Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Abigail's Hotel is a three-and-a-half storey Edwardian Tudor Revival stucco hotel located in Victoria's Fairfield neighbourhood.
The historic place, built in 1930, is valued for its architecture, its architect, and as a successful example of the adaptive reuse of a landmark building.
Abigail's Hotel has heritage value as an example of a Tudor Revival apartment block. This style, popular in Canada because of political and cultural ties to Britain, is characterized by prominent half-timbering, a strong masonry foundation, and tall ornate chimneys. The half-timbering is derived from Elizabethan England, where heavy timber structural frames were infilled with masonry panels. Among other hallmarks of the style are jettying (elements on the upper storeys projecting over lower levels), tall narrow windows in groups of three or more, and the overall verticality of the massing.
Built as a rental property for Mrs. M. Hutchinson, it was originally called the Bessborough Apartments, named for Vere Brabazon Ponsonby, ninth Earl of Bessborough, Governor General of Canada from 1931 to 1936. Located on a street of similar homes, it represented the latest in luxury suites, with dining rooms, dens, and fireplaces.
There is value in the association with architect Percy Fox. Born in England, Fox came to Canada in 1911, worked briefly in Thomas Hooper's office, then went into private practice. He also worked in partnership with Ralph Berrill, but returned to a sole practice in 1921. Fox designed in several styles, including Craftsman, Tudor Revival, and English Cottage.
This historic place is regarded as a good example of adaptive re-use in Victoria. When the building was converted to a bed and breakfast establishment in 1985, the mature landscaping and stone frontage wall were retained.
Source: City of Victoria Planning Department
Key elements that define the heritage character of Abigail's Hotel include:
- characteristics of the Tudor Revival style, including stucco, half-timbering, double-hung windows with latticed upper portions, casement windows in upper storeys, steep gable roof with two gabled dormers in front, stone-arched entranceway with balcony above, corbelling under the roof and balcony, and tall chimneys
- light fixtures in main entrance
- mature landscaping
- stone wall along street frontage
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.954
Community Heritage Register
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Hotel, Motel or Inn
- Multiple Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Victoria Planning Department
Cross-Reference to Collection