Heritage Register

1745 Rockland Avenue (ex-84 Rockland Av)

Built 1899
Heritage-Designated 2010

For: Ernest Victor Bodwell*

Architect: Francis Mawson Rattenbury
Contractor: William Gregson

1745 Rockland


“Residence on Rockland avenue for E.V. Bodwell: W. Gregson, contractor: price about $4,000. Building to be rockfaced stone, shingled walls, hall panelled in cedar. F.M. Rattenbury architect.” Canadian Contract Record, 27 Sept. 1899 pg. 4.

This 2½-storey house is one of Victoria’s best examples of the Shingle Style, a mixture of American and British Arts & Crafts influences. It has a steeply-pitched, side-gabled roof with a prominent, front-facing pedimented gable over a nine-light leaded and mullioned window bay; a small vent in the gable has been replaced by a bank of three narrow windows under the original semicircular motif. To the left of the bay is a parapet or decorative balcony immediately above a bank of three small windows. To the left of the parapet is a smaller pedimented gable above two windows. There is a complete absence of visible eaves, rafters or bargeboards. A denticulated belt course separates the rustic stonework of the main floor from the shingles above. The body of the house originally had brown shingles which blended with the roof in typical Shingle Style. The attached carriage house on the left has been enclosed and is now a garage. The curved roofline and the small pyramidal hood above the front door emphasises the unusual triangular composition of this façade.


1899-1900: Ernest Victor Bodwell, 1630 Rockland Av. “Residence Changes Hands - The handsome residence erected on Rockland avenue for E.V. Bodwell, QC has been purchased by L.P. Duff who will almost immediately occupy the same, after certain alterations and improvements have been made.” VDC 30 January 1900 pg.5


1900-06: E.V. Bodwell’s partner, Sir Lyman Poore Duff (b. Meaford, ON 1865-1955) and Elizabeth Eleanor (née Bird, 1865-1926) married in 1898 in Ontario. Lyman studied law at Osgoode Hall, Toronto, and was called to the bar in Ontario in 1893, and BC in 1895. Before marriage, Duff lodged at 321 Belleville St, James Bay, with young lawyers Francis Brooke Gregory, later of the BC Supreme Court, and Gordon Hunter, later Chief Justice, BC Supreme Court. Lyman and Hunter became partners, then in 1897 Lyman joined the firm of Bodwell & Irving. He was appointed to the BC Supreme Court in 1904, then the Supreme Court of Canada in 1906; the Duffs then moved to Ottawa. In 1914 he was made a member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom. In 1933 he became Canada’s Chief Justice, and the following year, King George V made him a Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. In 1931 and 1944 he served as Canada’s acting Governor General, the first Canadian in the post. Sir Lyman retired as Chief Justice in 1944 and remained in Ottawa. He visited Victoria in 1938 and was given a tour of 1745 by its owner, Eleanor Gray.

1906-10: The Hon Robert Garnett Tatlow (b. Co Down, IRL, 1854-1910), a Vancouver MLA 1900-09 and Minister of Finance and Agriculture in Richard McBride’s government, and Elizabeth Mary (née Cambie, b. Quebec 1871-1944), the daughter of CPR engineer Henry Cambie, for whom Vancouver’s Cambie St was named, married in 1894. Robert came to Montreal in 1870, joined the militia and came to Victoria in 1879 with “B” Battery, stationed at Beacon Hill Park. Tatlow Park in Kitsilano, Vancouver, was named for him. Robert died after his horse trap struck a telephone pole. Elizabeth returned to Vancouver.

1911-36: James Albert Lindsay (b. Ontario c.1866- 1930) came to BC in 1888, then had an orange grove in California. He moved to Vancouver, was a purser on James Dunsmuir’s SS Amelia, then Dunsmuir’s manager and secretary. He retired in 1911 when the Dunsmuirs sold their interests. In 1909 he married Naomi Ellen Adair, of Brantford, ON. She died in London, ENG, in 1920. James lived here until 1929, but died in London. His second wife Mary Blythe Lindsay (1863-1936), lived here until her death.

1938-64: Dr. Thomas Wesley Alvin Gray (b. Millbrook, ON 1897-1986) and Eleanor Elizabeth (née Hislop) married in St. Thomas, ON in 1926. They lived at 1064 Beverley Pl, Rockland, in 1933-37. Dr. Gray died in Victoria.

* From research by Jim Wolf.


• Map of Victoria's Heritage Register Properties

• Rockland History

• Rockland Heritage Register

• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume Three: Rockland, Burnside, Harris Green,
Hillside-Quadra, North Park & Oaklands

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