Heritage Register
James Bay

588 Toronto Street (ex-95 Toronto St)

Built 1892
Heritage-Designated 1992

For: Jacob & Cora Hughes

588 Toronto


This one-storey, hip-roofed Queen Anne Cottage has gabled, angled bay on the right side towards the rear and a hip-roofed extension on the rear. There is a small, off-centred gable dormer on the front roof, to the right a wide gabled extension fronted by an angled bay. At the bases of the gables are pent roofs above the bays. The gables have arched, trefoil cutouts in the bargeboards and are clad in diamond-shaped shingles. The bays have sunburst brackets with drop finials on their corners below eaves brackets. There is a small hip-roofed porch at the rear of the house with bracketed turned posts and square balusters. The shallow, hip-roofed front porch to the right of the bay has bracketed, turned posts and decorative scrollsawn balusters. The house is clad in drop siding. There is a pair of corbelled chimneys. The bays and porches command two street fronts on the corner of Toronto and Heather Sts.


1892-95: Jacob McDonald Hughes (b. St. Stephen, NB c.1862-1940) and Cora May (née Miles, b. Woodstock, NB c.1864-1913) built this house for $1,500. They came to Victoria in the 1880s and married in 1887. Jacob was a grocer, then a commercial traveller. He was president of FOE Aerie No. 12, and a life member of Far West Victoria Lodge No. 1 KoP.


1899-1906: George and Minnie Meyers then moved to 40 Olympia Av, James Bay.
1908-27: John C. Ross (b. Argyllshire, SCT c.1868-1914), Minnie (b. USA 1876-1950) and daughter Rita Ross (b. USA c.1900). John, a miner, tried his luck in the Yukon gold rush in the late 1890s. He lived in Victoria for several years before returning to the mainland, where he died. Minnie died in Seattle, WA.

1929-31: Robina Harris (née Fletcher, b. Newcastle, ENG 1883-1959), widow of Thomas Gould Harris, Sr, lived here with her son, Thomas Gould Harris, Jr, (b. Bristol, ENG 1909-1991). Robina was a long time member of the CNIB. Thomas, Jr, a clerk at City Hall, married Clarissa “Edna” Roberts (b. Vancouver, BC 1908-1987) in 1931.

1932-35: Harry Rudge (b. St. Stephen, NB 1869-1949) and Catherine (née Sinclair, b. Victoria, BC 1870-1959) married in 1898. Harry came to Victoria in 1882. Catherine married building painter Romolo Medana (c.1860-1894) in 1889. Harry was a Canada Customs employee for 18 years until he retired in 1933. His brother Herbert married Romolo Medana’s sisted Rosa (139 Menzies St, pg 261).

George Duff Gibney (b. Taunton, ENG 1868-1946) and Mary Ann (née Bella, b. Liverpool, ENG c.1873-1949) came to Victoria c.1920. George was employed as a clerk. Their son George and his wife Ruth inherited the house, but lived at 151 Government St, James Bay. This house is still owned by George and Ruth’s daughter Heather Frankson.


• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

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

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