Heritage Register

1201-03 Yukon Street
(ex-1 then 1203 Whittaker Rd)

Built 1892
Heritage-Designated 1985

For: William & Mary Whittaker


Five lots on Yukon (1201-03, 1209, 1213, 1217 & 1221) were owned by William Whittaker, who, in 1892, subdivided the land and built six homes as rental properties. He paid taxes on the properties until at least 1911. The sixth house, 1225, was demolished in 1938. By 1946 the street, which had been called Whittaker for over 50 years, was renamed Yukon St. This group of five houses is of particular importance in that it represents one of the few well-preserved streetscapes of this housing type in Victoria.

This two-storey, hipped-roof Italianate house has a gabled single-storey rear wing. With its corner location on Chambers St, it was Whittaker’s showpiece. It is wider than the others and is the only one with decorated sandwich eaves brackets. On the right side is a full-height, hip-roofed square bay. A prominent pent roof separates the first and second floors. The right and left sides of the house have matching piano windows towards the front on the lower floor. A shed-roofed entry porch on the left front has square posts and solid balusters with cutouts. The pent roof is shingled with a narrow band of upright T&G below, and the body of the house has v-groove siding. It has two corbelled brick chimneys. On the right side, a shallow, hip-roofed dormer with three multi-paned casement windows is a recent addition. This house was converted to duplex in 1961.


Owners: 1892-1903: William Whittaker (b. Staleybridge, Lancs, ENG, 1840-1923) and Mary Elizabeth (née Bray, b. Stockport, Cheshire, ENG, 1840-1904) emigrated to Lonsdale, RI, in 1867 then to Victoria in 1878. William was the proprietor of Victoria Bath & Hair Dressing Salon at 59 Douglas St until the business was taken over by their son Albert Edward. William and Mary lived at 19 Chambers St, adjacent to 1203 Yukon St, from before 1887. By 1908, their daughter Mary Frances “Mamie” and her husband John Nicola Moore, a rancher from Nicola, BC, were living with William at 19 Chambers, renumbered 1715. Now demolished, Whittaker family members were still living in the house in 1963.

1903-11: The Whittakers’ eldest son Samuel (1861-1955) signed as owner of the six houses on the plumbing permit. Sam married Christina Irvine (1858-1913) in 1884. [Note: She was the daughter of John and Jessie Irvine who arrived from the Orkney Islands, SCT, in 1851 on The Tory as servants of the Hudson’s Bay Co. In 1862 they bought 300 acres in the Cedar Hill district and established Rose Bank Farm. Christina’s brother John Jr. “Long Gun Jack” Irvine married Sam’s sister Alice Whittaker in 1883; as Saanich road foreman, Jack supervised the construction of Shelbourne St in 1916.] Sam and Christine lived around the corner at 32 Alfred (now 1156 Balmoral Rd). Sam was a barber, then taxidermist at the Provincial Museum. Sam and Christina’s daughter Elizabeth Jane Laing married Alexander “Wallace” McMorran (1347 Vining St, Fernwood).


Tenants: 1892-93: David Jenkins, a shoemaker and later a miner, came to Canada from Wales via the USA in 1884; Joseph Henry Emery, a chemist and druggist at Shotbolt’s Drugstore, came to Canada from England in 1890.
1895-1900: The Ray family. Robert Ray was a blacksmith, Charles Ray a clerk at the GPO.
1902: Alfred and Flora Emma Huggett immigrated to Canada from Brighton, England, in 1888 with their baby daughter Hilda Flora. Alfred was foreman of a furnishing house and later an interior decorator. Their son Percy later owned 1923 Belmont Av, Fernwood.

1902-09: Colonist stationary engineer Benjamin Taverner (b. London, ENG, 1864-1922) and Sophia Annie (née Holness, b. Victoria, 1871-1946) married in Victoria in 1901. Ben came to Canada in 1882, and boarded with Mrs. Abigail Crawford (1243 Rudlin St, Fernwood) from 1899 until his marriage.
1910-11: Rancher Arthur Hinder lived in the house and sublet several rooms. He was the guardian of the orphaned Joseph Haegert (1516 Pembroke St, Fernwood), whom he had recently brought from England. [The small park at the NE corner of Chambers and Yukon, across from this house, is named for the Haegert family.]

Owners: 1912-16: Carpenter/contractor Samuel Steckley Lehman (b. Markham, ON, 1850-1931) and Elizabeth Jane “Lizzie” (née Gowdy, b. Clinton, ON, 1864-1924) married in 1891. Samuel’s family were Mennonite farmers who emigrated from Switzerland to Pennsylvania, then to Ontario in the early 1800s. In 1877 he was the first of his family to marry outside the Mennonite religion. He and his first wife, Mary Anne Smith moved to Toronto and in 1885 to Victoria. Mary Anne died that year after the birth of their only child. Samuel’s three brothers were in Victoria by 1890, all building houses in this neighbourhood.

1916: The Lehmans sold the house back to William Whittaker. There were then periods of vacancy interspersed with short term renters including the Rev. Wilson W. Barker, pastor of the Church of the Nazarene.
Tenants: 1923: The Rivers brothers, William Robert David, Charles Edward and Albert Vincent, all painters, in 1924 lived at 1209 Yukon St. In 1922 Charles married Marion Louise and in 1927 they lived at 917 Catherine St, Vic West. They were born at Shawnigan Lake and Victoria. William Jr became a longshoreman and cement plant worker for Evans-Coleman, Charles an engineer and maintenance man for St Joseph’s Hospital and St Ann’s, and Albert, the head painter for St Joseph’s.

Owners: 1925-56: Samuel Frederick Newell (b. Ottawa ON, 1886-1956) and Margaret Maud (née Robertson, b. South River, ON, 1881-1969) spent some years in Calgary, AB, where their children were all born. Sam was a salesman for the Columbia Paper Co for 32 years, retiring in 1948. Their offspring included: Howard Kingsley worked for Bapco Paint and then in cartage. Royal Bank clerk Allan. Golden West Bakery salesman Donald Frederick. Woolworth saleswomen Lillian Grace and Maymie Irene.

1990s-2012: Owner Yumie Kono (b. Hiroshima, Japan, 1944) has rehabilitated the house. She grew up in the pottery town of Matsue, near Tokyo and studied art at the University of Tokyo. She married a Canadian and came here in 1973. Yumie studied at the Banff School of Fine Arts and University of Victoria, and has had a number of exhibitions of her work since 1984.


• Fernwood History

• Fernwood Heritage Register

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

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