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Archival description
City of Victoria fonds
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1702 Denman Street

Consists of application by Murray and Smith to connect building at 1702 Denman Street to sewer.

Land acquisition documents

Series consists of records dealing with land sales including conveyances, deeds, mortgages, and land and Crown grants.

The documentation traces the history of ownership of various properties until they come into the possession of the Corporation of the City of Victoria.

The City acquired ownership of many of these properties for the purpose of rights of way for sewer, paths etc., the creation or extension of roads, or for public schools. City properties acquired for other purposes include the BC Agricultural Association lands at Willows in Oak Bay, the proposed cemetery at Ogden Point and Ross Bay Cemetery. Copies of various Crown grants such as the James Bay mud flats, Mt. Douglas and Beacon Hill Park are also included.

Victoria (B.C.). City Clerk's Office

Mayor and Council photographs

Series consists primarily of individual photographs taken of each Mayor and group photographs of the Mayor and Council members generally at the beginning of each term in office. Series also includes other photographs featuring Mayor and Council.

Victoria (B.C.). Mayor's Office

Mayor's miscellaneous correspondence and invitations

Series consists of invitations and miscellaneous correspondence inward and outward pertaining to protocol visits and ceremonies. Includes items from the British Columbia Rifle Association, the Lieutenant Governor, and Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as a variety of greetings and congratulations pertaining to the City's 1962 centenary and a play called "The Victoria Story"

Victoria (B.C.). Mayor's Office

City of Victoria fonds

  • CoV
  • Fonds
  • 1862-present

Fonds consists of records made or received by the City of Victoria's various departments and offices, including boards and agencies that report directly to the City.

Victoria (B.C.)

City Council minutes

Series consists of the minutes of City Council meetings. Primary access to these records is through microfilm copies in the Archives; minutes for the most recent years are also available on the City's web site ( www.victoria.ca ).

The series includes one volume of draft minutes from 1867-1870. It also contains one volume of minutes from Feb - Sep 1876 pertaining to committees, such as Committee of the Whole, Board of Health, Water Works, and Finance (due to the fact that there was no clear distinction between the meeting arrangements and recordkeeping of Council and its committees at this time). There is also a DVD of the City's 150 anniversary special Council meeting on August 2, 2012.

The Council minutes can be accessed in several manners: through the index to Council minutes (CR-0002), the topical indexes (CR-0015), and through a subject card index created by Archives staff covering the years 1862 to 1870.

A related series (CR-0048) consists of one volume of minutes of special and closed Council meetings from 1896 to 1900, which contains only 27 pages but includes, among other things, information relating to Council's actions regarding the collapse of the Point Ellice Bridge.

The minutes were handwritten until 1909.

Victoria (B.C.). City Council

Bylaws

Series consists of local laws and regulations passed by City Council to control, regulate, and administer affairs within its jurisdiction.

The original bylaws are not generally available for access, though bound duplicates of most of them are located in the Archives. While some of the originals are missing, many of those that are can be found among the bound versions. Only those bylaws located in the Archives are included in the file list.

Registered bylaws are those that have been signed and sealed as certified copies of the originals.

Victoria (B.C.). City Council

City Council correspondence inward

This 31 cm of correspondence is all that remains of the letters received by the City Clerk before 1940.

The correspondence covers a wide range of subjects, but there is no alphabetical subject index to it. A chronological item-level descriptive list, however, provides some access to correspondents and subjects for the existing letters. All correspondence inward from 1893 onwards, whether existing or not, is indexed chronologically in the communications received index (CR-0014).
For other series of letters received, see CR-0012 (1940-1974) and CR-0013 (special correspondence inward).

Victoria (B.C.). City Council

Assessment roll

Series consists of assessments on real property and improvements compiled for the purpose of determining taxes.

Information on the creation, structure, and composition of the Collector's roll is provided below in three sections: context of creation, structure, and data elements.

Context of Creation

The Colony of Vancouver Island was responsible for the assessment and collection of property taxes in Victoria from 1862 until 1866. From 1867 until the establishment of the British Columbia Assessment Authority in 1974, these functions were the responsibility of the City. Under the City's administration, the general procedure was as follows. Each year the Assessor drew up the assessment roll, sent out notices of assessment to relevant taxpayers, and then forwarded the roll to the City Clerk on behalf of Council. City Council, sitting as the Court of Revision, determined whether revisions to the returned assessment roll were required, made them if necessary, confirmed them, and authenticated the roll. Council then enacted a bylaw for setting yearly tax rates. Following this, the Clerk made out the Collector's roll and forwarded it to the Collector who gathered the taxes, returning his roll to the Clerk when finished, and forwarding the money collected to the Treasurer.

Structure

The assessment rolls provide information on what is to be assessed, how much it is assessed at, when the assessment is made, and to whom the assessment is to be charged. However, based on differences in format, titling, size, arrangement of entries, or status of the roll they can be divided into three chronological groups:

(1) 1864-1871
(2) 1872-1891
(3) 1892-1916

With regard to content, there are some differences within each of these groups. These differences relate to such things as omission of previously used data elements, inclusion of new data elements, alterations in the arrangement of the same data elements, and spelling of the same data elements. Each group provides summary information at end of the last volume within it concerning City of Victoria land holdings. What follows in an overall description of the three main groups listed above.

(1) 1864-1871 Lists assessments alphabetically by name of the assessee, rather than numerically by roll number. Some volumes are not titled, data elements are handwritten, and data elements are often located only on the first pages of each volume.

(2) 1872-1891 Titled "City of Victoria real estate assessment roll." (The single volume for 1872 and 1873 is transitional between the first group and this one, the numerical arrangement of entries placing it most logically in this group; but note that these assessments have no element for Court of Revision alterations; the title is "Real estate.")

(3) 1892-1916 Titled "City of Victoria land and improvement assessment roll." Bylaw 155 of 1892 resulted in the change of title, although both land and improvements were assessed from 1864.

Sample Data Elements:

Group 1: 1864-1871

1864-1865

Name of Owner
Place of Residence
No. of Lot
No. of Block
Street
Admeasurement
Assessed Value of
Land
Improvements
Revised Value
Land
Improvements
Total Value
Tax 1%
Additional 5%
Total Tax Payable

1867

Owner' Name
Residence
No. Lot
No. Block
Measure
Street
Assessed Value Land
Improvements
Total
Tax One per Cent
Tax on Rate 1/4 of One Per Cent

Group 2: 1872-1891

1872-1873

Lot
Block
Admeasurement
Street
Name
Assessed value land
[Assessed value] improvements
Total value
Rate
No.
No.
Amount paid
No.
Fire rate

1874-1891

Lot
Block
Admeasurement
Streets
Names
Per foot frontage or by acre [1891 only]
Land assessments
Improved assessments
Alterations by Court of Revision
Total
Arrears
Tax
Receipts
Amount paid
Arrears [1890-1891 only]
Remarks [handwritten: "notices sent"]

Group 3: 1892-1916 (overview)

Map no. [1915-1916 only]
Sub-lot [1912-1916 only; "Subdivision" for 1897-1911]
Lot
Block
Measurement
Street
Name
Address [for 1892, between "Amount paid" and "Notices sent"]
Price per foot frontage or acre
Assessment on land
Assessments on improvements
Total
Alteration by Court of Revision
Land [1897-1916 only]
Improvements [1897-1916 only]
Arrears of taxes [1893-1896 only]
Notices sent
Remarks

1892

Lot
Block
Measurement
Street
Name
Price per foot frontage or acre
Assessment on land
Assessments on improvements
Alteration by Court of Revision
Total
Arrears of taxes
Amount paid
Address
Notices sent
Remarks

1893-1896

Lot
Block
Measurement
Street
Name
Address
Price per foot frontage or acre
Assessment on land
Assessments on improvements
Alteration by Court of Revision
Total
Arrears of taxes
Notices sent
Remarks

1897-1911

Subdivision
Lot
Block
Measurement
Street
Name
Address
Price per foot frontage or acre
Assessment on land
Assessments on improvements
Total
Alteration by Court of Revision
Land
Improvements
Notices sent
Remarks

1912-1914

Sub-lot
Lot
Block
Measurement
Street
Name
Address
Price per foot frontage or acre
Assessment on land
Assessments on improvements
Total
Alteration by Court of Revision
Land
Improvements
Notices sent
Remarks

1915-1916

Map no.
Sub-lot
Lot
Block
Measurement
Street
Name
Address
Price per foot frontage or acre
Assessment on land
Assessments on improvements
Total
Alteration by Court of Revision
Land
Improvements
Notices sent
Remarks

Victoria (B.C.). Finance Department

Voters list

Series consists of lists of all eligible voters.

The lists were updated annually at first and later semi-annually. The only voters lists available before 1908 are those for 1865, 1885, and 1896.

Victoria (B.C.). City Clerk's Office

Real estate tax arrears

Series consists of a list of tax arrears owed to the City. Data elements include the legal description of the property, the owner's name, the overdue taxes for each year, and an annotation stating whether or not the taxes have been paid.

Victoria (B.C.). Finance Department

City Council letterbook

Series consists of copies of letters sent outward by the City Clerk, mostly communications ordered by Council.

Because the letters were bound chronologically, access is most effective using the alphabetical indexes to the letterbooks. Indexes for 1870 to 1893 are bound in at the beginning of the corresponding letterbooks, providing an alphabetical listing of names of correspondents, whether persons or organizations. Independent indexes providing similar listings are available for 1894 to 1973 (CR-0010), although these indexes also provide in addition a note on the topic of each letter. Subject access can also be obtained through the topical index (CR-0015), which covers the period from 1914 to 1974.

The series is relatively complete, with only a few gaps within years from 1902 to 1908. The first two letterbooks cover 1 April 1870 to 7 April 1873 and 31 March 1870 to 10 June 1875 respectively. The latter volume covers mostly mid 1873 to 1875 but there is still considerable overlap.

Victoria (B.C.). City Council

Magistrate's record book

Series consists of bound volumes containing the names of individuals charged with an offence, the nature and date of the offence and what action was taken. The action taken could range from a jail sentence, a fine or a remand date.

Victoria (B.C.). Police Court

Ross Bay Cemetery plot books

Series consists of occupancy records of burial plots in Ross Bay Cemetery. The series includes substantially the same information as that captured on the burial permit (CR-0235). Data elements include: permit number, name, age, where born, where died, day and hour of burial, clergyman, block and plot number, undertaker and remarks. The remarks section contains notes on the transfer of plots, reserve plots, exhumations, re-interments, and depths. A name index at the start of each volume gives a cross-reference to a folio in the volume.

The permit number system was not introduced until March 1884.

Victoria (B.C.). Parks Department

Miscellaneous City Council files

Series consists of correspondence, declarations, petitions, briefs, and certificates relating to Council business that were either orphaned from their original filing systems or retained by the Clerk because they did not fit within the regular series of Council records.

Victoria (B.C.). City Council

Register of real property

Series consists of a register of real property owned by the City.

Includes registration number, date of purchase, legal description, size, purchase price, and remarks.

Part of single volume including CR-0257, CR-0258, and CR- 0259; located at pp. 2-48.

Victoria (B.C.). Finance Department

Demolished building plans

Series consists of files pertaining to residential and commercial buildings demolished in Victoria.

The files generally consist of architectural plans and supplementary textual records deposited with or created by the Engineering or Planning Departments as part of the building permit approval process.

Victoria (B.C.). Engineering Department

Ross Bay Cemetery block books

Series consists of records of ownership and usage of burial plots in Ross Bay Cemetery.

There are five volumes in this series. Each volume contains the following data elements: block, folio, road, plot, name and remarks. The folio number refers to the page on which the name appears in the plot books (CRS 311), the name section shows what person is interred in each grave, and the remarks section contains notes on the transfer of plots, reserve plots, exhumations, re-interments, and depths.

The organization of the volumes reflects the layout of the cemetery, a grid system that uses alphanumeric designations for the blocks, roads, direction, and plots.

The first volume, dated 1873 to ca. 1907, covers blocks A through M (not always in order). The other four volumes contain the same information as the earlier book, but have been updated. Volumes 2 and 3 contains blocks A through R. Volume 4 includes blocks S through W as well as additions to blocks Q and N and Sections 1 and 2, which were new areas of the Cemetery opened up around the time of the first World War. Volume 5 has the addition of sections 3 and 4, which were new areas of the Cemetery, opened up in the 1920s. Volumes 3 and 5 are a set.

The blocks were owned by either a church or the City. For example, blocks A, B, and F where owned by the Episcopal Church, block C and D by the Catholic Church, blocks E, F, K, L, and M by the City, block G by the Wesleyan Church, and block H by the Presbyterian Church

Victoria (B.C.). Parks Department

Elk and Beaver Lake land ownership records

Series consists of an inventory of City-owned waterworks land detailing the area, district, sections, title, description, and purchase of each parcel of land. Includes an 1873 arbitration award granted to William Curtis Ward pertaining to his ownership of land in the area.

Victoria (B.C.). Water Works Department

Water Works ledger

Series consists of a journal recording water works billing accounts.

The billing of customers was performed on a bi-monthly basis.

Victoria (B.C.). Finance Department

City of Victoria letters patent

Series consists of Letters Patent to bring the City of Victoria under the Municipal Act of 1872, dated 25 January 1873, and Letters Patent to extend the boundaries of the City of Victoria, dated 9 May 1873.

Victoria (B.C.). City Clerk's Office

[Victoria, B.C.]

Schedule A of Letters Patent to extent the boundaries of the City of Victoria, 9 May 1873. Shows 1862 boundaries and extended 1873 boundaries.

City Solicitor's agreements

Series consists of agreements, leases, contracts and other legal documents which pertain to a variety of matters including land purchases, Vic West Arbitration, and expropriation of land at Elk Lake and Sooke Lake and for water works purposes.

It also includes records dealing with expropriation of land in Fernwood for the Victoria High School as well as agreements for houses under the Soldiers Better Housing Act, and agreements with other municipalities regarding infrastructure projects.

Victoria (B.C.). City Solicitor's Office

Assessment notices and correspondence

Series consists of property tax assessment notices and related correspondence, mainly concerning persons and corporate bodies with multiple properties.

Victoria (B.C.). Assessor's Office

Tax sale record

Series consists of a journal documenting private properties sold by the City of Victoria for non-payment of property taxes.

Data elements include the legal description of the property, the total delinquent taxes, the name and address of the property owner, the method by which the owner was contacted, a description of the real property sold, the name and address of the purchaser at the tax sale, and an annotation stating whether or not the property owner redeemed the property.

The 1915-1945 volume consists of the tax sale record for 1915-1919 and aggregate tax sales information for 1915-1949 (the latter at p. 38).

Victoria (B.C.). Finance Department

Water Works day book

Series consists of a daily journal of activities of a Water Works official.

Victoria (B.C.). Water Works Department

City Council minutes index

Series consists of an index to City Council minutes (CR-0001).

Records from 1879 to 1918 consist of single volumes for each calendar year. These volumes consist of separate sections for each letter of the alphabet, with individual entries in these sections listed sequentially by date. Access to the minutes through these volumes sometimes requires inferences about which committee was responsible for a particular activity, since topics tend to be recorded only once and listed (where appropriate) under the name of the responsible committee with the topic given as a sub-heading; the issuing of warrants, for example, is found under 'F' for 'Finance Committee - Warrants' rather than under 'W' for warrants. References are to page numbers in the Council minutes volumes.

Records for 1977 to 1980 are in card index format, arranged alphabetically by subject within each year. Records for 1985-1993, which consist of legal size pages filed with the minutes at the beginning of the specific year to which they pertain, are also arranged alphabetically by subject. The index for these years provides better access than the volumes for 1879-1918, but may still cause difficulty in locating topics due to minimal cross-referencing for some years. The index for 1990-1992 will be found on the microfilm version of the Council minutes for those years. These lists are supplemented by the topical indexes (CR-0015), which also index the Council minutes. A draft index to the minutes for 1862-1871 compiled by Archives staff is also available.

There are gaps in the records for 1892-1893, 1906, 1919-1976, and 1981-1982, and 1989.

Victoria (B.C.). City Council

City of Victoria annual reports

Series consists of annual reports of the City.

Clerk's copies for 1927-1957 include typed sheets listing names and positions of some officers and employees that are not included in the published version. For some years, these lists include committee members as well.

"File" numbers provided in the file listing are not original. They refer to numbers given by the Archives to bound volumes (or, for draft copies, folders) for internal inventory control.

Provenance information has been taken from stamps on reports or on volume covers. Where given in square brackets, this information has been inferred from other volumes with similar binding and complementary date ranges which do have stamps.

Victoria (B.C.). City Council

Road tax receipts

Series consists of receipts issued for payment of yearly road taxes (one item only).

Victoria (B.C.). Finance Department

Police Court charge book

Series consists of bound volumes containing the names of individuals charged with an offence, the nature and date of the offence and what action was taken. The action taken could range from a jail sentence, a fine or a remand date.

Victoria (B.C.). Police Court

Ross Bay Cemetery monthly burial register

Series consists of records of interments in Ross Bay Cemetery.

There are eight volumes in this series. The first three volumes (1883-1890) contain the following data elements: name, age (years/months), where born, where died, date of death, day and hour of burial, officiating clergyman, block, plot, road, undertaker, and remarks. The data elements in volumes 4 and 5 (1890-1908) were changed slightly and include permit number, name, age (yrs./mos.), where born, where died, day and hour of burial, officiating clergyman, block, East or West, plot, road, undertaker, and remarks.

Victoria (B.C.). Parks Department

Reports to City Council on public utilities, transportation, railways, and the Songhees Reserve

Series consists of correspondence, reports, contracts, agreements, tenders, specifications, and resolutions apparently removed by the City Clerk's Office and retained in groupings by topic.

Material pertains to public utilities, transportation, and the B.C. Electric Railway Company (1938-1939); the Victoria and Sidney Railway 1892-1906); and the Songhees Indian Reserve (1884-1906).

Series forms part of earlier City of Victoria Archives' "Series IV, Special Reports and Projects," for which an item list is available.

Victoria (B.C.). City Council

Magistrate's record book index

Series consists of bound index volumes containing the names of individuals charged with an offence and the page of the record book (CR-0116) to which it refers.

Victoria (B.C.). Police Court

City Council resolutions

Series consists of formal statements of City Council agreed to after the consideration of a motion.

For indexes to the resolutions, see CR-0008.

Victoria (B.C.). City Council

City Council committee reports

Series consists of reports to City Council by various committees. Prior to the implementation of the committee system in 1885, ad hoc committees were common, and their reports were recorded in the Council minutes (CR-0001).

The reports began to be numbered in 1891. These numbers were used as references in the indexes: the record of reports of committees (CR-0005) and the topical indexes (CR-0015). A chronological item-level descriptive list provides some subject access to the reports for 1885 to 1892.

There are gaps in this series for the first half of 1887, the first half of 1888 and all of 1890.

Victoria (B.C.). City Council

Ross Bay Cemetery burial permits

Series consists of the City’s copy of burial permits.

Each permit originally consisted of three parts: the City copy, the family copy, and a receipt. Each permit is numbered and captures the following information: name, age, where born, where died, date of death, day and hour of burial, officiating clergy, block, plot and road, undertaker, reserve plots, and fees.

The earliest permits are contained in bound volumes and date from December 1886 to October 1915. In October 1915 the system was changed to a three-part carbon-copy form. And the data collected changed slightly to include cause of death, re-opening, interment, exhumation, and total cost.

Other forms related to the burial may be attached to the burial permit, such as Order for Interment of Body, Medical Certificate of Death, Warrant to Bury After a View, Certificate of Cremation, and other forms and correspondence related to the transportation of remains.

Previous record keeping practices included licences for plots and perpetual maintenance contracts in the burial permitting system. While these records use the same numbering as the burial permits, they are distinct records series with their own access restrictions (see below).

Victoria (B.C.). Parks Department

Land Department agreements

Series consists of copies of agreements, leases, contracts and other legal documents which pertain to City-owned or leased land. These are copies of the original agreements forwarded to the Lands Department by the City Clerk.

Victoria (B.C.). Land Department

City Solicitor operational files

Series consists of files created by the City Solicitor from the first appointment to permanent staff of the City in 1910 to the contracting out of the work in 1956. Some files predate the appointment of a staff solicitor when the City's legal work was contracted out to various legal firms.

Victoria (B.C.). City Solicitor's Office

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