Heritage Register
James Bay

218-20 St Andrews Street

Built pre-1903; 1913
Heritage-Designated 2010

For: Carr Family; Alice Carr

218 St Andrews


This home & former schoolhouse is a one-storey, front-gabled wood framed vernacular Edwardian Cottage. The original front-gabled structure is clad in drop siding, and is surrounded by several additions. Attached to the right side is a long, sloping, cat-slide roof covering a shed addition. A lower gabled portion with a shed roof has been added to the left front of the original structure. These sections are all covered in bullnosed, double-bevelled siding with double-coursed shingles in the gable. There are two small gabled additions at the rear which are clad in drop siding. Two small porches are located on the right side, with a narrow shed-roofed verandah at the left rear. The tall red brick internal chimney has a corbelled cap.


Alice Mary Carr’s (b. Victoria, 1869-1953) home has historical importance for its association with Victoria’s Carr family, as Alice’s kindergarten and as Emily Carr’s studio 1919-22 and 1940-45. Upon arriving in Victoria in 1863, Richard Carr purchased ten acres of the Hudson’s Bay Co former Beckley Farm and built the family house, 207 Government St, just west of the newly created Beacon Hill Park. In 1911, the five sisters subdivided the last of the family acreage into lots; each took one and they sold the rest, keeping the family house. In 1913 sisters Alice, Emily (642-646 Simcoe St(House of All Sorts) and Edith (231 St Andrews St) all built houses behind the family house on three of the lots; Lizzie lived with Edith, and Clara moved to Vancouver. These four houses comprise a significant heritage enclave.

The original section of Alice’s house is thought to have been the gardener’s cottage for the Carr estate, built on the site of the old vegetable garden; the original section appears in the 1903 FIP. Alice had it expanded in 1913 to form a diminutive residence and a schoolroom. Alice opened her kindergarten at 620 Battery St, James Bay, c.1898, but c.1906-07 appears to have moved it into the old family home at 207 Government. She moved into her new home at 218 the day after Christmas 1913, and taught there briefly. She then took a job in 1914-22 as nanny to architect A.R. Hennell’s young children, first at 550 Simcoe, James Bay, then later in Oak Bay. Edith and sister Lizzie lived in 218 in 1914-15, and Emily used 218 as her studio c.1919-22. When the Hennells moved to New York, Alice went back to 218 and reopened her kindergarten, with a small number of constantly changing pupils. Alice lived upstairs and had the schoolroom and dining room there. She boarded a few needy pupils, who slept in the lower original section in little bunks under two brass porthole windows. She regularly cooked Sunday dinner for herself, her boarders, and her sisters Emily and Lizzie until Lizzie’s death in 1936. In 1936, Alice retired because she was losing her eyesight..

In 1939 the house Emily had been renting at 316 Beckley St was sold. She decided that Alice could move into the smaller old section of the St Andrews house, so that she could live in Alice’s old schoolroom and dining room, which, with some modifications and a large floor-to-ceiling window, could become her home and studio. Alterations accomplished, Emily moved in on the 25th February 1940, and her animals and birds moved into the back verandah, several sheds, and a large part of the back yard.

Two years apart in age and both unmarried, Alice and Emily’s adult lives were intimately intertwined. Alice went to England with Emily for three months in 1901 but came home while Emily remained for painting lessons.When Alice became depressed after cutting off the tip of a finger in 1907, Emily took her on a painting expedition to Alaska. In 1910-11 Alice spent a year in London, Paris and Sweden (where she studied the Swedish school system) learning French while Emily took more painting lessons. Emily produced humourous diaries of the last two trips, with many caricatures of Alice and herself. Alice often cared for Emily, who suffered from ill health. Alice also provided a substantial mortgage to Emily for her House of All Sorts. Emily lived in 218 from 1940-45 but intermittantly was in health care facilities during that period. She died in 1945 in St. Mary’s Priory guest house in what is now the James Bay Inn. Alice resided in her house until her death in October 1953 at the age of 85.


1949-50: Alice’s former charge Paul Victor Hennell (b. Victoria 1917-1997) and his wife Marion (Currie) rented 218. Paul was in the RAF and Europe during WWII and for some years afterwards.

1951-58: Alice’s friend, sculptor Jan Zach (b. Slany, Czechoslovakia, 1914-1986) and his Victoria-born wife Judith Monk lived in 218, then 220 after Alice’s death. Zach was in New York decorating the Czech Pavilion for the 1939 World’s Fair when the Nazis invaded his homeland, and he never went back. He spent the 1940s in Brazil and married Judith in 1947. They lived in Victoria from 1951-58, and Zach established an art school here; Elza Mayhew (330 St. Lawrence St, James Bay) was one of his pupils. In 1958 he joined the faculty of the University of Oregon, teaching sculpture. His works attained an international reputation.

1966-2017: Owners Pelham Harold Richardson (b. Worthing, Sussex, ENG, 1902-1975) and Marjorie Kathleen (née Halling, b. Isle of Wight, ENG, 1904-2008) were married in Kamsack, SK, in 1932. They first lived in Winnipeg where Pelham was musical director of CKY radio. A concert violinist, he studied at the Belgium Conservatory of Music. Marjorie was a watercolorist and had classes with famed Canadian artist W.J. Phillips in Winnipeg. The Richardsons’ daughter Barbara Saunders moved into the house after her father died. Barbara, too, was an artist. In 1955-59 she studied at the Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr University of Art & Design) under such notable artists as Jack Shadboldt, Peter Aspell, Orville Fisher and Bruno Bobak, among others.


• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

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

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