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Denham Till Park and Residence

744 Birch Road, North Saanich, British Columbia, V8L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2008/02/11

Exterior view of Denham Till Residence; District of North Saanich, 2007
Front elevation
Denham Till Park; District of  North Saanich, 2007
View of park from Birch Road entrance
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/02/25

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Denham Till Park is a municipal park located on the north side of Birch Road in the Deep Cove neighbourhood of North Saanich. The heritage site consists of wooded areas, a small orchard with quince, hazelnut and apple trees, a playground area, a large grassed lawn and a modest residence. Located in the northeast part of the park, the Denham Till Residence is a one-storey Arts and Crafts bungalow surrounded by accessory buildings and mature landscaped gardens, with exotic plantings such as fig trees and grape vines.

Heritage Value

The Denham Till Park and Residence are valued for their associations with long-time residents Frederick Denham Till and his wife Dora Madeline Till, who made a generous gift of this site to the citizens of North Saanich. Born in England, Frederick Till was a commander in the Royal Navy, owned a tea plantation in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and worked for British Intelligence in Kenya. Madeline and Frederick immigrated to Canada in 1946 and, after taking up residence in this house, became influential members of the North Saanich community. Madeline Till was an accomplished concert pianist and an esteemed music teacher, and also wrote for the Review and Islander Magazine. The British Columbia Registered Music Teachers’ Association commemorates Madeline Till’s commitment to the Victoria music community with a teaching award named in her honour. Upon her death in 1972, Madeline bequeathed the house and property to the District of North Saanich, specifying that the land should be preserved as a public park to be known as ‘Denham Till Park’ in memory of her late husband, that the field on the property be turned into a playground for children, that the house be used by a park employee or caretaker, and that the fruit and nut trees be preserved for the enjoyment of the public. With their mature plantings and exotic fruit trees, the park and grounds still reflect the couple's love of gardening and stand as a testament to their community-spirited bequest.

Built circa 1928, the Denham Till Residence is also valued as an example of an Arts and Crafts-inspired bungalow, and includes many typical features, such as a hipped roof, exposed rafters and a three-quarter width open verandah. The interior was originally finished in wood, indicating economy of construction. The original owner was local businessman Ernest Frank Cruickshank, who resided here with his wife Lillian Roberta Johnston between 1928 and 1945.

Source: District of North Saanich, Planning Department

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Denham Till Park and Residence include its:
- location on north side of Birch Road in the Deep Cove neighbourhood of North Saanich
- picturesque setting amongst mature coniferous and deciduous trees
- residential form, scale and massing of the house as expressed by its one-storey height, hipped roof and three-quarter width open verandah
- construction materials of the house as expressed by its wood-frame structure including exposed rafters, double-bevelled siding, cornerboards and porch columns; external and internal red-brick chimneys; windows such as its double-hung, one-over-one wooden-sash windows in single, double and triple assembly with diagonally-cut window aprons
- original interior features such as wood planking, hardboard panelling, wooden floors and trim, and iron-spot tan brick fireplace
- one-storey, front-gabled garage with board-and-batten siding, and early garden shed
- associated landscape features immediately surrounding the house, such as its mature garden with some exotic species including fig trees and grapevines
- landscape features of Denham Till Park such as mature trees, nut orchard, large grassed field and fruit orchard with apple and quince trees



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
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Sports and Leisure

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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