Street Names and Origins
compiled by Jean Sparks, Oak Bay Archives
In the early years, names were given to Oak Bay streets without consideration of whether or not they duplicated names already in use in adjacent areas. As a result of this practice, names had to be changed on numerous occasions following complaints from postal authorities about confusion in mail delivery. At one time, there were three streets in Oak Bay with the name Gonzales.
How some of the names listed here were arrived at must be pure conjecture as the thoughts in the minds of councillors at the time are unknown. Nor is there reference in any of the early council minutes of the reason for giving a particular name to a street. Some have their origin in the name of a prominent personage. Others are of a nostalgic nature, leading to reminiscences of known places in the British Isles – perhaps the birthplace of a member of Council.
Research suggests that a number of streets in the former Hudson’s Bay Company properties honour persons associated with HBC history, while many end in “downe”. As with other names supplied on the plans when the land was subdivided, no explanation was given by the company as to why the particular names were chosen.