House A – James Haddon House (1890)

photo: Paul Fuoco

This charming early cottage style home – together with its twin next door at 1019 – was built by contractor James Haddon as a rental property.

by Catherine Hutson

While James Haddon relocated to the Fraser Valley in 1910, both his lovely cottages live on in the neighbourhood now called Brow of the Hill . 

This block  of Third Ave was also home to  the Figg-Hoblyn and McMurphy families.. Indeed some of the McMurphy sons would go on to rent out the Haddon cottages. The Figg-Hoblyn House is on the tour (1024 Oxford) while the McMurphy family residence built up the block was demolished decades ago.  

Before entering the home be sure to enjoy the view from the porch. Some Brow of the Hill residents have termed the view “big sky” country.  In the later Victorian era there was a reason people chose to leave the busy downtown area and venture up the hill. Sure, it was cheaper but that area also had some of the most expansive views down the Fraser River. 

The Haddon House was extensively restored by its current owner and family. For their efforts the house earned the 2011 Heritage Shield presented by the Royal City Builders.  The Shield was awarded to a heritage restoration project that resulted in an outcome closest to the original home. (There was also a Heritage Renovation category.)

The property was purchased in 1958 by the current family and as was the custom back then stucco was applied TO the house to help preserve its exterior. Of course all that was removed during the extensive restoration. Painstaking research was done to ensure the house was much like it was in the 1890s. From porch repairs  to paint selection this was a family project and a heritage labour of love.

The interior layout has not been changed much except for a few feet borrowed out back to accommodate a new bathroom and kitchen.  The main living areas feature the original moulding and wood ceilings (bead board in the bedrooms and coffered in the parlour.)  The owner honoured the original floor plan and has resisted the urge to take down a wall or two.  

Of course we appreciate modern conveniences and the bathroom and kitchen reflect that. There is a nod to a past era with the claw foot tub in the bathroom and pantry in the kitchen but an appreciation of updated features like stone countertops and stained cabinetry.   

Heading down to the basement one will find an oasis of clam and thoughtfully and efficiently planned space.  There is room to watch media and do crafts while doing laundry!  Look for a wonderful idea on how to creatively use an old door.  

We suggest you leave 1021 Third Avenue and exit through the back gate and onto Oxford (which is a lane/street.)  You will find the next house at 1024 Oxford.