147 Ontario Street
For: John & Jane Foote
Situated on the high side of the Ontario-Montreal intersection this seven room house built for $2,900 dominates the site. The elements that make this a distinctively Edwardian Vernacular Arts & Crafts house include the asymmetrical lower front façade and symmetrical upper, the steeply-pitched gabled roof with prominent gabled dormers, dentils, finials on all apexes, and integral porch with bay window. A sleeping porch in the front gable distinguishes this example, defined by large sandwich brackets and a bracketed obtruding “Juliet” balcony. Below it the recessed, full-width porch wraps round the south corner, leading to the front-facing door. The porch includes an octagonal bay with clusters of Tuscan columns at each end, and wide, off-centre steps completed with banisters and cheeks. Each level is defined by a dentilated stringcourse. The main floor is finished in double drop siding, while shingles face the lower and upper storeys. A strong design element also controls the façade facing the cross street: a two-storey box bay, flowing into a gabled dormer. A substantial stone wall outlines the front garden. This house has a similar front façade to 647 Niagara.
Capt. John Calvin Foote, his wife Jane, and their family resided here until 1928. John married Jane Burrell in Yarmouth, NS, in 1888; they came to Victoria in 1892 on the square-rigger H.B. Cann, with John as skipper. He worked for the Dunsmuirs, then the BCCSS on the City of Nanaimo. John was a marine pilot with the Nanaimo, then the Victoria, then the amalgamated BC Pilotage Authority until he retired in 1929. A life deacon of First Baptist Church and a charter member of IOOF, Columbia Lodge No 2, he died in 1949 at 89. Jane predeceased him in 1941 at 74.
Three of the Foote’s sons lived here at various times. Allan Burrell Foote, the eldest, married Victoria-born dental assistant Mamie McMillan in 1923, and moved to Cordova Bay. Allan was a mechanic, then machinist at Yarrows until he retired in 1950. Mamie died in 1936 at 42, Allan in Vancouver at 68. Dr. John Calvin Foote, the youngest, was a dentist. He married Laura Jennings in 1926, and they lived in Victoria. Gerald Foote married Evelyn Johnson in 1929 and they moved to Vancouver.
This house then housed many families. George Hawthorn, a crumpet baker, and his wife Dorothy lived here in 1933-34. From 1935 to the late 1930s, James and Amelia Leckie resided here. James was a longshoreman. By the late 1940s, Robert and Flora Lowe were living here. Robert was a corporal in the RCN.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & IMAGES:
• James Bay History
• James Bay Heritage Register
• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume Two: James Bay