(#21) 607-611 Yates Street

Date of construction: 1882607-611 Yates Street

Built as a Grocery Store and Saloon for John Boyd, this simple two-storey vernacular structure has had its storefronts altered and the window openings on the second storey have been enlarged to accommodate double sashes. Originally there was a corner entry with a window above. The facade has been stuccoed.  Boyd operated his successful wholesale and retail, wine and spirits, tea and cigar business from this location.

The British Colonist of April 2, 1890 carried the following advertisement: “Andrew Tolmie, having leased the premises occupied by me for so many years at 45 and 47 Yates Street, will carry on the business in conjunction with Duncan Stewart, under the name TOLMIE & STEWART and by a careful selection of liquors and strict attention to business will keep up the well established reputation of the house. Thanking my friends for their patronage in the past, I would request a continuation of the same for my successors.
(signed) JOHN BOYD.”

Further changes were made as noted in the British Colonist for November 19, 1904.
“Notice. We hereby give you notice that we intend to apply at the next sitting of the Board of Licensing Commissioners for a transfer of the license now held by us to sell wines, spirituous and fermented liquors by wholesale and retail on the premises known as 45 and 47 Yates Street, in the City of Victoria, B.C., to Duncan Stewart. (signed) Tolmie & Stewart, November 16, 1904.”

In 1907, Duncan Stewart was still in business and apparently rented out the upstairs to tenants, including James D. Robinson, bookkeeper.

In 2009, the the building was the site of of an internet cafe with offices above.


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