Photo Credit: Barry Bogart
6633 MacDonald St, Vancouver BC
6633 MacDonald St., otherwise known as Tavistock, is a large Tudor residence just south of SW Marine Drive. Built in 1931, it originally fronted SW Marine Drive. Listed as 2810 SW Marine Dr., the lot was subdivided in the early 1980s and now has an entrance off MacDonald Street. The property features a grand set of brick stairs leading to a large lawn. The house’s gabled roof, decorative half-timbering and leaded windows are all indicative of the classic Tudor Revival style.
This house was originally built for Reginald and Aileen Symes. Reginald Symes was born in England in 1881 and studied law at the University of Cambridge. Aileen Symes, nee Aileen Frances Hatchell, also hailed from England. The pair married in 1910 and first appeared in Vancouver city directories in 1912. After moving to Vancouver, Reginald continued to practice as a lawyer with Alexander Harold Douglas. Their firm Douglas, Symes and Brissenden practiced until 2000. City directories indicate that the Symes family lived at Tavistock until 1947.
Reginald and Aileen Symes’ only child, Nancy, attended nearby Crofton House School and later attended the University of British Columbia and Cambridge University. She married Henry Pybus “Budge” Bell-Irving in 1937. The Bell-Irvings were a prominent Vancouver family, originally from Scotland. They ran successful businesses in the insurance and packing sectors. Henry later became Lieutenant Governor of BC from 1978 to 1983 and was awarded the Order of BC.
Southlands was the traditional territory of the Musqueam First Nation and was later settled by Irish immigrants in the mid-1800s before Vancouver was a city. It is now home to a variety of equestrian facilities, including Southlands Riding Club. Many homes are on acreages and have private stables.
Heritage Vancouver Building Permits Database, VPL British Columbia City Directories 1860-1955, VanMap