Heritage Register

725 Vancouver Street (ex-47 Vancouver St)
St. Bernards

Built 1892
Heritage-Designated 1977

For: Hedley Chapman

Architect: John Teague
Contractors: Bishop & Sherborne

725 Vancouver

725, 731, 737 & 743 VANCOUVER ST,

These six houses (725, 731, 737 & 743 Vancouver St, 1012 Richardson St, 1011 McClure St) were part of a group of eight designed by John Teague for Hedley Chapman, a British investor. The BC Land and Investment Agency acted as agents for Chapman and arranged for the construction of the houses. P.R. Brown, who worked for the BCLIA, signed the original plumbing permit.

These houses are in Teague’s half-Italianate, half-Queen Anne style that typified much of his residential work in this period. All are 2-storey with jettied and pedimented front gables with shingles in varied patterns, and hipped roofs in the rear. There are brackets under the closed eaves. All have a full-height bay on one side of the front with a pedimented and jettied gable. The gables are shingled in varied patterns and have a segmental window in the peak. Each bay is square on the upper floor, over an angled, cutaway main floor. A pent roof with a frieze decorated with rectangular panels separates the two levels of the bay; a strip with larger rectangular panels is under the ground floor window. Two houses on corner lots have 2-storey square side bays on the same side as the front one, with features similar to it. A pent roof on the side joins those on the two bays. The other four houses have a single-storey square side bay in place of the 2-storey one. They are clad in drop siding.

All houses have a 1-storey entry porch on the opposite corner to the front bay. It has a pedimented, shingled gable supported by brackets, with spindled supports, balustrade, and decorative work under the roof. Most of the windows are 2-over-1 double-hung sashes with horns. Each house has a pair of sunburst brackets parallel to the front of the house in the upper corners of the cutaway window, and another pair perpendicular to the housefront in the corners under the eaves of the front gable; the houses differ in the details of these ornaments. Some of the houses have ornamental features on their bargeboards and entry porches.

In 1894 the BCLIA advised Chapman to sell due to a decline in property values. Gertrude (Jeffree) Cunningham purchased all four lots and eight houses in 1895 as an investment, and held title to five of the homes until 1908 when she subdivided the property into six lots and sold them. Gertrude was the daughter of J.W. Jeffree, a pioneer clothing merchant and uncle of W.J. Pendray (309 Belleville St, James Bay). In 1881 she married Robert A. Cunningham who subsequently became involved in her father’s business and then, in 1897 went to seek his fortune in the Klondike gold fields where he remained for several years.

The two houses which are no longer there (old numbers 51 and 55) were moved from the site between 1905 and 1906, to three blocks away at 435 and 441 Vancouver St where they stood until they were moved again in 1964 to James Bay. They have since been demolished.

A plumbed water closet (bathroom) attached to the rear, separate shed and an access lane which ran straight through from McClure St (ex-Scoresby) to Richardson St were all included in the plan. This development was the eighth in the city to be connected to the new municipal sewer system.

Since there were six houses built along Vancouver Street, and the four remaining homes are not evenly spaced, it is reasonable to suggest that 731 was moved to the north, probably at the same time that the other two houses were moved down the street. The original distance between the homes was 12 feet.

1011 McClure: This house has the same basic structure as the others, but has been stripped of all decorative features and is covered with bottle-glass stucco in two shades of grey. It still retains its original double-sash windows with horns.

With thanks to Carey Pallister for historical research.


725 Vancouver St has a right front bay and a single-storey side bay. Its porch supports and balustrades are square, rather than spindled. There is an ironwork feature on only one corner of its pent roof, and diamonds on the bargeboard. Its sunburst brackets have seven rounded beams. The house was covered in asbestos siding for many years; this was removed in 2008, the siding restored, and house given a period colour scheme.


The first occupant of this house was Ellen C. Bouchier (c.1837-1910), a widow who lived here until 1897. Miss Julie Devereux (c.1845-1920) lived here 1898-1902, and was a teacher at Angela College (923 Burdett St, Fairfield). She previously lived at 55 Vancouver (see previous), where for several years she operated the English Academy, a school for young women. She was later an employment agent.


Clara Amy King (Gardiner, 1856-1943) lived here c.1905-11. She was born in Valparaiso, Chile, and came to BC with her family c.1860. In 1887 she married Alfred Nelson Codrington King (c.1841-1899), an accountant, who later died of cerebral paralysis. She came to Victoria with her children in 1901. Her daughter Sibyl Nelson King (1894-1978) married Ernest Saunders Ware (320 Linden Av, Fairfield).

Richard Tanner, a plumber, lived here c.1912-14. By 1917, carpenter John D. Corke was the occupant, followed by Percy Stoddard in 1921. Walter Hichens-Smith, a marine engineer, lived here in the mid-1920s.

Thomas Charles (1881-1955) and Linda (Hugall, 1894-1976) Smith bought the house in about 1931 and lived here until 1952. Born in South Wales, Thomas was a coal miner who served with the Durham Light Infantry during the Boer War and with the 13th Field Ambulance during WWI. He came to BC in 1910 and to Victoria in 1914. He was a steward with the Canadian Legion.

The Smiths rented a room to Sun Life insurance agent Ethel K. Gray for several years in the 1940s.


• Statement of Significance (Canadian Register of Historic Places)

• GIS Map of Victoria's Heritage Register Properties

• Fairfield History

• Fairfield Heritage Register

• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume Four: Fairfield, Gonzales & Jubilee

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