This is a stroll around Victoria, admiring mostly old interesting houses, accompanied by a running commentary by an enthusiastic heritage house wonk. The layout is colourful and clean, lovely to look at, and numerous large colour photos dominate the book. Occasionally an old black and white photo is also provided so that old and new can be compared. Each house is described in just two or three brief paragraphs that land on the key info, such as who built and designed it, perhaps how much it cost, a sentence or two about the original owner, anything known in the history that is particularly illustrious. He highlights architectural styles and details, sometimes zooming in with a close up picture.
It's just as if you were walking through James Bay with him, and he stopped to point at a house, and said, "This is one of the most significant landmarks on the Victoria streetscape, and it was built by a guy who built a soap and paint empire. He told the architect Alex Ewart to spare no expense. Wrap-around porch? Do it! Turned columns? Go for it! Masses of brackets? As many as will fit! Stained-glass? Of course -- and put my monogram in one! And so it went: It was a palace, a social centre for the city and the James Bay peninsula."
It is a nice addition to the local libraries about the history of Victoria. And it is fun to look through, seeing pictures of very familiar houses in our neighbourhoods, and learning a bit about their history and what makes them architecturally interesting.