953 St. Patrick Street

953 St. Patrick Sreet is a 1 1/2 storey cottage and "shed or garage" situated within a garden setting, located in the South Oak Bay/ McNeill neighbourhood. Built in 1911, this house was originally a simple side-gable roofed house with two front dormers and a rear dormer. Additions in 1913, and 1928 enlarged the side-gabled roof forward toward the street, covering a nine foot wide porch, the width of the house. A shed or garage was added in the rear yard in 1929. The house has no basement.

Heritage Value: 

The value of this house is that of an idiosyncratic residence, owned by contractor Richard Oliver the year after he moved from 947 Foul Bay Road, which he had built in 1909 with fellow contractor James Townsend. Curiously, A.H. Charles was listed on permits, as contractor for this house.

This house represents how a contractor/owner can affect the character of the neighbourhood, by building houses that use both distinctive materials (slate roof, stucco walls), and distinctive styles (cottage forms). 953 St.Patrick Street is an important heritage asset in the local neighbourhood. The slate roof has been removed: It was "more slate than shingle" in 1936; and more shingle than slate in 1985. As of the early 1990's all of the slate roof had been removed.

The interior has a mantlepiece, with original Edwardian tiles and an original Victorian-style stairway and balustrade, both at odds with the actual date of construction, yet has retained the charm of a rustic cottage.

The early renovations of the house have taken on their own significance. The double-sloped roof and front porch are valued as a further expression of the cottage form, with the heavy timbered supports and ground level porch floor.

Character Defining Elements: 
  • low-level cottage form of the house in a cottage garden setting
  • large, ground level, deep front porch framed by heavy timbers
  • distinctive double sloped roof, defining early addition to front of the house.
  • stucco exterior
  • north-south gable roof
  • two small dormers to the front; and one rear dormer
  • multi-paned, heavily mullioned windows
  • interior original Victorian mantlepiece and Victorian-style stairway
Identifying Names: 
Oliver House, The Richard Oliver House
McNeill/South Oak Bay
Oak Bay
Capital Region District