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Bowden House

2809 Burdick Avenue, Oak Bay, British Columbia, V8R, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2004/03/08

Bowden House, exterior view, 2004; Corporation of the District of Oak Bay, Liberty Walton, 2004
east elevation
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Other Name(s)

Bowden House
Lipsey House
Mrs. M. E. Bowden House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/01/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Bowden House property consists of a two-storey Tudor Revival style house and landscaped grounds on the south-west border of the Uplands neighbourhood of Oak Bay.

Heritage Value

The Bowden House is significant to the community as an example of the post World War I architecture that occurred within the Uplands precinct. It reflects the means and lifestyle of a still-affluent family of the depression era.

The property contributes to the social history of Oak Bay as the home of the Bowden and Lipsey families. It is notable that the widow Mrs. M. E. Bowden built this house for herself and her son, Waldemar 'Wally' Paul Bowden. Later, she built 'Lower Drummadoon' (1937) in Saanich for her son and his wife, Margaret 'Margo' Walton Bowden (nee Robertson). Also important is the Lipsey family residence in the house (1937-1951). Mr. Richard Lipsey was a private realtor and manager of the A.P. Slade and Company wholesale fruit company warehouse on lower Yates Street in Victoria.

Architecturally, it is important for its unique design by the well-known Victoria architect William Jacobus Semeyn. Built in 1930, the architect incorporated a prominent corner facade, side porch and such unique interior detailing as art glass windows and oak trim to create a distinctive building within the popular Tudor Revival style. The formal design of the interior reflects the use of the home for entertaining. The house is unique for its large windows on the south elevation, and the use of special 'vita' glass in the sunroom to create a healthy and bright environment for Mrs. Bowden's son. Additionally, its corner location and landscaped grounds make this one of the most significant historic architectural landmarks on the southwest border of the Uplands.

Source: The Corporation of the District of Oak Bay.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage value of the Bowden House include:
- The views between the house and Nottingham Road and Burdick Avenue.
- Tudor Revival design typified by the steep hipped gabled roof, textured stucco cladding, side porch, and symmetrical facade on the Nottingham Road elevation.
- Relatively large casement windows with rare 'vita' glass in the sunroom, and use of cut art glass in the front entrance and hallway.
- Intact spatial configurations of all second floor rooms, as well as the first floor reception rooms, bedroom and sunroom.
- Authentic interior detailing, including cottage oak floors, fir and oak trim, oak baseboards, oak paneling in the dining room with original finish, french doors, washbasins in second floor bedrooms, screens on south-facing windows, hearth and terrace tile work, radiators, light fixtures, and hardware.
- Original landscape features, such as mature oak and magnolia trees, perennial rock garden, original pathways and granite steps.



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

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer

William Jacobus Semeyn


H. Leggett

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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