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First Oak Bay Municipal Office. Oak Bay Archives ref. 2016-005-009. The first Oak Bay municipal office was located in the the Law Chambers in Bastion Square from 1906 to 1912.  Foreground: James Floyd, first Municipal Clerk. ND, 1906-1912.

Posts about local history and Oak Bay Archives holdings from the municipal archivist and archives volunteers

Posts about local history and Oak Bay Archives holdings from the municipal archivist and archives volunteers

  • Reeves and Mayors of Oak Bay

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    Oak Bay Council ca.1940

    [Photo: Oak Bay Archives Accn 2017-049-090, Reeve R.R. Taylor, centre, ca. 1940 with municipal council and staff.]

    George Murdoch (Reeve 1959-1963) notes in his unpublished History of Oak Bay for 1968 that "the Minister of Municipalities advised in April that, through a change in the Municipal Act, reeves and councillors of district municipalities were henceforth to have the respective titles of mayor and aldermen ". The change in terminology from Reeve to Mayor occurs between one Council meeting and the next in April 1968, during the tenure of FW Hawes.

    1. 1906 - 1908 William Edgar Oliver (1867-1920)

    2. 1909 - 1911 William E Henderson (1837-1931)

    1. 1912 W E Oliver

    3. 1913 Francis Mawson Rattenbury (1867-1935)

    1. 1914 - 1915 W E Oliver

    4. 1916 - 1917 Marshall P Gordon (1862-1929)

    5. 1918 Newton Townley Burdick (to April 9) (1882-1953)

    6. 1918 - 1919 Charles E Wilson (April 17 1918 – December 1919)

    7. 1920 - 1922 Samuel J Drake

    8. 1923 -1924 Harold F Hewlett

    9. 1925 - 1927 Herbert Anscomb (1892-1972)

    10. 1928 - 1932 Ernest C Hayward (d.1933)

    11. 1933 - 1935 Robert W Mayhew, later MP (1880-1971)

    12. 1936 - 1940 Richard Ratcliffe Taylor (1884-1942)

    13. 1941 - 1945 Walter Leonard (Len) Woodhouse (1895-1967)

    14. 1946 - 1947 Walter Mitchell Walker (1887-1983)

    15. 1948 - 1949 Robert Alexander Burnie Wootton (1901-1982)

    16. 1950 - 1953 Philip Archibald Gibbs, later MLA (1893-1960)

    17. 1954 - 1956 Frederick Elford Norris (1910-2003)

    18. 1959 - 1963 George Murdoch

    19. 1964 - 1967 Allan Leslie Cox (b.1927)

    20. 1968 - 1969 Frederick William Hawes

    21. 1970 - 1973 Frances Henrietta Elford (1914-2002)

    22. 1974 - 1979 Brian Smith (b.1934)

    23. 1980 – 1983 J Douglas Watts

    24. 1986 - 1990 Susan Brice

    25. 1991 – 1996 Diana Butler

    26. 1997 – 2011 Christopher M Causton

    27. 2011 - 2018 Nils Jensen (d.2019)

    28. 2018 - Kevin Murdoch

    Sources: Minutes of Oak Bay Council, passim; 'Fifty Years of Growth: 1906-1956 Golden Jubilee Souvenir Booklet"; portraits series in Oak Bay Municipal Hall; British Columbia City Directories.

    Questions? Comments? Please contact the Archivist

  • Discovering Oak Bay history on foot and by bike

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    30 June, 2020
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    [image: Oak Bay Archives, photo 1994-001-027. Public Works Crew Paving 1100 Block of Roslyn Road, formerly Pleasant Avenue, looking north from Windsor Road (Saratoga). Superintendent Samuel Gunter on right. Photographer: E.A. Price, ca. 1911.]

    The archivist and volunteers at Oak Bay Archives are currently collaborating with Sara Lax at the GVCC to create a self-guided local history ride for their 2020 summer series.

    While researching the stops on our history tour, we've encountered lots of great resources for exploring Oak Bay and other Greater Victoria municipalities and neighbourhoods, especially by foot or bike.

    Many of these walks include snippets of local history to ponder as you pause to take in the view. As you explore Oak Bay, have a look at the archival photographs online - you might find images showing the places where you walk now, as they were a century or more ago!

    Oak Bay routes

    Guide to the First Nations Monuments of Oak Bay via Salish Weaving

    Discovery Rides and Scavenger Hunts from the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition

    Oak Bay Walking Trails Map from the District of Oak Bay, and more at

    Walking & Cycling in Oak Bay

    Maps of Uplands Park from the Friends of Uplands Park - especially Simon Wigzell's map of walking trails within the park


    A few of the many walks available in neighbouring municipalities:

    User-friendly trails from the CRD

    Esquimalt Township Walking Tours by Sherri Robinson, from the Township of Esquimalt

    Neighbourhood walking tours from the Victoria Heritage Foundation

    South Jubilee Neighbourhood History Walk from the South Jubilee Neighbourhood Association

    Trail Guides & Maps from the District of Saanich

    Vic West Walking Trails from the Vic West Community Association

    Walk the West Shore from the municipalities of Colwood, Metchosin, Highlands, Langford, and View Royal; the CRD; and West Shore Parks & Recreation Society

    Imperial Paradise? An Alternative Walking Tour of Victoria, BC from the History of Racialisation Group at UVic (2000)


    Do you have a favourite walking or cycling route in Oak Bay? Where will you explore next?

    Follow @OakBayArchives on Twitter!

    Questions? routes to add to the list? Email the Archivist