560-562 Yates Street


Date of construction: 1883


560-562 Yates Street was built by Thomas Hooper for Mrs. Mary Hannah Watkins in 1883 when lot 184 was subdivided. She was born in Bowmanville, Ontario in 1854 to James Eliphalet McMillan and his wife Louisa. By 1874, she was living in Victoria as she married Charles Richard Watkins there on December 12, 1874. Her husband died of typhoid on November 1, 1884 leaving her with five children including noted Victoria architect, Charles Elwood Watkins, who began his career in the office of Thomas Hooper. Mrs. Watkins ran a dressmaking shop out of her building, then it was the location of William J Jeffree’s outlet. His business had been established around 1858 in a wooden building at the northwest corner of Government and Yates and obviously moved to the newer brick building. According to directories, the firm carried “gentlemen’s furnishings, trunks, goods, etc.” William Jeffries died on March 18, 1885 and the business was carried on by his son, also named William Joseph. In 1894 he moved the store up the street to the Jewell Block on the corner of Douglas and Yates, then appears to have gone out of business by 1896. He appears in the 1901 Vancouver City Directory. 560-562 Yates was the home of F. R.Stewart & Co. Fruits and Provisions from the mid 1890’s and this business was in this location when the streetcar made its journey.


This Hallmark Heritage Society project was funded by the HBC Foundation and the BC150-Heritage Legacy Fund

Project manager and researcher: Helen Edwards

Principal Photography & Consultant: Ron Bukta, West Ventures Photography