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Doug Christies Law Office

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#1 slinkyo

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 06:04 PM

Here's a strange photo. The mystery of that wierd little law office that Lawyer Doug Christie has somehow operated in for years on Courtney Street may have been revealed. It's adjacent to the Royal Theatre.

Why is it so small? It turns out it's probably the remaining front/right portion of an the old white house that existed there a loooong time ago. Some changes to the entrance were built in at one corner. The boarded up window on the front of the newer building is exactly the same size as the building attached to the old house. They only retained the front right of the building that juts out from the old house.Can it be true? Nuts if it is..

#2 G-Man


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Posted 23 August 2012 - 07:27 PM

Wow I would say you are dead on. That is the find of the month!!!!

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#3 slinkyo

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 08:14 PM

What I'd be ever more curious about is how long ago did the conversion happen. And how the hell did the city allow this? Seems a bit strange to me..Anyone here know anything?

#4 Baro

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:33 PM

Super cool find, thanks!!
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#5 Sparky



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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:47 PM

Before Doug occupied this building it was the office of Watson's Driving school.

I am just guessing here, but perhaps the larger building in the rear became subject to a fire. That's one way this could have happened. Interesting to note there is a door leading onto the roof of the smaller store front. A sundeck perhaps?

Note the body styles of the pickup trucks in the billboard ad. The quad headlights would lead me to 1958. That is a 57 Chevy in the parking lot.

Nevertheless, a wonderful picture find.

Thanks slynkyo.

#6 slinkyo

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 08:10 AM

Thanks Sparky,
Based on another picture, that door used to be a window. You wouldn't believe how that house once looked like in the early century! I'll post it here when I get a chance.

#7 Holden West

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 07:23 PM

Christie's office is occupied by a new lawyer now.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#8 Ken Johnson

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 03:19 PM

It is interesting that it is now a law office as the propertry has an interesting legal background.

When the Royal Theatre was planned in 1913, they wanted it bigger and purchased the property at 810 Courtney Street, the May House, immediately behind the theatre property. This allowed them to increase seating within the boundaries of the original Broughton Street lot and have the stage and fly tower on the lot at 810 Courtney.

The consortium of private businessmen who built the Royal soon ran out of funds and everything was mortgaged, including both pieces of property. The mortgage holder at 810 Courtney foreclosed and, from the Daily Times of January 17, 1916 comes this:


Divided Against Itself by Legal Action; Royal Victoria Will Still Stand.

A curious situation is created by the foreclosing of the mortgage on portion of the Royal Victoria Theatre property . The mortgagee finds himself in possession of a theatre auditorium without a stage, while the Victoria Opera House Company is left with a stage without any accommodation for an audience.

The owner of the front half of the property is, however, not so badly off as the owners of the rear portion, especially since the flickering drama seems to be the only sort that Victorians can hope to see. He can gain a screen across the proscenium arch and present to as larger audience as the big auditorium will hold motion picture substitutes for the spoken play.

This situation is probably unique in the history of drama. A house without a stage or a stage without a house is so unthinkable that it requires a little thought to realize the position. Here is an owner of a fine theatre building or one half of it and with all the convenience for seating hundreds of people comfortably. But he cannot produce opera or play for their entertainment. On the other hand the theatre company possesses one of the largest and most adequate stages on the continent, with all the scenic accessories and machinery and with dressing-rooms that are models of comfort. It can stage any attraction on the road, but cannot offer the players any audience to listen to their efforts. Playing to the back of the curtain would be neither satisfying nor profitable.

The wags offer many suggestions as to what use the stage could be put to. It might make a dancing academy, a ball-room or a banquet hall, or, if the dressing-rooms were converted into bedrooms, some one might run a hotel and utilize the stage for a drawing-room for guests. The field for suggestion is as wide as the wildest imagination can range.

As a matter fact, there is no doubt that an arrangement will be come to between the owners of the two portions of the theatre which will enable the whole property to be used as one building should such a thing as a dramatic company ever come here again. Meanwhile the mortgagee is not worrying about what may happen back stage and “The Birth Of a Nation” will be featured forth from the boundary wall of his portion of the theatre this week, stage or no stage."

#9 Old Esquimalt

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 03:26 PM

If I had to guess I would say this building was left as a storage or site office building, or perhaps to preserve a grandfathered setback.  I always assumed it was an office for the parking lot in past years, but maybe not?

#10 Mike K.

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 03:35 PM

Not a bad guess, OE.

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#11 Holden West

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 07:41 PM

I think we already identified that building--it's the remains of a house.

"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009


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