Heritage Register
James Bay

526 Toronto Street (ex-123 Toronto St)
Durham Cottage

Built 1904
Heritage-Designated 1993

For: Percy Richardson

526 Toronto


This one-storey, Edwardian cottage is hip-roofed with a hip-roofed angled bay on its right front. A hip-roofed porch to the left of the bay has one fretwork bracket, slender, chamfered, square posts and tall, square balusters. The front-facing steps have similar balusters. The house is shingled both above and below the watertable. There is one wide, corbelled brick chimney. The house was raised in order to construct a new foundation in 2013.


1902-11: In 1900 Percival “Percy” Richardson (b. Yorkshire, ENG) came here with at least one brother, and in 1902, while boarding on Dallas Rd, he purchased the property. In 1903 he built 522, and in 1904, 526, as revenue property. His younger brother Arthur, a clerk and then storekeeper with BCER, lived in 522 from 1904-09. Percy and Walter North co-owned a tobacco shop on Government St. By 1910, Percy operated the Army & Navy Cigar Store, but later became a clerk with C.A. Steele, cigar merchants. Percy’s parents, retired contractor Johnathan and Mary Ann Richardson, followed their sons to Victoria in 1903, and built 131 Menzies St, James Bay in 1906. Percy lived there until he married Elizabeth Margaret Thompson in 1913. The couple lived in Fairfield until at least 1921, and left Victoria by 1924. Percy’s parents took over the property title from their son in 1907, and sold it in 1911.


1911-17: Lewis Langlois, a barber (b. Guernsey, Channel Is 1884-1986) and Harriet Olive Sanvary (b. Guernsey, Channel Is 1885-1956) arrived here shortly before their marriage in 1910. They moved to Duncan in the mid-1920s.

1918-19: Johnathan and Mary Ann Richardson were living in this house with their daughter and her husband when they died in 1919, Johnathan at 79, Mary Ann at 75. In 1905, daughter Emily Maude Richardson (c.1882-1937) married plumber John Cornelius Hocking (b. Cornwall, ENG c.1882-1948), who had newly arrived from England.

1920-39: James Thompson (b. ON c.1860-1941) and Maria (née Hawes, b. ENG c.1861-1939). James, a bridge contractor, came here in 1901. Maria came to Canada in 1869, Victoria in 1889 with her brother George Hawes and family. Twice widowed, she married James, a widower, in 1908. 1942-46: Nathaniel McDowell (b. Victoria c.1883-1967) and Elsie (née Taylor c.1891-1976). Nathaniel was a BC Government fireman in the mid-1940s.

1947: retirees Stephen Roberts (b. London, ENG c.1879-1966) and Amy (née Glen, b. Glasgow, SCT c.1882-1976) Stephen was with the Royal Navy for 12 years, then was with the 27th Battalion during WWI. A 40-year CPR conductor, he died here, Amy in White Rock, BC.


• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume Two: James Bay

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