Heritage Register
James Bay

40 Government Street

Built 1906
Heritage-Designated 1990

For: George Horner

Designer/Builders: William Moore & Ernest Whittington

40 Government


This is an atypical Edwardian Vernacular Arts & Crafts residence, because of the symmetry of the main floor on the front. It has a gabled dormer on either side towards the rear of the front-gabled roof. A jettied stringcourse in the upper front gable sits above a shallow, bracketed box bay. A dentil moulding in the stringcourse at the base of the front gable is repeated in the stringcourses above the dormer windows. Front-facing, centrally-located stairs with solid, stepped balustrades lead up to the full-width front verandah, which was enclosed pre-1960s. The verandah has four Tuscan columns and solid balustrades. Classical details on the house include the porch columns and dentil courses. There is a shed-roofed porch on the right side towards the rear, and a hip-roofed extension on the back. The house is clad in double-bevelled siding except for the apices of the dormers and the foundation level, which are shingled. The detached period garage on the left side has been converted by replacing the garage door with a window and a smaller door.


1906-07: George Horner had this house plumbed in 1906 and owned it until 1907.


1908-12: Capt. William Davidson and Mary Jane (Reid) Hunter owned the property. Both born in County Durham, England, William came to Canada c.1851, and Mary c.1861. They resided in Lindsay, ON, for many years before coming to Victoria c.1908. William served with the 45th Battalion under Sir Gen. Samuel Hughes during the Boer War.

1912: Samuel James Drake (b. Milverton, ON 1874-1940) and Anne (née Duff, b. Toronto 1880-1962) lived in Winnipeg for some time before coming to Victoria c.1904. During the 1910s, Samuel was proprietor of Drake Hardware Co, and by the 1930s was associated with Davis-Drake Motors Ltd until his death.

1913-18: Martha Hardy of Calgary owned this property and rented it.
1913-14 Thomas James Hardy and Thomas Alexander “Alex” Hardy (b. Grand Forks, BC 1894-1956) of Hardy & Son, auto livery. In 1914 Alex married Agnes Hamilton Burbidge (b. NS 1896-1962) and in 1915 he signed his attestation paper for the CEF.
1915: Charles Boniface, contractor.

1917-24: William Lambert (c.1852-1933), an accountant with Victoria Machinery Depot and his wife, Marie Emilie (b. Lithuania c.1855-1925) came to Victoria in 1912.

1926-28: Electrical engineer Henry Percy Porter (b. London, ENG 1896-1971) and Madeleine (née O’Sullivan, b. Cobb, IRL c.1900-1984).

1933-39: Arthur Higham and Mary (née Meadowcroft, c.1879-1944)
converted this to a rooming house and lived at 50 Government St. The Highams came to Canada from England in 1910 and lived in Edmonton 20 years before coming here.

1940-mid-1960s: Rev. Thomas Nairn Ritchie (b. Lanark County, ON c.1870-1950) and Olga Elise (née Lambert, b. London, ENG 1886-1980) married in 1926. Thomas, a Baptist minister, came to BC in 1902. Olga’s parents had lived in the house 1917-24. She taught at St. Margaret’s School and then taught French in her home.


• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume Two: James Bay

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