Craigdarroch Residences (1964 and 1967)



"Craigdarroch" and "Lansdowne" residential units, names referencing Victoria College's two previous homes (Craigdarroch Castle in Rockland and the Provincial Normal School in Lansdowne), represent two stylistic stages in the development of the Siddall office. The first, Craigdarroch, detailed in wood and stucco, reflects the current domestic side of West Coast modernism, and the second, Lansdowne, connects with international-style brutalism in its unadorned heavy concrete massing.




These residences consist of four four-storey buildings, which house (in total) about 500 students. The buildings are of reinforced concrete with stucco and stone exterior finish. The women's residences, Emily Carr and Margaret Newton Halls, were built in the summer of 1964 for occupancy in the 1964–65 session. There was no residential accommodation for men on campus until the fall of 1967, with the opening of Sir Arthur Currie and David Thompson Halls. By then the University had decided to adopt a co-curricular College System, and these four units were destined to become "Craigdarroch College." When the college system was abandoned in 1972, the four halls continued to be known as the "Craigdarroch Residences."



Craigdarroch Castle, the former Robert Dunsmuir mansion in Victoria's Rockland district, was the home of Victoria College (UBC) from 1921 to 1946. All University of Victoria residence groupings have names that reflect phases in the institution's history.

Emily Carr (1871–1945), who was born and died in Victoria, is one of Canada's greatest and most original painters. After art studies in San Francisco and London, she returned to British Columbia, where she depicted First Nations culture and the West-Coast forest landscape. For her autobiographical non-fiction, she won a Governor-General's Award in 1941.

Margaret Newton, B.S.A, M.Sc. (McGill), Ph.D. (Minnesota), LLD. (Saskatchewan), F.R.S.C. (1887–1971 ), was born and educated in Montreal, but lived for many years in Victoria. She was known internationally for her pioneer research on cereal rusts, work that played a key role in the development of rust-resistant wheat varieties. In 1948 she was awarded the prestigious Flavelle Medal of the Royal Society of Canada.

David Thompson (1770–1857), a native of London, England, was a fur-trader, explorer and geographer with the Hudson's Bay Company from 1784 to 1797 and thereafterwith the North West Company. He established the first trading post on the Columbia River and was the first white man to travel the full length of that river. The Thompson River, which he never saw, is named after him.

General Sir Arthur W. Currie, G.C.M.G., K.C.B., LLD., D.C.L, was born at Napperton, Ontario, in 1875 and died in Montreal in 1933. After basic schooling in Ontario, he lived for twenty years in Victoria, teaching from 1894 to 1900 in Sidney and at Boys' Central School, before entering the fields of real estate and insurance. He became Commander of the Canadian Forces in World War I (1917–1918), and was later Principal of McGill University (1920–1933).


Facts and Figures


Architect: R. W. Siddall Associates

Structural: Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd.

Mechanical: (Stage I) D. W. Thomson & Company Ltd., [Vancouver], (Stage II) F. T. Gardiner, P. Eng.

Electrical: Spratt & Associates

Contractor: (Stage I) Farmer Construction Ltd., (Stage II) C. J. Oliver Ltd., [Vancouver]

Contract: (Stage I) $576,850 (Jan. 3, 1964); $584,476, (Stage II) $677,000 (Dec. 20, 1966); $684,772

Gross area: 46,056 sq. ft. (I), 37,140 sq. ft. (II)

Cost per square foot: $12.69 (I), $18,44 (II)


See UVic's maps and buildings description.