Heritage Register

1270 Yates Street (ex-308 Yates St)

Built 1901
Heritage-Designated 1976

For: Albert & Mary Mitchell

1270 Yates


Rossland is a landmark structure at the head of Yates St and Fernwood Rd. It is a two-storey, bellcast, hip-roofed Queen Anne house with a prominent front-facing tower. The tower sits above what was a second-floor Moorish-arched open balcony. The unusual feature of this tower is that it is square. It has a flared Witch’s cap roof and multiple brackets in the eaves. A small, bracketed, shallow hip-roofed dormer sits on the front face of the tower roof. There are triple windows on all three sides of the tower. The main roof is a complex of many hips with modillions under the eaves; a wide dentilated frieze is continuous around the building. A rounded ornate oriel window on the left side lower floor sits forward of a shallow, full-height box bay. On the right side is a two-storey angled bay with a shallow faceted hipped roof. Its roof sits on another hip which is supplementary to the main steep hip. There is an angled, hip-roofed bay on the left front which has a similar configuration to the bay and its roofs on the right. The lower façade is a full-width, wrap-around verandah; the right side, which extended to the bay, has now been filled in. The verandah has multiple Tuscan columns, which are typical of Classical Revival style, as are the modillions and dentals in the frieze. There are shallow arches above the column capitals, and small, square balusters in the balustrade. There are shaped shingles on the second floor and bevelled siding on the main. The house has many stained glass windows. A shed-roofed dormer with drop siding has been added on the left roof. The house became a nursing home in 1936 and an apartment in 1952. In the 1980s owners extended the apartment into the Victorian garden at the rear, demolishing an old greenhouse and an ancient Queen Ann cherry tree.


1901-34: Albert Hugh Mitchell (b. Ontario 1867) and Mary Elizabeth “Lily” (née Bunting, b. Victoria 1866-1919) married in Victoria in 1897. Albert had already established a jewellery firm with William Challoner as Challoner, Mitchell & Co, diamond merchants at 1017 Government St. After their marriage the Mitchells lived in Rossland, BC, where Albert managed a branch of the store. They returned to Victoria by 1900 and lived at 4 Superior St while Rossland was built across Fernwood Rd from Lily’s widowed mother Jane. Albert was enumerated twice in the 1901 census, at home and as a patient at the Provincial Royal Jubilee Hospital. In 1910 both Challoner and Mitchell retired from active involvement in the company; several employees became shareholders and took over management. One was J. Walter Duncan: by 1917 the firm was Mitchell & Duncan Ltd, with Albert Mitchell continuing as president of the company until at least the 1930s. He died out of province.


1934-35: John and May Fleming Stewart married in Victoria in 1915. John had a shoe store at 1613 Douglas St, just south of HBC.

1936-51: Lebanon Nursing Home, owned and managed by contractor Sidney Charles Trerise (1883-1969), with the assistance of Miss Marjorie Ridley, who lived at the home. Shortly after the death of his first wife in 1937, Sidney married Marjorie. He moved out of his 1011 Redfern St home that he and his partners had built in 1913 (with 1003 and 1007), and he and Marjorie lived at 1270 Yates. Sidney came from The Lizard Head, Cornwall, England, c.1905 with Edward and James Williams. They established the contracting firm Williams Trerise & Williams, which in 1950 became Williams Bray & Williams when Sidney retired. Williams Trerise & Williams built many houses and worked with many architects, including: Wm Ridgway Wilson in 1912 on additions to 1369 Rockland Av, Rockland; L.W. Hargreaves in 1912 on 342 Arnold Av, Fairfield; C. Elwood Watkins in 1916-17 on Tillicum School at 3155 Albina St, in Saanich; K.B. Spurgin & R.G. Rice in 1920 on the Saanich War Memorial Health Centre at 4353 West Saanich Rd; Samuel Maclure in 1925-26 on additions to 811 St. Charles St, Rockland, in 1928 on 611 Foul Bay Rd and 1928-29 on additions to 515 Foul Bay Rd, both Gonzales; and P.L. James in 1949 on the St. James Mission of Christ Church Cathedral School at 520 Niagara St. James Bay. They also built summer cottages at Cordova Bay in Saanich.

Panayoti Vassili “Peter” William Rapanos (b. Planetero, Greece, 1903-1995) purchased the house and turned it into the 12-suite Olympic Apartments, which it remained for almost 50 years. Peter left Greece following his two older brothers who had immigrated to Saskatoon, SK, in 1925. His elder brother Costas “Gus” came to Victoria in 1940, opened the Melrose Cafe at 622 Yates St, and told his brothers to come. They came in 1942. Peter ran the Olympia Cafe at 752 Yates, and Thomas ran the Club or Cameo Cafe at 642 Yates. These were some of the busiest restaurants in Victoria during the 1940s. Peter married Mary/Maria Golfinopoulos (b. Kandalo, Kalavrita, Greece, 1906-1973) in Saskatoon c.1928. They and their family lived at 2733 Bowker Av in Oak Bay from 1943 until moving to Vancouver in 1957. Mary worked in both the restaurant and the Olympic Apts. Peter and Mary moved to Vancouver because their older offspring were going to UBC, and Mary wanted to be closer to them. They finally sold the Olympic Apts c.1982 for $129,000.

It has now been renamed Rossland Apartments.


• Statement of Significance (Canadian Register of Historic Places)

• Fernwood History

• Fernwood Heritage Register

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

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