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Tapley House

2138 Central Avenue, Oak Bay, British Columbia, V8S, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1996/11/12

Tapley House and Garage, exterior view,  2004; Corporation of the District of Oak Bay, 2004
south elevation
Tapley House, exterior view,  2004; Corporation of the District of Oak Bay, 2004
south elevation
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Other Name(s)

Tapley House
Walter Edward Tapley House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/02/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Tapley property consists of a one-storey Craftsman style bungalow and garage in the South Oak Bay neighborhood.

Heritage Value

The Tapley House, built in 1913, is important as part of the architectural and development history of Oak Bay. It is significant as a well-preserved example of a modest Craftsman-style bungalow built during the pre-war building boom of 1912-14.

Also important is the association with the builder and owner, Captain Walter Edward Tapley. The house is unique for its quality construction, Arts and Crafts design detail, and floor plan accommodating a home office, from which Tapley ran a flourishing construction business. This relatively small house illustrates the importance of social status to the middle class Edwardian gentleman of 'good breeding,' but modest means. The value placed on fashionable design, high quality construction, interior detail and upscale neighbourhood demonstrates prevailing aesthetic attitudes.

The significance of the site on upper (west) Central Avenue, on a major transportation route and within walking distance of the Fairfield streetcar line, is linked to the progression of urban development within Oak Bay prior to the automobile age.

Source: The Corporation of the District of Oak Bay

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Tapley House include the:
- close proximity of the house and garage to Central Avenue
- exterior Craftsman bungalow elements, typified by board and batten siding, casement windows, notched barge boards and sloped masonry foundation
- extent and good condition of the original wood finishes, dating from Tapley's construction
- heavy, low-pitched roof line
- wide covered front verandah with sloped pillars
- small scale of the single-storey elevation with small closed entrance hall
- floor plan with open connected reception rooms
- fireplace and hearth (the sole original source of heat)
- interior use of board and batten, fir paneling, and beams
- built-in buffet and bookshelves with leaded glass and original hardware
- leaded casement windows
- original location of the garage



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.967

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer



Captain Walter Edward Tapley

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

The Corporation of the District of Oak Bay.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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