Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Nichol House

Do you remember when I wrote on the Hycroft Manor? Well I was actually looking for another house at the time - this one you see here. The address I had gotten from an online source was 1402 McRae but it wasn't there. Another source I found had the address as 1402 the Crescent. There is no 1402 there either. But I happened to see a heritage plaque and when I went to read it I saw that it was the home I was looking I for. Would you like to see that the house number was?

No wonder I couldn't find it! Just for information sake, it is on the other side of McRae Avenue from the Hycroft Manor. This one is called the Nichol House.

Maclure and Fox built this Arts and Crafts style estate house in 1913 for Walter and Quita Nichol. At the time it was on the northern edge of Shaugnessy and was constructed on an escarpment that gave the home a sweeping view of the growing city below.

Walter Nichol was the owner of the Province newspaper from 1901 to 1923 and served as Lieutenant-Governor from 1920 to 1926.

William R. Wilson bought the property in 1924. He had made his fortune in mining.

In 1939 the Nichol House became the home of Leopold and Antoinette Bentley and their son Peter. (Another article I read said that the Bentleys bought this property in 1941) The Bentleys had fled Austria in 1938 to avoid the upcoming war and settled in Vancouver. Leopold and his brother, John Prentice, formed what was to become Canadian Forest Products (Canfor).

Peter Bentley followed in his father's footsteps and became head of CANFOR - one of Canada's largest forest products companies. He was also the third Chancellor for the University of Northern British Columbia from 2004 to mid 2007.

Bentley was also a director and is currently  an honorary director of the Bank of Montreal,  a member of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, a Chairman of Sierra Mountain Minerals Inc. (produces SierraSil) and a member of the board of directors of the Vancouver General Hospital  and the University of British Columbia Hospital Foundation. He also volunteers for numerous organizations.

In 1983 Peter Bentley was recognized for his role in manufacturing, business and finance in British Columbia and made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2005 his family was awarded a portion of US21.8 million dollars in restitution payments for the theft of the family's sugar refinery in Austria. The Bentley's also sold this home in 2005, not long after the death of Antoinette Bentley. She died before the restitution was awarded to the family and Peter declined to take any of the money although it was split among his five children.

There is an article online that tells the fascinating story of the Bentleys as well as a bit about another family I will be discussing in a future entry.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

, , , , , , ,


  1. I grew up in this house, in the condo on the top floor :) yes, the old address was 1402 mcrae avenue, v6h 1t9 however they had the address changed with the zoning for the new condos! It is still an absolutely beautiful house and is currently back up for sale for something like $13 million, I believe.

    1. A bit out of my budget right now! thanks for reading and commenting

    2. Hi dear, I am staying in the house right now and i'd love to know more about this amazing historical place . Could you please tell me more about it? my email is jenniferxdliu@gmail.com thanks!!!

    3. Hey Jennifer! All I know is on my blog.