After incorporation, in 1906, the Municipality evolved from a recreational and agricultural area to a residential community. Earlier, in 1898 architects Francis Rattenbury and John G. Tiarks, recognizing the potential value of the Oak Bay waterfront, purchased land extending from Oak Bay Avenue eastward to present-day San Carlos Avenue, property that would become part of Oak Bay. The parcel of land was acquired from the estate of the late Joseph Despard Pemberton, former Surveyor General of the Colony of Vancouver Island. Over the next few years the partners began development in the area and influenced construction of quality homes on adjacent land, including, among others, 1605 York Place, 1525 Prospect Place, 1512 Beach Drive and Rattenbury’s own residence, ‘Iechinihl’ (1899), located nearby on Beach Drive and now the primary location for Glenlyon Norfolk School.
Today this neighbourhood remains the most intact historic neighbourhood with almost all its original buildings by Rattenbury, Tiarks, Maclure and P.L. James. Prospect Place, York Place, San Carlos Avenue and Beach Drive is visually and conceptually a “whole” – this is what makes it such a good candidate for a Heritage Conservation Area.