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Stephens Residence

234 West 6th Street, North Vancouver, British Columbia, V7M, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1995/07/10

Exterior view of the Stephens Residence, 2004; City of North Vancouver, 2004
Oblique view
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/10

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Situated on the north side of the Ottawa Gardens subdivision, the Stephens Residence is an imposing two and one-half storey plus basement masonry house. The site is heavily landscaped, and the interior of the house is in substantially original condition.

Heritage Value

The Stephens Residence is valued as a part of the Ottawa Gardens subdivision, designed to attract affluent and prominent families to the North Shore of Burrard Inlet. Planning and development was initiated in 1906 by the North Vancouver Land and Improvement Company. Prestige was guaranteed through minimum construction cost standards and restrictions on buildings and landscaping. Ottawa Gardens is now part of a rectilinear system of boulevards and parks known as North Vancouver's "Green Necklace," which also includes Grand Boulevard, Victoria Park and Mahon Park.

This residence is valued for is association with its architects Alexander S.W. MacKay and John W. MacKay. This was one of the first known local commissions for A.S.W. MacKay (born 1878), who is best known for his later partnership with Henry Blackadder (partnership active 1912-1927). This house was designed for Thomas J. Stephens, at the time an employee at the Leckie Shoe Company.

The Stephens Residence is valued for its unusual use of concrete block as both structural and cladding material. These blocks had just become commercially available and were rarely seen in residential applications, although their advantage as a fireproof material was well recognized. The house is also valued architecturally, as an Edwardian home built on a grand scale. Set close to the front of its lot amid other prominent homes in Ottawa Gardens, the house was built on an elevated base supported by a concrete block retaining wall.

Source: Heritage Planning Files, City of North Vancouver

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Stephens Residence include its:
- boxy form, imposing scale and irregular massing
- location in Ottawa Gardens
- hipped roof with broad, projecting roof lines and central dormer
- smooth concrete block cladding, with rough-cast quoining
- curved two-storey front projecting bay with hip roof
- open front verandah with square columns
- second floor porch over entry
- brick chimneys
- double-hung 1-over-1 wooden-sash windows
- ornamental stained glass
- original interior features including fireplaces, light fixtures, staircase, wood floors, wooden trim, maid call system in den and master bedroom, and original Leckie Store vault in basement
- concrete block and wrought iron wall at the front of the property
- mature plantings including rhododendrons, hollies, conifers and a laurel hedge



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.954

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer

MacKay and MacKay



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Planning Files, City of North Vancouver

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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