Heritage Register
Victoria West

212 Raynor Avenue (ex-212 Jessie St)

Built 1906
Heritage-Designated 1991

For: George & Eliza Michell

Architect: John Charles Malcolm Keith

212 Raynor


This is an unusual 1½-storey Edwardian Vernacular Arts & Crafts house, in that it is side-gabled and its length is placed parallel to the street. The main front gable is a large roof dormer. There is an angled bay on the left front, separated from a large inset porch by the entrance hall with its leaded glass window. Classical columns, paired at the corner, ornament the porch. There is a full-height gabled extension at the rear which now gives access to an upper apartment. The exterior, aside from the half-timbered front gable, is clad in double-bevelled siding. J.C.M. Keith has been identified as the architect from the 1906 plumbing permit, which he signed as agent for owner.


1906-25: George Thomas Michell (b. South Saanich, 1870-1963) was the son of Thomas and Margaret Michell. [Note: his parents came from Swansea, Wales, around the Horn on the Silistria in 1862. They found gold in the Cariboo and opened the What-Cheer House on Yates St: this became the Dominion, now Dalton, Hotel. In 1866 they began farming in the Keating Valley on Saanich Peninsula. The Michell family still farms and sells produce in Central Saanich.] In 1896 George married Eliza Penington “Lallie” McGraw (b. Egremont, Cheshire, ENG, 1877-1968) in St. Saviour’s Church (310 Henry St, Vic West); they were married 66 years. Lallie came here in 1890 with her mother Catherine and two siblings, following her father John McGraw, a marine engineer who came in 1888. In 1901 George and Lallie lived at 85 Superior St and employed a 14-year-old Chinese servant, Chew. The Michells’ offspring were Catherine Margaret, who worked as a stenographer until her marriage, and merchant John Ralph “Jack”.

George, a machinist, worked many years for E.G. Prior & Co, travelling Vancouver Island by horse and buggy selling farm implements and hardware. He then formed his own company, George T. Michell & Sons at Cowichan Station, and represented Massey Harris on the Island. From 1928 he was Superintendent of Roads for North Saanich and the Gulf Islands. George and Lallie lost their farm in North Saanich to the DND during WWII when it became part of Patricia Bay Airport.

George was president of the Saanich Pioneer Society, and a 50-year-plus member of both Victoria Columbia Lodge No.1 AF&AM and United Commercial Travellers. He attended every Saanichton Exhibition for 92 years starting at aged two with the first fair in 1868; for 11 years he attended as president of the North & South Saanich Agricultural Society. He was a founder of the Potato Marketing Board, which became the BC Coast Marketing Board.


1926: Sgt. Maj. Lionel Swift, CA, and his wife, Patricia.

1927-37: Richard Charles Wood (b. Silver Island, ON, 1881-1948) and Annie Louise (née St. Onge, b. Victoria, 1881) married in Victoria in 1906. Richard was a driver for 35 years for Silver Spring Brewery, then Phoenix Brewery, retiring in 1945.

1939-42: George Alexander Renton (b. Napier, NZ, 1888-1944), “artificer” and ordinance foreman, ROM, HMC Dockyard, his wife Catherine M. (née Crean, b. Co Wexford, IRL, 1896-1974) and their son, Leading Seaman George M. Renton, RCN. Their son CPO 1st Class Robert Oliver “Bob” Renton, RCN, served 26 years in the navy through WWII, the Korean Conflict and various peacekeeping missions. He then worked at DND Dockyard, the Royal Canadian Legion, with the Commissionaires and as a correctional officer.

1944-45: Yarrows electrician Gerald Robert and Hulda Caroline Morgan married in Vancouver in 1930.

1947-67: Retired carpenter Charles David “Charlie” Francis (b. Colchester, ENG, 1884-1966), Amelia (née Upex, b. Peterborough, ENG, 1884-1969), and their son David J. Francis, a bricklayer.


• Vic West History

• Vic West Heritage Register

• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume One: Fernwood & Victoria West

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