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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

  • Archives closure and access in 2021

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    Archives access in 2021: Oak Bay Archives has been closed to volunteers, researchers and visitors in person since the pandemic was announced in mid-March 2020. Anna Sander, the current Archivist, started working (half time) in early May 2020 and has been based in Municipal Hall with the archives since then, carrying out research and reprographics on behalf of enquirers.

    Now that Oak Bay Municipal Hall is closed for renovations, the Archivist will be working from home from 22 February, without physical access to the collections, until the renovations are complete and staff are able to move operations back to the Hall. This is currently expected to happen in late August 2021.

    Once Municipal Hall is in use again, a timeline for reopening the Archives will depend on developments in the public health situation and regulations.

    Archives enquiries: the Archivist is happy to receive enquiries during the renovation period, and will endeavour to respond with the digital resources available. Inevitably, some resources will be limited until physical access to the collections is restored.

    Archives donations: the Archivist is unable to accept donations of archival material during the renovation period.

    For information about the renovations: please check for project updates at https://www.oakbay.ca/municipal-hall/departments/engineering-public-works/municipal-hall-renovation

    To contact the archivist: email obarchives@oakbay.ca . *Please use email if at all possible, as most responses will include links to online resources. Alternatively, you can leave a phone message at 250-598-3290 - be sure to state your name and contact details clearly within the message.

  • OBA reference library catalogue online

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    Oak Bay Archives' reference library catalogue is on LibraryThing!

    Browse here

    This collection of more than 400 titles forms the reference section supporting the municipal and community archives of the Corporation of the District of Oak Bay, BC. It consists of reference books relating to the history of Oak Bay, Greater Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and Canada, in that order.

    Arrangement

    Classmark sections:
    OB main subject directly related to Oak Bay
    GV " " Greater Victoria, the CRD, other municipalities
    VI " " Vancouver Island, Gulf islands and Island communities
    BC " " British Columbia, BC mainland communities, the Pacific Northwest
    CA " " Canada, Canadian communities outside of BC
    HE " " heritage properties, generic
    LO " " local authors not covered by above subjects
    AB " " autobiography/memoir, biographies of Oak Bay people

    These are the shelfmark categories for in-person library use. We are not using the Dewey decimal system - that structure doesn't serve small specialist collections well. Instead, books are grouped on the shelf according to geography, then alphabetically by author surname in each section. This Oak Bay - centric geographical arrangement reflects the collecting policy of the archives and the research interests of archive users and enquirers. But suppose a researcher is interested in, for instance, the history of trains and railroads in BC - there are relevant books in the GV, VI and BC sections?

    Ways to search

    • Click column headers (Author, Title etc) to order the collection by that heading
    • Click individual tags or subject headings to browse by theme (example - all the books about railways)
    • Enter keywords to search the whole collection - use `Search this library` box near top right, not `Search this site`

    Why an online catalogue?

    For enquirers: identify relevant secondary sources, locate online or local copy, prepare for archival research

    For researchers in person: time in the archives is never long enough, and is best used looking at primary source material, i.e. archives. An online library catalogue helps researchers to plan ahead and identify secondary sources that could be consulted elsewhere before visiting the archive, and those that are only available at the archives.

    For potential donors: We do our best not to acquire multiple copies of identical publications, and in most cases we don't need to duplicate the holdings of the GVPL system, especially if there is a copy at the nearby Oak Bay branch. But we are adding to the reference library collection, and we have a Wish List! (We are not able to accept new donations of reference books at the moment, as the collection is packed up during the construction project at Municipal Hall.)

  • 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

  • Wildflower sketches by Ada Hope Leeder (1896-1990), later Yarrow and Stuart Taylor

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    OBA PR 240, Ada Hope Leeder sketchbook. Front cover and title page.

    In the Oak Bay Archives is an old school notebook in a plain black paper cover. The stitching is good but the covers are detached and one of the front corners is missing. The acidic wood pulp paper has browned with age. The first page simply states, 'A.H.L. Began May 1909,' hand lettered in red. On the following pages are 18 watercolour specimen sketches of spring-flowering plants found in Oak Bay, accompanied by tidily-written systematic botanical descriptions and lists of species identified in April-June 1909 and March 1911.

    This is the schoolgirl sketchbook of Ada Hope Leeder, archival reference Oak Bay Archives PR 240, Ada Hope Leeder sketchbook.

    OBA PR 240, Ada Hope Leeder sketchbook. First page of 'Nature Notes', Fritillary (Fritillaria) and Fritillary Butterfly.

    Ada Hope Leeder, known as Hope [fn 1], was born in Warwickshire, England, in 1896 [fn 2], and came to Canada with her family in 1907/8 [fn 3]. Her father was Dr Forrest B. Leeder, who worked at the Jubilee Hospital and later practiced with Drs. Hudson and Helmcken [fn 4]. The family, which included Hope's two sisters Edith Mary Faith and Dorothy Margaret Carita, and their mother Edith Mary (nee Hope), lived at 901 Burdett, near Christ Church Cathedral. [fn 5]

    OBA PR 240, Ada Hope Leeder sketchbook. Tuberous Pea (Vicia lathyrus papilionaceae)

    Hope attended St Margaret's School, and produced this notebook while a student there - she and her sister Faith (later Grant) were two of the three original pupils, and one of the founders, Margaret Barton, had been their governess. [fn 6] Two entries mention 'Summer Term', implying that it was probably a school assignment. In the spring and early summer of 1909, Ada sketched and studied wildflowers growing in Oak Bay. The last entry is dated March 31st 1911.

    OBA PR 240, Ada Hope Leeder sketchbook. Broom (Leguminosae)The sketches were painted on smaller pieces of heavier paper and glued into the notebook. Why are they so much whiter than the notebook's pages? Watercolour paper is often made of cotton rag, which is more expensive to produce but gives a better painting surface than wood pulp. A further bonus is that rag, unlike wood pulp isn't acidic, so it lasts better and longer. Interested in the history of papermaking? There's a museum for that!

    OBA PR 240, Ada Hope Leeder sketchbook. Coral Root (Orchid family)The sketches are accompanied by the common English and Latin names and detailed botanical information about each plant, probably copied from a handbook. Which book might she have used? What books of western Canadian wildflowers had been published by this time, what information was available to her? On one day in May, she identifies 86 wildflower species. Which of these species are native to the area, and which had already been imported and naturalized as 'wild flowers'? Are her identifications correct?

    OBA PR 240, Ada Hope Leeder sketchbook. List of 86 species of 'Flowers found at Oak Bay, May 19th 1909.'So many questions. An archival item like this sketchbook can be a fascinating prompt for investigations in many fields of interest - here are just a few suggestions.

    OBA PR 240, Ada Hope Leeder sketchbook. Diagram suggesting further context questions in the areas of botany/natural history, history of education, family history, art history, local history.What happened next?

    The sketchbook came to the Oak Bay Archives as a single item, and there are no other family papers here to give it context.

    OBA PR 240, Ada Hope Leeder sketchbook. Tellima, Saxifrage.However, it's usual, when carrying out archival research to contextualize an accession, to need to refer to numerous primary and secondary sources, online and in archives and libraries, and it doesn't take long to discover other sources to continue the story of Hope Leeder. It's important in historical research, especially online, to be aware of the sources of sources - how does this story lead back to documentary evidence or other *primary* (original, contemporary, created at the time) source material, and how do we know the reliability of that material?OBA PR 240, Ada Hope Leeder sketchbook. Wild Tiger Lily, Lilium columbianum. A few years after the last sketchbook entry, on 9 November 1915, Hope Leeder married shipbuilder Norman Yarrow (1891-1955).[fn 7] Little did Hope know when she listed wildflower species identified in June 1909...

    OBA PR 240, Ada Hope Leeder sketchbook. List of 'Flowers found at Foul Bay, June 3rd 1909'. No. 18 is 'Yarrow.'

    Thanks to society columns of the day, we have some details about the wartime wedding. On returning from honeymoon, the Yarrows lived at 948 Old Esquimalt Road, a house they called 'Fairmont'. [fn 8]

    OBA PR 240, Ada Hope Leeder sketchbook. Pyrola Asarifolia.

    Meanwhile, in another part of the forest... or at least, over in Oak Bay... Just about this time, Hilda Seaborne and her father Charles Seaborne were travelling from England to Oak Bay, to visit their brother and son Charles 'Dudley' Cullamore Seaborne. Hilda's friend, photographer Alice Lisle (1879-1958), accompanied them. [fn 10] Throughout 1916, the three visitors stayed with Charles Jr at the Oak Bay Boat House. Alice documented their unusual life in that extraordinary year with her camera - some of the results can be viewed via Oak Bay Archives' photo search. More about that story in an article by Barrie Moen in Tweed Magazine, Spring 2016 (starts on p.14). [fn 11]

    Back to the story. Hope and Norman Yarrow had three children: John Alfred Forrest (1916-1938), Cynthia Hope (1921-2012), and Daphne Veryan (1924- ). [fn 12] In 1921, the census taker found them at home at Fairmont with their 4-year old son John. [fn 13] John died in a car accident in England in 1938, and in his memory, his parents built the Archbishop's private chapel, designed by well-known architect PL James and known as the Chapel of the Peace of God, in the precinct of Victoria's Christ Church Cathedral. [fn 14]OBA PR 240, Ada Hope Leeder sketchbook. Spikenard, Smilacina stellata.

    We now find a photo of Hope herself in 1924, with her husband Norman Yarrow and her father Dr Forrest Leeder [fn 18]. A later photo of Hope Yarrow shows her in the driver's seat, with an unusual story about the family car! [fn 19]

    During the 1930s, the Yarrow family lived in Oak Bay, at 'Edgecliffe' (925 Foul Bay Road). [fn 15] They later lived at 'Orchard Gate' (5720 Patricia Bay Highway, now 691 Donnington Place), also designed by P.L. James and built for the Yarrows in 1949 near Elk Lake. [fn 16] The BC Archives holds several photographs of this house, as well as P.L.James' papers. [fn 17]

    Norman Yarrow died in 1955. In 1959 Hope married again and became Lady Stuart-Taylor; her second husband was Sir Eric Stuart-Taylor, 2nd Bt (1889-1977), who was marrying for the third time. Sir Eric's second wife had been Hope's cousin Lilian Rosamond Leeder [fn 20], and the Yarrows had entertained them at Orchard Gate in 1950 [fn 21]. Hope and Sir Eric lived at 1663 Rockland (1959) and later at 2875 Lansdowne Road, in the Uplands. [fn 22]

    Ada Hope Stuart-Taylor, formerly Yarrow, nee Leeder, died in Victoria on 23 March 1990 at the age of 95. [fn 23] More than a decade later, her daughter Cynthia gave her mother's sketchbook to Oak Bay Archives.

    OBA PR 240, Ada Hope Leeder sketchbook. Scarlet Painted Cup, Castilleja coccinea. Digitized finding aids and source material make so much of archival research faster and easier, but much is still not digitized, and the digital sources rarely tell all of the available story on their own. Once online sources and secondary materials have been made use of, it's always worth contacting the archivists at relevant repositories for more information about what other related material might be in their collections.

    OBA PR 240, Ada Hope Leeder sketchbook. Dog Tooth Violet Lily, Erythronium americanum.

    Primary and secondary sources:

    [1] The Islander, Daily Colonist Magazine, 27 August 1967. Retrieved from https://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist19670827#page/n47/mode/1up

    See also 1921 Census entry [fn13, below], etc.

    [2] FamilySearch.org, sourcing England & Wales Census records 1901. Retrieved from https://ancestors.familysearch.org/en/LL45-S3V/ada-hope-leeder-1895-1990

    Ancestry.ca, sourcing England & Wales birth and marriage certificates. Retrieved from https://www.ancestry.ca/genealogy/records/ada-hope-leeder-24-8q6mkx

    BC Archives, death certificate entry for Ada Hope Stuart-Taylor. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/3i2MO9D (shortened link, result from http://search-collections.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Genealogy/)

    [3] BC Archives, description of Item AAAB3917 - Faith Grant and Felicity Graham interview, 1978. Retrieved from https://search-bcarchives.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/faith-grant-and-felicity-graham-interview

    [4] Ibid.

    Daily Colonist (Victoria BC), 30 June 1908, p.7. Retrieved from https://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist19080630uvic/19080630#page/n6/mode/1up/search/forrest+leeder

    Murphy, Herbert H. Royal Jubilee Hospital, Victoria, B.C., 1858-1958 [1958?], p.88. Retrieved from https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/bcbooks/items/1.0379014#p126z-5r0f:leeder

    [5] Henderson's Greater Victoria City Directory 1910-1911. Retrieved from https://bccd.vpl.ca/index.php/browse/title/1910-1911/Henderson%27s_Greater_Victoria_City_Directory

    Victoria Heritage Foundation, Heritage Register: 1369 Rockland Avenue. Retrieved from https://victoriaheritagefoundation.ca/HReg/Rockland/Rockland1369.html

    Victoria Heritage Foundation, Heritage Register: 1162 Fort Street. Retrieved from https://victoriaheritagefoundation.ca/HReg/Fernwood/Fort1162.html

    [6] Victoria Daily Colonist, 24 May 1925, p.7. Retrieved from https://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist0525uvic_20#page/n6/mode/1up/search/hope+leeder

    Victoria Heritage Foundation, Heritage Register: 1162 Fort Street. Retrieved from https://victoriaheritagefoundation.ca/HReg/Fernwood/Fort1162.html

    Victoria Heritage Foundation, Heritage Register: 1369 Rockland Avenue. Retrieved from https://victoriaheritagefoundation.ca/HReg/Rockland/Rockland1369.html

    St Margaret's School, summary institutional history. Retrieved from https://www.stmarg.ca/explore-sms/history/

    Oak Bay Archives, accession documentation.

    [7] University of Victoria Development Office, Norman Yarrow Scholarship in Engineering. Retrieved from https://www.uvic.ca/givingtouvic/donorbio/y/n_yarrow.php

    Macfarlane, John M. 'Yarrows Shipyard: a short history.' Nauticapedia, 2002. Retrieved from https://www.nauticapedia.ca/Articles/Articles_Yarrows.php,

    Bosher, JF Imperial Vancouver Island: Who Was Who, 1850-1950. p.808. See snippet previews via Google Books: https://books.google.ca/books?redir_esc=y&id=VMmZhkMzy-IC&q=yarrow#v=snippet&q=yarrow&f=false

    [8] [Unknown]. “Week.” N. Victoria : “The Week” Publishing Company, Limited, 13 Nov. 1915. Original Format: Royal British Columbia Museum. British Columbia Archives. Web. 29 Sept. 2020. . Newspapers - Progress and Week – Victoria.

    [Unknown]. “Week.” N. Victoria : “The Week” Publishing Company, Limited, 18 Dec. 1915. Original Format: Royal British Columbia Museum. British Columbia Archives. Web. 29 Sept. 2020. . Newspapers - Progress and Week – Victoria.

    [10] Findagrave.com, entry for Alice Florence Lisle Seaborne. Retrieved from https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/132967441/alice-florence-seaborne]

    [11] TWEED Magazine, 18 March 2016. Black Press Media Group. Retrieved from https://issuu.com/blackpress/docs/i20160318115836798]

    [12] thepeerage.com, entry for Ada Hope Leeder, citing Mosley, Charles, editor. Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes. Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003. Retrieved from http://www.thepeerage.com/p61537.htm

    Obituary: Cynthia Hope Pinckard (Hyslop) nee Yarrow. Oak Bay News, 27 February 2012. Black Press Media Group. Retrieved from https://www.oakbaynews.com/obituaries/cynthia-hope-pinckard-hyslop-nee-yarrow/

    [13] Library and Archives Canada, Census of Canada 1921. Entry for Head St and Old Esquimalt Road, including the Yarrow family at 948 Old Esquimalt. Retrieved from https://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.item/?app=Census1921&op=img&id=e002872313

    [14] Daily Colonist (Victoria, BC), 5 March 1966.p.17. Retrieved from https://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist19660305#page/n16/mode/1up

    Victoria Heritage Foundation, Heritage Register: 908 Vancouver Street. Retrieved from https://victoriaheritagefoundation.ca/HReg/Fairfield/Vancouver0908.html

    [15] Information via Jean Sparks

    District of Oak Bay Heritage Commission, Heritage Properties: 925 Foul Bay Road. Retrieved from https://www.oakbay.ca/our-community/history/heritage/heritage-sites/925-foul-bay-road

    [16] Bosher, JF Imperial Vancouver Island: Who Was Who, 1850-1950. p.808

    District of Saanich, Rural Saanich Local Area Plan, 2007. p.108. Retrieved from https://www.saanich.ca/assets/Community/Documents/Planning/plans/Rural_lap_web.pdf

    Swannell, A. 'This is the house where Charman lives (in style).' Daily Colonist (Victoria BC), 22 September 1979. p.8. Retrieved from https://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist19790922#page/n61/mode/1up/search/norman+yarrow

    [17] BC Archives, Visual Record Collection, description and image of Item D-05513, '"Orchard Gate", the Elk Lake residence of Norman A. Yarrow, Saanich; P. Leonard James, architect.' Retrieved from https://search-bcarchives.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/orchard-gate-elk-lake-residence-of-norman-yarrow-saanich-p-leonard-james-architect

    BC Archives, description of Fonds PR-0714 - Percy Leonard James fonds. Retrieved from https://search-bcarchives.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/percy-leonard-james-fonds

    see also:

    Gill, R.G. 'James, Percy Leonard.' Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada 1800-1950. retrieved from http://dictionaryofarchitectsincanada.org/node/1538

    Granville Island Publishing. Publisher's description, The Life and Times of Victoria Architect P. Leonard James by Rosemary James Cross. Retrieved from http://www.granvilleislandpublishing.com/our_titles/architecture/p_leonard_james.html

    City of Victoria Archives, description of Fonds PR-0271 - Warner James Johnson Architects Planners fonds. Retrieved from https://archives.victoria.ca/warner-james-johnson-architects-planners-fonds

    [18] BC Archives, image and description of Item I-61882 - Mr. and Mrs. Norman Yarrow, with Dr. Leeder, Mrs. Yarrow's father. Retrieved from https://search-bcarchives.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/mr-and-mrs-norman-yarrow-with-dr-leeder-mrs-yarrows-father

    [19] Edwards, A. 'Collector Classics: Back in the family - Christopher Yarrow’s search for his grandfather’s car led to 1930 Packard Phaeton restoration.' Driving magazine, 18 December 2013. Retrieved from https://driving.ca/auto-news/news/collector-classics-back-in-the-family

    [20] thepeerage.com, entry for Sir Eric Stuart-Taylor, citing Mosley, Charles, editor. Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes. Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003.

    Daily Colonist (Victoria BC), 30 September 1950.p.8. https://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist0950uvic_23#page/n6/mode/1up/search/lady+stuart

    FamilySearch.org, entry for Forrest Bertram Leeder showing brothers Ernest Holtham Leeder (father of Lilian) and John Nott [should be N not H] Viner Leeder. Retrieved from https://ancestors.familysearch.org/en/LL4P-TBG/forrest-bertram-leeder-1865-1945

    see also The Cardiff Times, 17 September 1910, p.10. 'Estate of £110,000: Swansea Beneficiaries.' Retrieved from https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3416164/3416174

    Daily Colonist (Victoria BC), 7 June 1959, p.25. Engagement announcement for Hope Yarrow and Sir Eric Stuart-Taylor. Retrieved from https://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist19590607#page/n24/mode/1up

    [21] Daily Colonist (Victoria BC), 30 September 1950.p.8. https://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist0950uvic_23#page/n6/mode/1up/search/lady+stuart

    [22] Victoria and Suburban Directory 1971, at Oak Bay Archives.

    Oak Bay Archives, Demolition file for 2875 Uplands Road.

    BC Archives, images and descriptions for Items D-05513, D-05514, D-05515 - "Orchard Gate", (691 Donnington Place), the Elk Lake residence of Norman A. Yarrow, Saanich; P. Leonard James, architect. Retrieved from https://search-bcarchives.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/orchard-gate-elk-lake-residence-of-norman-yarrow-saanich-p-leonard-james-architect

    [23] BC Archives, death certificate entry for Ada Hope Stuart-Taylor. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/3i2MO9D (shortened link, result from http://search-collections.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Genealogy/)


    - Anna Sander for Oak Bay Archives, 2020.

    To cite: Sander, Anna. (2020, September). 'Wildflower sketches by Ada Hope Leeder (1896-1990)'. [Blog post]. District of Oak Bay, Archives. Retrieved from https://connect.oakbay.ca/archives/news_feed/hope-leeder.


  • Discovering Oak Bay history on foot and by bike

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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