Heritage Register
James Bay

589 Toronto Street
(ex-28 Birdcage Walk, renumbered 623 Government St in 1907,
moved to 290 Government St c.1909,
then to 589 Toronto St in 1927)


Built 1903
Heritage-Designated 1980

For: John & Jessie Mulholland; James & Amanda Anderson;
H.F. Chave

Builder: attributed to William Mulholland

589 Toronto


This two-storey, hip-roofed Edwardian Queen Anne house has a one-storey, hip-roofed extension at the rear. There is a one-storey, hip-roofed box bay on the left side of the house, and a full-height, hip-roofed box bay on the right side, beside an exterior wall chimney. On the centre of the front façade is a shallow, pediment-gabled porch separating a round two-storey tower on the left from a full-height, gabled, bracketed, angled bay on the right. The closed upper floor of the tower, with its conical roof and finial, sits over a small, open-sided porch with Corinthian columns on a solid balustrade. The central porch, its two larger Corinthian columns supported on concrete step balustrades, leads to a shallow recessed entry. Classical Revival elements include eave modillions, pedimented porch gable, chunky brackets and dentils on porch and tower, and Corinthian columns. Many windows have Queen Anne glass. The cladding is bevelled siding; the foundation is concrete. There are three brick chimneys. The house was not, as once thought, built for Elijah Howe Anderson (15 South Turner, James Bay).


1903-05: John James Mulholland (b. Liverpool, ENG 1868-1938) had an Irish father and a Scottish mother. The family lived in Glasgow, SCT, until 1888, when John followed his brother William Mulholland (b. SCT 1864-1934) to Victoria. By 1892, they were living with their widowed mother Jeannette/Jennet (b. SCT 1842) in Rock Cottage at 72 (ex-56) Dallas Rd. William, a carpenter and builder, worked for Muirhead & Mann (223 Robert St, Vic West). John, a metalsmith, married Jessie Hill (b. Plymouth, ENG c.1867-1945) in 1900; they moved to Tacoma, WA, and John was a real estate agent. However, in 1903 this house was built in his name on Birdcage Walk, across from the BC Legislature, between Elliot and Superior Sts. Possibly his brother William built the house. John paid taxes on this property until 1905. John and Jessie retired to Victoria by 1934, and both died in Sidney, BC.


1905-16+: Pacific Realty Co (PRC) manager James Anderson lived at 28 Birdcage Walk, and PRC paid the taxes from 1906. In 1908 he was listed at Lima, 623 Government St. From 1910-16 his wife Amanda Anderson paid the taxes, although they never again lived in the house. In 1910 they had the house moved three blocks to the SW corner of Toronto and Government Sts, as 290 Government St. [Note: James Robert Anderson, BC Deputy Min of Agriculture (DMA) lived at 38 Birdcage Walk.]*

Tenants: 1911-13: Widow Annie Johnson.
1914-15: Sydney Grimmond, a steward next door at the James Bay Inn. 1917-18: Sarah Daly, widow of John.
1920-21: Gerald Herbert Jennings (b. London, ENG 1886-1955), a Provincial Police constable and clerk.

1926-27: Miss Lottie Mabel Bowron (b. Barkerville 1879-1964). Her father John Bowron (1418 Fernwood Rd, Fernwood) was the first Cariboo Gold Commissioner. Lottie was personnal secretary to the Premier of BC, Sir Richard McBride from 1909-15. From 1928-34 she was Rural Teacher’s Welfare Officer for the BC Ministry of Education. Her job entailed documenting and easing the difficulties many young female teachers faced in BC’s isolated communities. From 1935-37 Lottie ran the Lottie Bowron Service Bureau at 1109 Douglas St. She resided at the Strathcona Hotel on Douglas St when she died.

Owner: 1927-28: H.F. Chave moved the house 100 feet west from Government St, rotated it 90 degrees to face Toronto St, and duplexed it. The lot at 290 Government St became James Bay Inn’s parking lot.

Tenants: 1929-31: William Martin, a printer with the Daily Times.
1929: Lillian (née Clarke, b. Winnipeg, MB c.1884-1961), widow of William Sweeney, came to Victoria in 1904 and married William from Newfoundland in 1912. Manager of Sweeney & McConnell Printing Co, he died of pneumonia in 1920 at 36. Lillian was active in artistic and social circles, with the Sketch Club, Victoria Art Gallery and Women’s Canadian Club, as well as the Indian Welfare and Thetis Park Protection Associations.

1933-42: Ernest Etheridge (b. Victoria 1894-1963) and Jeannie (née Mowat, b. Victoria 1906) married in 1926. Ernest was a mechanic, a chauffeur with Empress Taxi & Sightseeing, then a customs officer for 25 years until retiring in 1960.
1944: The house was divided into four units.

*locations research by Carey Pallister & Nick Russell


• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

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

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