Heritage Register
James Bay

213 Ontario Street

Built 1907-08
Heritage-Designated 1996

For: Arthur George & Mary Ann Snelling

Builder: Arthur Snelling

213 Ontario


This hip-roofed, Edwardian Queen Anne Cottage has a gabled, angled bay on the right front and recessed porch on the left. The porch has two square, chamfered posts with decorative brackets, and turned balusters in all the balustrades. The front facing stairs are centrally-located to the front of the house and lead directly to the front door, which has a leaded transom. The house has been stuccoed, but the original drop siding is visible under the stucco on the rear of the house; the basement is shingled. This cottage was one of a matched set of three built by Arthur Snelling in 1907-08 for $1,500 each. The third cottage at 221 Ontario was barged to Mayne Island in 2006 where it was rehabilitated and continues its residential use.


Arthur and Mary Ann Snelling came to Victoria from Surrey, England, in 1898. Mary Ann, a member of Fernwood Red Cross and GWVA Ladies’ Auxiliary, died in 1920 at 49. Arthur worked at the Victoria Creamery on Carey Rd, then founded and ran the Northwestern Creamery. He then became a provincial civil servant. During WWI, he served overseas with the Royal Engineers. A member of Pro Patria Branch of the Canadian Legion, Arthur died in 1934 at 62.


From 1912-20, Alfred and Alice (Weir) James resided here. They arrived in Victoria on the Canadian-Australian liner Makura shortly before their marriage in 1910. Alfred served three years with the 5th Regiment in Australia, and during WWI with the 103rd Battlion, CEF. Alfred was Port Steward with the White Pass and Yukon Railway for 32 years. He died in 1953 at 73, Alice in 1968 at 87.

Thomas and Rachael (Thorsen) Ostrem lived here from 1923-38. Thomas was born in Kopervek, Norway, and came to Victoria in the late 1880s. Rachael, born in Stavanger, Norway, came in 1895. Thomas worked at Brackman-Ker Mill from at least 1897 until the firm closed in 1932. A member of the Ancient Order of Foresters, Court Northern Light, he died in Victoria in 1936 at 76. Rachael died in 1945 at 77.

George and Margaret Rice owned this house from 1941-50. George was a City fireman, then ran the Snack Shop lunch counter on Yates St and other locations.


• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

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

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