Research Guides

*For current information about access to the Archives in 2021, please see this

 Archives Access Update page


Research the History of Your Oak Bay House

Discover the history of your house using maps, photographs, directories, tax assessments, and other resources at Oak Bay Archives.

Download the Research Guide
House History: Researching the History of Your Oak Bay Home

  • Maps & Plans: Fire Insurance plans are available for Oak Bay, ca.1925 to 1950
  • Directories: Directories can be used to find the names and occupations of the previous occupants of your house.  Oak Bay Archives has city directories from the 1960s to 1990s. Directories are also available online through the Vancouver Public Library website.
  • Photographs: Oak Bay Archives photographic collection includes images of residential buildings. See the online photograph collection here
  • Building Files: Building files are available for over 200 homes and there is an inventory of all residential buildings that contains relevant dates
  • Tax Assessments: Tax assessment ledgers contain lists of owners and occupiers as well as the legal description of the property and its value. Assessment rolls are held off site and can be viewed by researchers upon request. 
  • Voters Lists: Oak Bay Archives has a small collection of voters lists available to researchers.

To find out how to designate your house as heritage or for information on cost-sharing grants for designated heritage houses, please contact the Oak Bay Heritage Foundation.

Family History Research at Oak Bay Archives

If your ancestor lived in Oak Bay or owned a property or a business in the municipality, the Archives may be able to help with your family history research.  Records that connect a person to an address at a specific time are valuable to family historians and the following resources are available at the Archives:

  • Voters Lists:  Oak Bay Archives has a small number of voters lists available to researchers
  • Tax Assessments: contain names of owners and occupants (these are stored offsite and can be produced at the Archives by prior arrangement)
  • Building and utility permits: containing names of owners and addresses
  • Birth, marriage and death records: can be searched online through BC Archives Vital Events
  • Census records: can be searched through the viHistory website
  • BC City Directories: are available online through the Vancouver Public Library website
genealogy ancestry heritage