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3165 Tarn Place, Oak Bay, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2008/02/25

Little-Oaks, 3165 Tarn Place, exterior view; District of Oak Bay, 2007
Front entrance showing garden and gatepost
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Other Name(s)

3165 Tarn Place

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2011/05/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

'Little-Oaks' is a large one-and-one-half storey home in the British Arts and Crafts / Tudor style, set amidst mature landscaping on a waterfront lot in Oak Bay, British Columbia. The house is clad in rough-cast stucco with half-timbering in the gable ends. Its gabled and hipped roof is at a variety of levels, creating a picturesque appearance.

Heritage Value

This landmark waterfront property is valued as an outstanding representative of the type of estate found in the planned residential subdivision of Uplands. Formerly part of the Hudson's Bay Company's Uplands farm, this land was developed during the pre-First World War boom by John Charles Olmsted of the internationally recognized firm of landscape architects, Olmsted Brothers. Uplands was designed as a subdivision for the wealthy. Curving streets, large estates, abundant landscaping, underground services, and architect-designed residences are the hallmarks of this subdivision which was the first of its kind in Canada, and which has had a profound influence on the planning of other subdivisions consisting of large homes for wealthy clients. Rigid building codes and landscape restrictions have maintained the pristine appearance of the area.

The building is also valued as a fine example of British Arts and Crafts architecture with Tudor detailing. With its picturesque roof-line, its arrangement of house and garages set at an angle forming an entrance courtyard, and its mature landscape, 'Little-Oaks' embodies the Arts and Crafts ethics of beauty, honesty, and truth to materials. Its Tudor half-timbering reflects the attachment to all things British so frequently found in Victoria.

Designed for Kenneth Allen in 1929, 'Little-Oaks' is further valued as an example of the work of James and Savage, a partnership of Percy Leonard James and Hubert Savage that lasted from 1928 until 1933. The firm is thought to have designed over sixty houses, many of which are in Uplands. James trained as an architect in his native England and came to Victoria at the age of thirty. He was involved in a number of prestigious projects such as the Crystal Garden for the Canadian Pacific Railway. Savage, an English-trained architect, designed a number of buildings for the Navy at Esquimalt and various schools on Vancouver Island.

Source: District of Oak Bay Planning Department

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of 'Little-Oaks' include its:
- setting in a mature landscape, at the end of a cul-de-sac, with views across Juan de Fuca Strait
- location on the lot, set well back from the street
- form, scale, and massing; hipped and gabled roof
- wood frame construction
- style details such as stucco and half-timbering
- exterior architectural details such as two stuccoed chimneys, raised entry porch with steps leading up, and internal balcony above the porch
- casement windows with rectangular leaded lights, fixed stair window; irregular fenestration
- landscape features such as mature Atlas Blue cedar, wall, and rubble-stone gateposts inscribed with the name 'Little-Oaks'



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

Percy Leonard James



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

District of Oak Bay Planning Department

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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