2809 Burdick Avenue

The Bowden property consists of a two-storey Tudor Revival style house and landscaped grounds on the South-west border of the Uplands.

Heritage Value: 

The Bowden residence is significant to the community as an example of the post WWI architecture that occurred within the Uplands precinct. It reflects the means and lifestyle of the still affluent family of the depression era.

The property contributes to the social history of Oak Bay as the home of the Bowden and Lipsey families. It is notable that the widow Mrs. M. E. Bowden, built this house for herself and her son, Waldemar “Wally” Paul Bowden. Later, she built “Lower Drummadoon” (1937) in Saanich for her son and his wife, Margaret “Margo” Walton Bowden (nee Robertson). Also important is the Lipsey family residence in the house (1937-1951). Mr. Richard Lipsey was a private realtor and manager of the A.P. Slade and Company wholesale fruit company warehouse on lower Yates.

Architecturally, it is important for its unique design by the well-known Victoria architect William Jacobus Semeyn. Built in 1930, the architect incorporated a predominant corner façade, side porch and such unique interior detailing as art glass windows and oak trim to create a distinctive building within the popular Tudor Revival style. The formal design of the interior reflects the use of the home for entertaining. The house is unique for its large windows on the south elevation, and the use of special “vita” glass in the sunroom as per the specifications to create a healthy and bright environment for Mrs. Bowden’s son. Additionally, its corner location and landscaped grounds make this one of the most significant historic architectural landmarks on the south-west border of the Uplands.

Character Defining Elements: 
  • The views between the house and Nottingham Road and Burdick Avenue.
  • Tudor Revival design typified by the steep hipped gabled roof, textured stucco cladding, side porch, and symmetrical façade on the Nottingham Road elevation.
  • Relatively large casement windows with rare “vita” glass in the sunroom, and use of cut art glass in the front entrance and hallway.
  • Intact spatial configurations of all second floor rooms as well as the first floor reception rooms, bedroom and sunroom.
  • Authentic (historic) interior detailing, including cottage oak floors, fir and oak trim, oak baseboards, board and batten oak paneling in the Dining Room, with original finish, French doors, washbasins in second floor bedrooms, screens on south-facing windows, hearth and terrace tile work, radiators, light fixtures and hardware.
  • Original landscape features such as mature oak and magnolia trees, perennial rock garden, original pathways and granite steps.
Identifying Names: 
Bowden Residence, The Mrs. M. E. Bowden House
Oak Bay
Capital Region District