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508 Island Road, Oak Bay, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2008/02/25

Dainhurst, 508 Island Road, 2008; District of Oak Bay, 2008
West facade, originally (1912) the back of the house
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Other Name(s)

Todd House
508 Island Road

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2011/03/29

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

'Dainhurst' is a large one-and-one-half storey Arts and Crafts / Tudor style house with a basement. It is prominently located at the intersection of Island Road and Newport Avenue in Oak Bay, British Columbia. The house is set well back from the road. The main facade is dominated by a cross gable, over a balcony, in the steeply pitched hipped roof.

Heritage Value

'Dainhurst' is valued as a superb example of an Arts and Crafts mansion designed by Samuel Maclure. Maclure was the leading architect of residences in British Columbia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He was considered the region's premier exponent of the British Arts and Crafts style, and was noted for beautifully proportioned interiors that were both spacious and gracious.

This property is also valued for its connection to the Todd family, early residents of Victoria. The house was commissioned in 1912 by Ernest Dain Todd, a prominent businessman and grandson of Victoria pioneer, businessman, and politician Jacob Hunter Todd. Of J. H. Todd's many ventures, his salmon canneries are the most well-known; he registered the first brand name for canned salmon ('Horseshoe') in 1881. Ernest Dain Todd eventually became the vice president of J. H. Todd and Son, Salmon Canners.

Located in what was Golf Links Park Subdivision, this property is important as an illustration of a phase in the development of Oak Bay. The subdivision - 15 hectares adjoining Victoria Golf Club, which was then becoming increasingly popular - was established by a syndicate which included: Dr. Oswald Meredith Jones, the owner of the land; William Oliver, the Mayor of Oak Bay; John Virtue, a local hotelier; and Frederic Pemberton, a son of Joseph Despard Pemberton. Joseph Pemberton had been Colonial Engineer from 1851 to 1859 and Colonial Surveyor from 1859 to 1864, and was the original owner of the land. The syndicate claimed the project would be 'the peer of all subdivisions,' offering prestigious lots with views over the golf course and Juan de Fuca Strait. Although some lots were sold to businessmen such as Ernest Todd, the project stalled with the onset of the First World War, and this site is one of the few original houses within the Subdivision.

Source: District of Oak Bay Planning Department

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of 'Dainhurst' include its:
- setting, at the junction of Island Road and Newport Avenue, with views over the Victoria Golf Course and Juan de Fuca Strait
- siting, set back towards the rear of a large lot
- residential form, scale, and massing
- steeply-pitched hipped roof, with bell-cast cross gables and flat-roofed dormers
- wood frame construction, rubble-stone foundations, dressed sandstone caps on piers
- style details such as half-timbering, rough-cast stucco, bell-cast roof, eave brackets
- exterior architectural details, such as two rubble-stone chimneys, front verandah with arched boards between the pier caps, enclosed balcony on the second floor
- irregular fenestration; casement, double hung sash, and fixed-pane window types



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

Samuel Maclure



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

District of Oak Bay Planning Department

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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