Heritage Register
James Bay

403 Simcoe Street (ex-120 Simcoe St)

Built 1892
Heritage-Designated 1993

For: Robert & Ann Rendall

403 Simcoe


This is a simple, one-storey, hip-roofed Victorian Cottage, now with bracketed eaves. The symmetrical front façade has a small front porch with chamfered posts, moulded capitals and scrollsawn brackets. The rear has a hip-roofed extension with a small restored porch. There are two chimneys, now corbelled. Stucco was removed to reveal the original drop siding. The house and its twin at 409 Simcoe St were typical of the type of rental houses built throughout James Bay in the 1890s and early 1900s.


Owners: 1892-1907: The Rendalls had 403 and 409 built in 1892, and lived at 409 Simcoe (ex-130 Simcoe) for many years. They were born at Westray on the Orkney Islands of Northern Scotland. Robert left as a young man to pursue his fortune in California, then moved to Mexico. He was a miner for many years, and in c.1858 came to BC for the Fraser River gold rush. He first came to Victoria in 1865, but then moved to Maple Bay for about three years. He returned here and married newcomer Ann Hourston in 1868. Robert purchased five acres in James Bay from HBC, and likely farmed for some time. He later subdivided the land and ran Rendall St through it. Ann died in 1908, Robert in 1910, both at 84.


Tenants: 1893: Frank L. Neale, Secretary-Treasurer of The Williams Official BC Directory Co Ltd may have been the first resident.
1895: John Godson, a customs officer.
1898-1901: Alexander Muir (b. IRL c.1861-1919) and Florence (née Rumming, b. London, ENG c.1875-1963). Alexander came to Victoria in 1890, Florence in 1897. Alexander was an accountant with Wilson Bros. 1902-04: Alfred Schroeder (b. Chesley, ON, 1876-1969) and Marjorie Augusta “Gussie” (née Bell, b. Berlin, ON 1878-1969) (106 South Turner St, James Bay, 1448 Grant St, Fernwood).

Owners: 1907-08: William Thomson, an engineer.

1909-27: Mary Ellen (née Dobbin, b. Peterborough, ON d.1927) and James Daniel Neelands (b. Brampton, ON c.1839-1917) were retired farmers.
1928-29: Alice E. Porter, widow of F.C. Porter.
1930: W. Irvine Ward, Empress Hotel laundry superintendent.
1931-32: Frederick J. McWade, warrant writer, RCN.

1933-38: Frederick Robe (b. Bristol, ENG 1885-1969) and Catherine (née Carter, b. Tredegar, Wales 1889-1973) came to Victoria in 1930. Frederick, a landscape gardener, was a member of Britannia Branch No.7, Royal Canadian Legion for years. He served with the Grenadier Guards in WWI, and Veterans’ Guard of Canada in WWII. He was a member of the Corps of Commissionaires for many years. Catherine was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary, Royal Canadian Legion.

1939-48: Edward Baker (b. Birmingham, ENG) and Barbara (née Brown) came here in 1923. Edward, a salesman, then proprietor of a stationery store, died at 54 in 1963 as the result of a car accident.

1949-55+: Retirees George F. and Isabelle Lynch.


• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

• Before & Afters

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

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