Maple tree cracking Carr sister’s house

Alice Carr's former house suffering structural damage

The former house of Emily Carr's sister

The former house of Emily Carr's sister

Financial constraints are holding back the removal of a tree that threatens a historically significant house in James Bay.

The former residence of Alice Carr, sister to famous painter Emily Carr, sits on a cracked foundation at 218-220 St. Andrew’s St. The roots of a large maple have impeded upon the house’s structure.

“This house is really quite important historically and unfortunately there’s this huge tree that’s causing foundation problems,” said Steve Barber, senior heritage planner with the City of Victoria.

The house’s owner, Barbara Saunders, an artist who works under her maiden name Richardson, has lived there since 1976. Her parents bought the building a decade earlier, and she hasn’t been able to afford to have the tree removed.

Bartlett Tree Experts offered to cut down the tree, free of charge.

Barber approached Bartlett’s owner Noah Violini and asked him to donate the work. Violini agreed.

“We said yes. It was a matter of just trying to help,” said Mike Evers, manager of the Victoria branch of the company.

However, taking down the tree is but a fraction of the work that needs to be done.

Apart from the cracking foundation, walls are buckling and windows are breaking. Structural repairs are needed as well but Saunders said she can’t afford them.

“This is an important (house). … It’s national history,” she said. “It’s not just come and cut a bit of tree out.

“Somebody else will have to carry the torch — or I need help to carry the torch is more to the point.”

Saunders plans to rent out a portion of the house to an Emily Carr fan to ease the financial burden.

While the Victoria Heritage Foundation offers grants to repair historically significant homes, it only covers a portion of the cost.

Initially, Bartlett Tree Experts and the city agreed to remove the tree in October, but the scope of the work has pushed the project back until at least spring 2012.

ecardone@vicnews.com

 

Did you know?

The Carr acreage was developed in 1863. It was split into five lots for the children.

Alice Carr was a teacher and taught at the house, which doubled as a school. Emily Carr taught art classes there.

Alice often travelled with her artist sister Emily and cared for her. Emily died in 1945 and Alice in 1953, both in Victoria.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Housing ensures that by March 31, shelter will be available to all people living outside. (Black Press Media file photo)
All unhoused Victoria residents will be offered shelter by March 31, says BC Housing

BC Housing working to secure shelter locations in coming weeks

Robert Schram, here seen in January 2016, died Saturday, according to a friend. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sidney, Saanich Peninsula mourn the death of Mr. Beads

Bead artist Robert Schram was a familiar, well-loved figure in Sidney and beyond

Cathy Armstrong, executive director of the Land Conservancy, Paul Nursey CEO of Destination Greater Victoria and Saanich Coun. Susan Brice helped to kick off the annual Greater Victoria Flower Count at Abkhazi Garden Monday. This year, the flower count is less about rubbing the region’s weather in the rest of Canada’ faces, and more about extending a bouquet of compassion and love. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
2021 Greater Victoria Flower Count sows seeds of compassion

Friendly flower count competition runs from March 3 to 10

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

Most Read