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1110 Victoria Dr

Photo Credit: Gina Gverster

Address

1110 Victoria Dr, Vancouver BC

Neighbourhood

Grandview-Woodlands

Type

Residential

Significance

A

Description

The tall trees surrounding the imposing house at 1110 Victoria Dr. hide a building with a rich and varied history. The house was built in 1910 by well-known Canadian architect John Philip Matheson for Captain William Harvey Copp, who lived here for nearly 20 years from 1910 to 1928. The building permit valued the house at $8,000 at the time of its construction, a huge amount at the time.

Captain Copp was one Grandview’s early land pioneers and developers. Among the first to hope to develop the area as a neighbourhood, Captain Copp bought 18 acres east of Victoria Drive, which he tried to develop in 1894 but had little success selling the lots. However, this subdivision, which was based on the 1894 lot lines (divided into 25-foot lots with no back lanes), is now the neighbourhood of Rose and Lily Streets, a set of small blocks that breaks with the pattern of the rest of Grandview. Captain Copp’s former house at 1110 Victoria Dr. sits on the corner of the land he hoped to develop.

According to his 1928 obituary in The Victoria Daily Times, Captain Copp had a more colourful career on the water than on the land. He built his sailing schooner Vancouver Belle on False Creek, and then conducted sealing expeditions to the Bering Sea. The Times notes that he and his crew were once captured by Russian authorities and taken to Vladivostok for alleged poaching, and Captain Copp was compensated only with the intervention of the Hague Tribunal. A 1916 poster of the Commissioners and Pilots of Vancouver Pilotage District indicates that Captain Copp was active at the time he was living at 1110 Victoria Dr. as either a pilot or harbour commissioner.

Following the departure of Captain Copp in 1928 and a brief period of vacancy, 1110 Victoria Dr. briefly housed Reverend Andrew Roddan, pastor of First United Church – a church community that has been operating in the Strathcona area of Vancouver for more than 130 years. The next long-term occupant of the house, the Century Clinic, was active on site from 1931 through 1947. The naturopathy clinic was operated by Frederick and Rose Kerk-Hecker, who also resided on the property. From 1948 to 1955, the city directories indicate that 1110 Victoria was operated as a boarding house by Metro Monotiuk.

Source

British Columbia City Directories 1860-1955, Heritage Vancouver Building Permits Database, City of Vancouver Archives, Bruce MacDonald, The Victoria Daily Times