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Army Huts, University of Victoria

3800 Finnerty Road, Saanich, British Columbia, V8P, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1997/11/03

Exterior view of the Army Huts, 2004, view 3; Derek Trachsel, District of Saanich, 2004
Oblique view
Exterior view of the Army Huts, 2004, view 2; Derek Trachsel, District of Saanich, 2004
Oblique view
Exterior view of the Army Huts, 2004, view 1; Derek Trachsel, District of Saanich, 2004
Oblique view

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/11/10

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Army Huts are comprised of nine single-storey wood-frame utilitarian Second World War buildings on the northern part of the campus of the University of Victoria, in the Gordon Head area of Saanich.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Army Huts is associated with its development within its neighbourhood context. Gordon Head is bordered on the north and east by Haro Strait and on the west by Blenkinsop Valley and Mount Douglas. First settled by farmers, starting with James Todd in 1852, Gordon Head became famous for its strawberries and then its daffodils. In 1921, city water service was brought to Gordon Head, leading to a proliferation of greenhouses and vegetable farming. Since the 1950s, the area has gradually been developed with single-family housing.

The nine Army Huts on the campus of the University of Victoria are of heritage value as a tangible reminder of the history of land use on the University property. In early 1940 over fifty buildings including sleeping quarters, mess halls, officers' huts, and a drill hall were constructed by the Royal Canadian Engineers as the Gordon Head Military Camp. Later the camp housed a variety of military functions including casualty retraining and rehabilitation of prisoners of war returning from Japan. During the acute housing crisis that followed the Second World War, the Department of Veterans' Affairs accommodated soldiers and their families in the camp's huts (1946-1950); and later, during the Korean War (1950-1953) the camp reverted to its original use for soldiers. In 1959 the site was purchased by Victoria College (which later became the University of Victoria) and the huts have since been used for a variety of administrative and academic purposes.

Source: Heritage Planning Files, District of Saanich

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Army Huts include their:
- location on the campus of the University of Victoria
- form, scale and massing, typical of utilitarian army huts
- regular fenestration, with multi-paned double-hung wood-sash windows
- stepped entries with porches
- gable end roofs



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)

1959/01/01 to 1959/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Sports and Leisure
Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being
Governing Canada
Military and Defence

Function - Category and Type


Post-Secondary Institution


Military Base

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Planning Files, District of Saanich

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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