McKee Residence

4705 Arthur Drive

The John McKee Residence, located on the south edge of Ladner village, is a two-storey wood-frame late Victorian era residence, recognizable for its stacked front verandahs and scroll-cut ornamentation. It stands on a spacious corner lot at the intersection of Arthur Drive and 47th Avenue, and is part of an established residential street of homes dating to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

The John McKee Residence is of heritage value for its long-term associations with the prominent McKee family. It was built in 1895 for Thomas Kerr, a partner in the Grant and Kerr Sawmill, which was located on the western side of Chilukthan Slough. When the mill relocated to Port Guichon, Kerr sold the house to John McKee and his wife, Margaret, in 1898. The home passed to their son, John McKee Jr. after the death of his father in 1900. John married Lilla McNeill in 1903, after which time the house became known as ‘Rosetta.’ The McKees enlarged and remodelled the house in 1912. After John McKee Junior died in 1931, his wife Lilla - well known locally for her service to the community - lived here until her death in 1959, at which time the house was inherited by her nephew, Judge J.D. McNeill.

Additionally, the John McKee Residence is significant as a prominent local example of late Victorian-era architecture, which symbolizes privilege and the social status of its early residents. The early date of the house, mature plantings and prominent location on this desirable portion of Arthur Drive lend the house a landmark stature. The heritage significance of the John McKee Residence was recognized in the community at an early date. In 1975, the house and property were acquired by Delta, and in 1983 municipal heritage designation was granted. The significant trees on the site have also been identified on the Delta Heritage Register.

Character Defining Elements:

  • Spacious corner lot at the corner of Arthur Drive and 47th Avenue, on an important early transportation corridor in Delta
  • Landmark status within a grouping of similar early houses
  • Location across Arthur Drive from Chilukthan Slough, an early transportation route for local residents
  • Residential form, scale and massing as expressed by its two-storey, asymmetrical, ‘L’ shaped plan with rear, two-storey, rectangular wing
  • Low-pitched hipped roof with flat top, clad with cedar shingles, with hipped roof over projecting front two-storey bay
  • Closed roof eaves with scroll cut brackets and frieze of vertical wooden siding
  • Wood-frame construction as expressed by: wooden drop siding and corner boards; simple wooden window and door trim capped with crown mouldings, and the use of wooden structural and decorative elements
  • Exterior elements such as: the stacked open front verandahs with closed, shingle-clad balustrades; central front entry with transom; enclosed rear verandah with shed roof; and one internal and one external brick chimney
  • Regular fenestration, including: double-hung 1-over-1 wooden sash windows with horns, a number in double-assembly; two 6-paned casement windows flanking the external chimney; fixed 9-paned windows; and single-paned French doors
  • Surviving interior elements such as the wooden staircase with intact balustrades and newel posts
  • Adjacent stand of significant trees on the property

Added to Municipal Register: March 9, 1999
Submitted to National Register: 2005
Designated: June 13, 1983
Last Reviewed: Donald Luxton and Associates, 2005