Heritage Register
James Bay

652 Niagara Street
(ex-30 Niagara St)

Built 1891
Heritage-Designated 1991

For: Martha & Thomas Haughton & Edward Wadsworth

652 Niagara


Built at the same time for the same owners as 648 Niagara St (see that description), this house is virtually a mirror image. This entire house is clad in drop siding, with no beltcourse, and was never shingled. The porches and the details between the floors of the bays are different. For some time this front porch was missing, but has now been restored. It has V-joint T&G in the ceiling, in the frieze below its roof, and in the low balustrade of the porch. The flared section between the two bays is shingled, as it was in 1902 (see photo), and the area below the lower bay windows has rectangular panels of diagonal V-joint T&G; 648 has vertical V-joint T&G in the panels of the upper and lower bays. This house has one chimney.


For the first 10 years, this house shared a lot and owners with 648 Niagara St. The lot was split in 1901 and Arthur Tobin bought 652. Born in Cork County, Ireland, he came to Canada c.1900 and married Mary Ann Cox in 1902. The Tobins built a house around the corner at 114 St Andrews St in 1907. Arthur was part owner of and worked at Clay’s bakery (810 Linden Av (Fairfield & 911 Linden Av, Rockland) on Fort St, and later was a watchman. Arthur died in 1946 at 69.

Mary Ann was born in Victoria in 1875 to John and Minnie (Gillan) Cox. Her father came to Victoria with the Royal Engineers on the Thames City in 1859. Her mother came here in 1862 on the brideship Tynemouth, and lived with the family of H.P. Wright, first Archdeacon of BC. She married John in 1863. They lived in Sapperton for 10 years, then moved to Victoria. Mary Ann, a lifelong member of the Church of Our Lord, died in 1964 at 91.


Lionel and Hallie (McKay) Peake lived here from 1902-04. Lionel was born in Charlottetown, PEI and came to Victoria in 1898. He was a hardware salesman for Walter S. Fraser & Co when he married Hallie in 1902. Lionel died in Nanaimo in 1949 at 71. Hallie was born in Summerside, PEI, in 1878. She came to Victoria with her family in 1889. Her sister, Barbara, wife of Governor James Ross, died when the Islander steamship sank in Lynn Canal near Juneau, AK, in 1901. Hallie died in 1957.

Regina (Gunnifson) McNaughton, widow of William McNaughton, bought the property in 1908. Born in Norway in 1869, she came to BC in 1897. She married James Randolph Stewart, native of Dumfries, Scotland, in 1909, and they lived here until 1911. James died in Prince Albert, SK, in 1912 at 39. Regina bought the Island Hall Hotel in Parksville in 1928, and died there at 58.

From 1918-25, Thomas and Martha (Lazarus) Kelway lived here. They came to Victoria from England in 1910. Martha died in 1930 at 75. Thomas, born in Plymouth, was a seaman. He died in 1938 aged 83.

Irene (Robinson) Skillen, widow of William Skillen, resided here from 1929-40. Born in Selton, ON, in 1869, she married William of Quebec City in 1889 and was living in Vancouver by 1901. William was a retired canneryman when he died in Victoria in 1922 at 66. Irene was a school janitor in the 1930s. She died in 1966 at 96.

From 1943-56 widow Hazel Baker, who supported herself as a seamstress, lived here.


• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

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

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