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Major maintenance slated for historic Tod House in Oak Bay

Roof and chimney repairs, new paint and landscaping on to-do list for district-owned heritage home
Tod House, an 1850 heritage home owned by the Distroct of Oak Bay, is set to undergo major maintenance work this year. (Google Maps)

A municipally-owned heritage house in Oak Bay will get much-needed maintenance this year.

Cleaned gutters, sanding, repairs and painting to the exterior – using the original colour scheme – are on the way for Tod House, built by John Tod in 1850, and expanded in the 1860s.

Council approved the funding, awarded the work and approved a heritage alteration permit during its Feb. 28 meeting.

Maintenance in the dozen years since the property was downloaded to the district from the province has been minimal, according to a staff report.

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Work includes stripping the roof for inspection and repairs using materials that match those used historically, including new split cedar shake to match the original roofing. The chimneys will be inspected and repointed with mortar that matches the original and dislocated bricks will be replaced and reinforced. New metal flashing will be installed in reglets as necessary to enable roofing repairs.

Following sanding and repairs, the exterior will be painted using the original colour scheme and the exposed stone chimney will be lime-washed.

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A concrete porch outside the kitchen, not part of the original building, will be removed as it is causing damage to the historical timbers that support the house. The grounds around the house will be regraded and a new patio will be installed with porous pavers.

Landscaping and fencing repairs are also on the agenda.

Once high priority repairs are finished, municipal staff will investigate options for following best conservation practices going forward. In 2020, a needs assessment estimated the cost of high priority maintenance between $300,000 and $400,000 and another $400,000 to $500,000 for improvements to follow conservation best practices.

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Council approved a budget baseline of $483,000 funded by $260,000 from the Tod House Trust and $223,000 from the Infrastructure Renewal Reserve.

Oak Bay also awarded the project to Thujacraft.

Tod was a Hudson’s Bay Company factor and chief trader and one of the first appointed members of the legislature. The home is historically significant as an example of an early HBC farm settlement of the French Canadian style and one of the oldest colonial homes in Victoria. Tod House is still an active residence.

The maintenance work is expected to be done this year, with the existing tenants remaining in place.

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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