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Horth Residence

498 Downey Road, North Saanich, British Columbia, V8L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2008/05/05

Exterior of Horth Residence, 2008; District of North Saanich, 2008
Exterior oblique view
Historic photo of Horth Residence, no date; District of North Saanich (Susan Banas)
Front elevation
Historic photo of Horth Residence, no date; District of North Saanich (Susan Banas)
Oblique view

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1912/01/01 to 1913/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/02/25

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Horth Residence is a one-and-one-half storey, wood-frame Arts and Crafts house, located on a large lot at the corner of Downey Road and Deep Cove Road in North Saanich. The property slopes to the west, with expansive views of Saanich Inlet and Cobble Hill. The house is located at one corner of the lot, and is surrounded by an English style garden, with numerous mature trees and shrubs. A small barn and an early garage are located at the rear of the house.

Heritage Value

The Horth Residence is valued for its associations with the Horth and Wain families, pioneer settlers of North Saanich. Built in 1912-13, it was the home of Rufus Philip Horth and Alice Maud Horth. Rufus Horth was born in England, and was an early landowner in North Saanich; Alice Wain was the daughter of another North Saanich pioneer, hop farmer and former Hudson's Bay Company carpenter Henry Wain. Rufus and Alice were well-known in the community and raised their ten children here. After her husband died, Alice Horth lived here until her death in 1945.

The Horth Residence is also valued for its association with the development and settlement of North Saanich in the early twentieth century as a result of improved rail transportation. Inaugurated in 1913, the British Columbia Electric Railway (BCER) Saanich Interurban line improved transportation throughout the District and resulted in a population increase in rural areas as the original large farms were subdivided and country residential properties became more common.

With its expansive ornamented gables, the Horth Residence is also a fine example of the Arts and Crafts architecture typical of the Edwardian era. This style symbolized affluence and good modern taste, and demonstrated an affinity for all things British. Quality is evident in the finishes and materials used inside and out, indicating a high level of sophistication despite the rural location, as well as the value placed at that time on architectural elegance, landscaped gardens and scenic views.

Source: District of North Saanich Planning Department

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Horth Residence include its:
- location at the corner of Downey Road and Deep Cove Road, on a west-facing sloping lot with expansive views to and across Saanich Inlet
- residential form, scale and massing, as expressed by its symmetrical one-and-one-half storey height, front-gabled roof with symmetrical side wall dormers, projecting semi-octagonal bay to the west, and open front verandah with hipped roof, lathe-turned columns and closed balustrades
- wood-frame construction, including narrow lapped wooden siding at the main floor level, and cedar shingles at the foundation level and in the gable ends
- Arts and Crafts features such as triangular eave brackets, open soffits with exposed rafter ends, and stained glass panels
- internal red-brick chimney with corbelled top
- original interior features, such as stained fir window and door trim, staircase with fir balusters and newel posts, and brick fireplaces with fir surrounds
- associated outbuildings at the rear of the house: a small barn with cedar shingle siding and multi-paned wooden sash windows, and an early shingled garage
- associated landscape features including many mature trees and shrubs, such as maple trees, acacias, perimeter plantings, orchard remnants and hollies



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

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

District of North Saanich Planning Department

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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