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Heritage Register
Oaklands

2667 Empire Avenue

Built 1913
Heritage-Designated 1985

For: Arthur & Violet Levy

Architects: William D'Oyly Rochfort & Eban W. Sankey

2677 Empire

ARCHITECTURE:

This large, dramatically-sited California Mission Revival-style house has a complex red-tiled roof and is clad in roughcast stucco. The roofline consists of a series of large and small stepped mission-style arched gables. The offset main entrance below a smaller gable leads to a wrap-around verandah. The shed roof of the verandah is supported by huge square paired piers. There are several large three-part round arched windows. On the roof at the SW corner is a square structure which became a suite. Along the street frontage is an old stone retaining wall.

This house was assessed at $8,000 in 1914. The 1913 plumbing permit was signed by H.N. Palmatier as agent for owner; he was likely working for Rochfort & Sankey. Palmatier is known to have signed as architect on several Victoria houses (427 Arnold, Fairfield).

ORIGINAL OCCUPANTS:

1913-18: Arthur Levy (b. Seattle 1885-1961) and Amelia “Violet” (née Hilbert, then Haggart, b. Leeds, ENG 1880-1947) married in Victoria in 1907. Arthur was the son of Henry Emanuel Levy and Eva Rostein, the sister of Ida Hartman (1009 Cook St, Fairfield), who married in Seattle in 1882. Henry, a restaurant proprietor in Victoria from c.1868, was instrumental in the construction of Temple Emanu-El Synagogue (1421 Blanshard St, Downtown) in 1863. Arthur came to Victoria in 1901 and entered the family business, eventually operating the renowned Levy’s Restaurant (1316 Government St, Downtown), which opened c.1879 and gained a reputation for “never closing” until 1913. Arthur then operated the Poodle Dog Cafe until 1941.

OTHER OCCUPANTS:

1919-75: James McFarland Wood (b. Tamworth, ON 1887-1974) and Marguerita Helena “Rita” (née Cameron, b. Victoria 1892-1975) married in 1908. Jim came to Victoria that year and opened Wood’s Garage on Government St near Superior with the first Ford dealership. He then established a plant in Clinton, ON, to extend the frame of the Ford Model T and install a chain drive, creating the first half-ton truck. He sold them until c.1916 when Henry Ford began selling half-ton trucks. By 1911, Jim was proprietor of Wood Motor Co on Broughton St, then became manager of Begg Motor Co, which sold Cadillacs. He once delivered one to Cumberland, travelling two days and carrying enough fuel to make the journey, as there were no gas stations. In 1946, Jim opened his dealership at Cook and Yates, selling Dodge and Plymouth. He retired in the mid-1950s and he and Rita travelled the globe. An avid golfer, Jim was a member of the Uplands, Royal Colwood and Victoria Golf Clubs. He and Rita lived here until their deaths.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & IMAGES:

• Map of Victoria Heritage Register Properties

• Oaklands History

• Oaklands Heritage Register


• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume Three: Rockland, Burnside, Harris Green,
Hillside-Quadra, North Park & Oaklands


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