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1023 Oliphant Avenue

1023 Oliphant Avenue, Victoria, British Columbia, V8V, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2001/10/11

Exterior view of 1023 Oliphant Avenue; City of Victoria, 2007
Oblique view from the northeast
Exterior view of 1023 Oliphant Avenue; City of Victoria, 2007
Oblique view from the northwest
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/03/13

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

1023 Oliphant Street is a wood frame Edwardian Arts and Crafts residence located near the Cook Street Village in the southwestern quadrant of Victoria's Fairfield neighbourhood. The designation also includes the front yard fence and interior features.

Heritage Value

1023 Oliphant Street, built in 1912, is valued for its architecture, its builder and original owner, what its construction says about land speculation and development during the 1908-1913 building boom in Victoria.

1023 Oliphant Street is an excellent intact example of an Edwardian Arts and Crafts style home. It is exceptionally well detailed and has been well maintained. It represents the type of housing built in the Fairfield neighbourhood, after the construction of the Government Street causeway and the draining of the underground waterway made development of the low marshy areas of south Fairfield possible. The historic fence and original fireplace have also been identified as heritage features to be protected.

There is heritage value in the association with the house's builder, William Oliphant, for whom the street is named. Born in Peterhead, Scotland in 1850, he went to sea at an early age, acquiring both captain's and engineer's papers. He and wife Helen arrived in Victoria in 1906 and for ten years he was a speculative house builder, particularly in this area of Fairfield. He also served on City Council and is credited as the founder, in 1909, of the Victoria Lawn Bowling Club. Likely to prevent charges of conflict of interest when William was on Council, a number of the lots in this area of Vancouver Street and Park Boulevard were in Helen Oliphant's name, while others were in the name of their daughter Elizabeth.

The first occupants of the home were Alvah Ernest and Josephine Foreman. He was an assistant engineer with the City of Victoria and was typical of the middle class residents that moved into the newly-developed area of south Fairfield.

Source: City of Victoria Planning Department

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage character of 1023 Oliphant Street is defined by the following elements:
- characteristics of the Edwardian Arts and Crafts style, including false-bevel drop siding on the main and second storeys, wood shingles on the basement level and in the peak of the roof gables, shallow projecting square bay on the front elevation with stained glass in the upper window sash, cross gable roof, and finials at the peak of each gable
- front fence
- main fireplace in the living room
- entrance on east side
- relationship with houses of similar vintage on this side of the street, including setbacks and siting



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

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Victoria Planning Department

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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