Heritage Register
James Bay

160 Rendall Street/351 Simcoe Street

Built 1911
Heritage-Designated 1985

For: Margaret Stout

160 Rendall


This 1½-storey, front-gabled, Arts & Crafts house has a symmetrical upper front façade over an asymmetrical main floor. There are two gabled, through-the-roof wall dormers, one on either side. The dormer on the right side of the house sits above a shallow, cantilevered, hip-roofed box bay on the main floor. On the left side the dormer sits above a shallow, cantilevered, angled bay, also hip-roofed. All gables have whalebone bargeboards and finials. In the front gable below the string course is a wide, shallow, bracketed box bay above a wide angled bay to the left of a recessed corner porch. The side-facing steps lead to the porch which has one square corner post; the shingled, stepped stair balustrade and porch balustrade are all solid. Two piano windows, the transoms in the angled bays, the porch and front door windows all have leaded art glass. All the gables have stucco and half-timbering in their apices; the house is shingled above the belt course and below the watertable; the main floor has double-bevelled siding. The property has retained its original concrete wall. The pergolas were rebuilt to the same design as the one that the Stouts had built in the 1930s, using some of the original timbers. In order to comply with current zoning regulations for a 1998 renovation to add a lower suite, the house was moved eight feet closer to Rendall St. The antique front door of the suite (160 Rendall St) occupies the same position as the former basement door. The rear stairs were altered to face the street.


1911-95: The name Kildonan was found on a glass name plate in the basement. The property belonged to Robert and Ann (née Hourston) Rendall (403 Simcoe St), who bought this section of James Bay from HBC in 1880. Margaret and Elizabeth, daughters of George Stout and Margaret (née Hourston), came to BC before their parents in 1896 and 1900, respectively. They lived with the Rendalls until their parents arrived. The Stouts emigrated from the Orkney Islands, SCT, in 1902. They had 10 children, the eldest of whom died in an accident. Margaret swore that her other children would have a better life, and set off for Canada. George Stout worked for W.J. Pendray’s BC Soap Works (309 Belleville St, James Bay) until he died in 1910. After the death of Ann Rendall in 1908, her sister Margaret Stout inherited this property. Margaret commissioned the plans and built the home to house her family.

Margaret took in boarders, more over the years as the children grew up, married and moved away. She also cared for her brother-in-law, Robert Rendall, during his declining years and was mentioned in his will. She was badly hurt in an accident with a street car in 1922 (see 65 Oswego St, James Bay). She returned home to be nursed by daughters Ann and Williameana, lingered a few weeks, and then succumbed. The sisters continued taking in boarders, mostly single working men, though during WWII there were also soldiers’ wives and children. In 1982 they received recognition from the Real Estate Board for “The Most Beautiful Home on the Block.” At some point Williameana was left alone. As she approached her 90s she kept less of her garden planted and instead traded with young people who planted and cared for it and gave her produce. By 1995 she relied on a live-in care worker and her nephew; her bed was moved to the kitchen near the wood-fired stove. She died in a care home in 1995 at 99.


In 2002 owner Melinda Seyler won a Hallmark Award for her adaptive reuse of this house.


• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

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

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