Panel discussion delves into heritage homes

Oak Bay Heritage presents Restoring Your Home: An Evening With The Experts Wednesday night at Windsor Pavilion

Oak Bay Heritage Foundation president Robert Taylor (left) and Bill Patterson with Citta Group stand in front of one of the heritage homes Patterson is restoring on Patio Court. Restoring heritage homes will be the topic of a panel discussion March 18 at Windsor Pavilion.

Oak Bay Heritage Foundation president Robert Taylor (left) and Bill Patterson with Citta Group stand in front of one of the heritage homes Patterson is restoring on Patio Court. Restoring heritage homes will be the topic of a panel discussion March 18 at Windsor Pavilion.

The distinct architectural features of many Oak Bay’s home help define the character of the community.

Helping ensure that distinct character remains a part of the community for years to come, a panel discussion next week will reveal some of the secrets to restoring heritage homes.

Oak Bay Heritage presents Restoring Your Home: An Evening With The Experts Wednesday night at Windsor Pavilion.

“I think it will be a benefit to homeowners who love older homes, who want to maintain their character. They face the problem, do they repair, do they replace?” said Oak Bay Heritage Foundation president Robert Taylor, who is facilitating the panel discussion.

“I think what they’ll get out of this session is some really good advice on how they can, in fact, repair a lot of original fixtures. They don’t necessarily have to replace them and go out of character with the house.”

Bill Patterson is the president of Citta Group who has worked on restoring a number of heritage properties throughout Greater Victoria. For Patterson, replacement is always a last resort.

“If it’s unrepairable, than you replace. In the long run, from my experience as a builder, it’s more practical. It actually costs less money to repair than replace in almost all cases,” said Patterson, who will be a part of Wednesday night’s panel.

Joining Patterson on the panel will be Simone Vogel-Horridge, the president of Ross Bay Villa Society, and local author and historian Nick Russell.

“We don‘t own heritage houses,” said Russell. “We are privileged to borrow them for a time, and hopefully we leave them as good as we found them.”

Russell, who has restored several houses, says some homes just cry out to be rescued.

“But you‘ve got to see beneath the surface – beneath the stucco or asbestos or drywall – to find the essential building,” he said.

“The excitement comes when you look beneath those ugly layers and find the real nature of the house. And the reward comes from restoring that essential character, so the original owner could walk in, and say, ‘Oh, it hasn‘t changed a bit.’ All it needs, is time and money.”

There are two types of heritage properties in Oak Bay. Heritage registered is a way of recognizing a home by putting it on the heritage registry, but that doesn’t preserve the home. A heritage designation is something an owner requests from council which protects the house from any changes without a heritage alteration permit.

Taylor said no matter the designation, Oak Bay is blessed with a wealth of older homes.

“They may not be heritage designated, but they’re still valuable old homes which have this character,” said Taylor, who is the midst of renovating his seventh older home.

“There was this huge building boom [in Oak Bay] just before the First World War. About 900 houses were built in a four or five-year period,” said Taylor.

Another minor boom would take place in the late-1920s, with another following in the 1950s.

Patterson is currently working on five those homes constructed during the 1920s, working to resort the storybook cottages of Patio Court, just up from Glenlyon Norfolk School on Beach Drive.

“They were built in 1927 and never had any work done on them. To make them desirable for a family to live in they need to be modernized.”

He said while all of today’s amenities, such as modern wiring and plumbing, will be added to the interior of the homes, the exteriors will retain their original character.

Patterson said restoring older homes often requires more careful decision making than constructing a new home.

“You can go the wrong way easier, you can go too far sometimes,” said Patterson. “The thing that I always say to people is you have to respect the structure that is there as much as you can. It’s not worth it to make a room one foot bigger just because that would be the ideal size. It involves too much work, it’s too invasive. It costs more than what you’re getting back.”

 

The panel discussion begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Windsor Pavilion, 2451 Windsor Rd. Donations welcome and refreshments will be served

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Coaches with the Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey association have had to get creative during their weekly practices to keep players interested and improving their skills without physical contact. (Damian Kowalewich photo)
West Shore minor hockey coach shares what it’s like on the ice without parents, fans

Most practices consist of relay races, goalie shots and passing drills

The Songhees Wellness Centre is a symbol of First Nations strength in the region. Representatives of local First Nations will soon play a greater role in decision making and governance relating to the Capital Regional District. (Courtesy Royal Roads University)
Capital Regional District to add First Nations representatives to advisory committees

Board approves bylaw, looks forward to Indigenous input on future decisions

Central Saanich will investigate ways in which the municipality along with funding partners Sidney and North Saanich can financially support the Panorama Recreation Centre. (Black Press Media File)
Central Saanich to spell out options for financially supporting Panorama Recreation Centre

Municipality looks for best use of COVID-19 restart grant worth some $3.5 million

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

Willow, a kitten belonging to a Victoria family, was rescued by firefighters on Thursday after she got stuck in a basement drain pipe. (City of Victoria/Twitter)
Victoria kitten stuck in basement drain pipe rescued by firefighters

Willow the cat on the mend, owner feeling ‘enormous gratitude’

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Most Read