Heritage Register

800 St. Charles Street
The Grange

Built 1912

For: Robert & Elizabeth Fraser

Architect: Thomas Hooper

800 St Charles


This two-storey, gabled Arts & Crafts house has exposed rafter tails. All gables have bracketed string courses and are half-timbered. The Rockland façade has an offset gabled box bay with a sleeping porch above the former main entrance porch; both porches are now enclosed. The St. Charles façade has a gabled box bay with a hiproofed angled bay on its lower front. Both box bays are full-height, but the ridge of the main roof is higher. To the right a bracketed, flat-roofed canopy shelters the now main entry door and sidelights. The right side of the house has a gabled extension with an angled bay. The rear has a large art glass window. All the windows are multi-light casements in banks of three. The brick basement has segmentally-arched windows; the main floor has roughcast stucco, with half-timbering above. The brick chimneys are simply corbelled. There is a matching garage. The garden has a crenallated stone wall with a wrought iron gate.


1912-25: Dr. Roderick L. Fraser (1859-1925) and his wife, Elizabeth (née Thomson, 1866-1934). Roderick was born in Kincardine, ON, and educated as a teacher. He came here c.1883 and taught at South Saanich School. In 1887 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Scottish immigrants William and Margaret Thomson, at their home, Bannockburn, near Mt. Newton in Central Saanich. Roderick went to Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, graduating in 1891. He opened his medical office at the corner of Yates and Douglas Sts, then was City Health Officer until 1900. Roderick gained a reputation for kindness and compassion, as did Elizabeth, who often accompanied him on house calls. In 1901 he built a brick residence and offices at Broughton and Douglas Sts (where the Sussex now stands), designed by Thomas Hooper (demolished in 1937). In 1912 he built this home to provide a quieter family home, keeping his offices downtown until 1924. Roderick was a member of the BC Medical Council and the Dominion Council, and staff member of Royal Jubilee and St. Joseph’s Hospitals.


1926-31: Their son William “Allan” Fraser (1898- 1973), a physician with offices on Douglas St, lived in this house until 1929 with his mother. Allan married Laura Eng in the 1930s. He served overseas during WWI and WWII. From 1939-46 he was with the RCA Medical Corps in charge of No.12 General Hospital in Belgium. When he returned to Victoria he joined BC Medical Insurance as a consultant. Allan’s sister Katherine “Kitty” Fraser then lived in 800 St Charles with her husband Raymond Castle, president of R.F. Castle & Co, financial agents. In 1931 the Castles moved to 582 St. Charles St with Kitty’s mother; Elizabeth died there in 1934.

1933-38: Guy and Christina Langton. Guy was the agent for Vancouver Island Coals.

1939-45: BC Supreme
Court Justice Harold Bruce Robertson (1875-1961) and Helen McGregor (née Rogers, 1880-1969). Harold’s father, Alexander Rocke Robertson (1841-1881), a lawyer, was Victoria’s mayor in 1870-71, an MLA and Provincial Secretary from 1871-79, and was named to the bench in 1880. After Alexander’s death, his wife Margaret (1845- 1912) took their seven sons to Ontario to complete their education, then returned to Victoria with them. Harold earned his law degree at University of Toronto’s Osgoode Hall and was called to the Ontario bar in 1897. He and Helen married in Peterborough, ON, in 1903. Harold dabbled briefly in politics, winning a 1906 by-election for the Victoria seat in the BC Legislature. Several months later, his party lost the election and Harold retired from politics. Harold practised law in Victoria until 1925, then moved to Vancouver where he was associated with the firm Robertson, Douglas & Symes. He came back to Victoria in 1933 when he was appointed to the Supreme Court. He was elevated to the BC Appeal Court in 1943, and retired in 1955.

1946-47: James N. Taylor, manager of the Bank of Montreal.

1948-49: Bruce and Amelia Thompson. Bruce was an underwriter with Mutual Life Insurance Co.

1950-57: William Gregory operated this property as The Grange guesthouse.


• 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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