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Shaw House

7725 4th Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, V3N, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1998/04/06

Exterior view of the Shaw House with later Brookes Family alterations, ca. 1920; Burnaby Historical Society Archives, BHS 204-102
Front elevation
Exterior view of the Shaw House, 2004; City of Burnaby, 2004
Oblique view
No Image

Other Name(s)

Shaw House
Charles R. and Mary Shaw House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/10/24

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Shaw House is a one and one-half storey plus basement wood-frame late Victorian era residence, located on the grounds of the Normanna Rest Home development in East Burnaby, near its original location on this site. Originally a modest vernacular Victorian structure, it has been enlarged and embellished through later additions.

Heritage Value

The Shaw House is one of the oldest surviving houses in Burnaby, and is valued as a representation of a typical vernacular pioneer house in Burnaby, and a rare survivor from the late Victorian era. The original portion of the house displays a simplicity of form and detail consistent with early local construction, while the later additions display a more sophisticated approach.

Originally built in 1891, this house is valued for its association with first owner, Charles R. Shaw (1834-1916) and Mary D. Shaw (1848-1897), one of Burnaby's earliest settlers. Born in England, Shaw immigrated to Toronto in 1869, and relocated to New Westminster in 1889, where he worked as an employee of the Mechanic's Mill Company, an early woodworking plant. After moving to Burnaby, he was unanimously elected by acclamation as first reeve (mayor) of the new municipality in 1892. In 1894, Shaw sold his house and farm and moved his family to Kamloops due to his wife Mary's failing health. After Mary died in 1897, the Shaw family returned to Toronto.

The Shaw House is additionally valued for its association with a later owner, James Brookes (1884-1953), founder of James Brookes Woodworking Ltd., a mill that was a major employer in East Burnaby. Brookes bought and renovated the house in 1917. In 1927, he built a much larger house on the property (now demolished), and the original house was moved to the corner of the property to serve as a gardener's cottage for Brookes' estate. The additions made to the house at this time employed sash and milled products produced by the Brookes plant. Although altered, this Victorian era residence remains largely intact, with Brookes's later additions.

Source:Heritage Site Files, City of Burnaby, Planning and Building Department

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Shaw House include its:
- modest vernacular residential form, scale and massing, as exemplified by its one and one-half storey plus basement height, front gabled roof, shed roofed verandah and asymmetrical plan
- asymmetrical front entrance
- cladding: horizontal wooden drop siding on the original portion of the house; cedar shingles on additions; decorative octagonal cedar shingles in the front gable; original decorated bargeboards at front, with cut-out details
- later renovations to the front verandah and side addition which resulted in a partially glazed porch entrance and addition with large window assemblies
- square verandah columns
- irregular fenestration: double-hung wooden-sash windows in a variety of configurations such as 6-over-1 and 4-over-1 windows in the original portion of the house, 12-over-1 windows, and one 24-over-1 window in the front addition
- small window at front entry
- fifteen-pane French front entry door
- internal red brick chimney with corbelled cap



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.967

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Site Files, City of Burnaby, Planning and Building Department

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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