NOW Bronwyn Taylor and Debra Taylor Wright in June 2017 visiting the former family home at 1736 St Ann, built by their grandparents in 1919. (Photo: Claire Miller)

Prominent Oak Bay volunteer revisits her past for Then and Now

Oak Bay Archives project inspires visit to family home

A prominent Oak Bay volunteer took a trip into her family’s past thanks to the Oak Bay Archives community project, Then and Now. The project promotes conversation and provides a snapshot of Oak Bay in 2017 as seen by residents, juxtaposed with those from the past inspired one resident to revisit a family home.

“When Oak Bay Archives announced its Then and Now project for Canada’s 150, I immediately thought of an old family photo that could be partially recreated, if the current owners of our ancestral home were willing,” said Bronwyn Taylor. “Armed with the photo, I knocked on the door, explaining that I wanted permission to take a picture of my sister and I at the bottom of the front steps.”

Taylor is fairly known in the community for her volunteer work with th Oak Bay Archives, Oak Bay Volunteers and Oak Bay Heritage Commission. But she was still a stranger when she knocked on the door of her former home. on St. Ann.

“The owner was so excited he called his wife to see the picture and they invited me in to identify the little girl in an old photo they had been given by the previous owners. That little girl was my mother, at about three years of age. I was given a tour of the house, all the while asking questions about the original home and they explained changes that had been made over the years. They wanted to meet my sister, so the next day we returned for her tour and photo taking.”

It is wonderful to know that the house is still being so lovingly cared for in its 98th year, as it was when my grandparents built it in 1919.”

Submit photos and stories to by July 31. Selected photos and stories will appear in the Oak Bay News and exhibited by Oak Bay Archives.


THEN Faye and Don Taylor outside 1736 St Ann Street in March 1954 with baby Debra (arriving home from the hospital) and 3 ½ year old Bronwyn. The house was built by Debra and Bronwyn’s grandparents, Edith and Stewart Smith, in 1919 and was owned by the family until the 1980s. (Photo: Stewart Smith)

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