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Gryphon Gallery: 1913 – Not Just a Year When GNS (Norfolk House School) Started!

Gryphon Gallery

Apart from the founding of GNS (Norfolk House School) on September 10th, many other exciting new happenings were going on in Victoria during our school’s first year.

  • Two new Canadian Pacific vessels, the Empress of Russia and the Empress of Asia were added to respond to the increased demand for travel between Victoria and destinations in Asia. 
  • The Panama Canal was near completion and would have a great impact on travel to Europe.
  • Ogden Point breakwater was well under way to protect an ocean-going docking area.
  • The Interurban railway was completed to connect downtown with the Saanich Peninsula for easier access to agricultural supplies and recreational areas for Victoria residents.
  • Construction of the Royal Theatre was completed and hosted international performers.
  • The East and West wings were added to the Legislative Building.
  • Work started on the Wilkinson Road jail to replace the one where S.J. Willis school now stands.
  • The contract for the Gonzales Hill Observatory was awarded and to be completed as a weather station.
  • The city’s first 10-storey building was completed on the corner of Douglas and Johnson.
  • The Hudson Bay Company announced plans for their new building on Douglas that is now the Public Market
  • The Union Club moved to its new quarters on Gordon Street.
  • The new home of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club was opened on Ripon, off Beach Drive.
  • Planning was started to connect the former Songhees reserve with a rail/road/pedestrian bridge to a major rail hub that included the Roundhouse, storehouse and repair shop.
  • The cement plant and model worker’s ‘village’ at Bamberton was opened.
  • A.F.Yarrows purchased the shipbuilding facility of BC Marine Railway in Esquimalt.
  • The local militia was sent to quell the coal miner riots in Nanaimo and Ladysmith.
  • The Uplands and Mount Tolmie streetcar lines were opened.
  • The Friendly Help Society was established to provide support for housing, food and sanitary living conditions – a precursor for United Way.
  • Women were still seeking the vote with headway being made but provincial and federal voting was still 5 years away.
  • In Oak Bay, Francis Rattenbury was elected Reeve (mayor) in the municipal election.
  • Speed limits for cars were set at 10mph in town, 15 in wooded areas and allowing above 25 in the open.
  • Carnival Week was set in August to be “a showcase for everything wonderful about the city and the future” but apart from providing many crowd pleasing spectacles, it was a financial disaster and went into the history books as where Canada’s first air fatality occurred.
  • In Ice Hockey, the Victoria Senators challenged the reigning Stanley Cup champions, Quebec Bulldogs to a series. Quebec agreed but only if the cup was not at stake. Victoria won two games to one. 
  • Finally, the Karluk Arctic expedition set sail only to become the greatest Arctic disaster since the Franklin expedition almost sixty years earlier.

Quite the year in more ways than one!