Heritage Register
James Bay

309 Simcoe Street (ex-146 Simcoe St)

Built 1892
Heritage-Designated 1980

For: Weert-Dirk Aden

Builder: attributed to Weert-Dirk Aden

309 Simcoe


This two-storey, hip-roofed, cubic Italianate house has a one-storey rear extension. Single eaves brackets surround the house. On the right front is a one-storey, flat-topped, hip-roofed, angled bay with brackets in the frieze and panelled window casings. To the left is a small front porch with similar roof and brackets above turned spindles. Ornate brackets beneath the spindles sit on capitals of the turned posts and pilasters. The house is clad in drop siding, with vertical V-joint T&G on the basement and the panels below the bay windows. The brick chimney is corbelled. The Victorian front door was originally on 317 Simcoe St, which was demolished.


Owner: 1892-1916+: Weert-Dirk Aden’s parents, master mariner Frederick William Aden (aka DW, 1833-1890) and Gertrude (1837-1897) were born in Germany, lived in The Netherlands where their three sons, Theodore, John and Weert-Dirk were born, and arrived in Canada c.1880. Weert-Dirk, who was 14 in 1881, was a carpenter; he likely built this house in 1892, but appeared to never have lived in it. He lived with his mother and brother John, also a carpenter, at 241 Simcoe St. Weert-Dirk and John left the province shortly after 1900, although Weert-Dirk owned this property until at least 1916, with Frederick Jackson of 619 Avalon St, James Bay, holding interest.


Tenants: 1895: Merchant Harold Ault of Allice & Ault. 1899-1900: Alexander Heaney (b. Tullylish, Co Down, IRL c.1861-1930) and Janet “Jessie” (née McKay, b. Embo Dornoch, Sutherland, SCT c.1867-1948). Alexander came to Canada in 1885, Jessie in 1877 and married in 1889. Alexander was a drayman or teamster, and later an E&NR freight handler. He was a member of Court Northern Light, No.5935, AOF for 36 years. Jessie was a member of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and the Burns Club.

1903-38: HBC employee John McAdoo Wark (b. Londonberry, IRL c.1829-1909) and Amelia (née Birnie, b. Astoria, OR c.1836-1916) married in Cathlamet WA and came to BC in 1860. John was the nephew of HBC Chief Factor and BC Legislative Member John Work (born Wark) of Hillside Farm; Wark St was named for the family. John came to BC in 1850 on the Tory with Robert Porter (649 Superior St, James Bay), Senator W.J. MacDonald (Armadale, 241 Niagara St), and Martha (née Beeton) Ella (1156 Fort St, Fernwood).

Amelia was the daughter of James Birnie, HBC Chief Factor at Cathlamet, on the Columbia River, and his native wife, Charlotte Baulien. Amelia died of a heart attack while running for a streetcar in James Bay. Two of her children, Charles Lowe Wark (1867-1953) and Charlotte Wark (1865-1949), lived in the house and then moved into downtown hotels. They were born in Victoria, and never married. Charles was a painter, latterly at the Parliament Buildings, where he had the delicate task of painting the frescoed ceilings in the Provincial Archives and Library. He retired at 76.

1942-61: John Riddler (1879-1960) and Agnes (née Spowart, 1879-1961) emigrated from Scotland c.1910 and arrived here by 1915. They lived at 226 Dallas Rd, James Bay, from 1938-40. John, a gardener at the Empress Hotel, was a gardener for 53 years until retiring in 1946.


• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

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

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