra Heritage Register

• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume Three: Rockland, Burnside, Harris Green,
Hillside-Quadra, North Park & Oaklands

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