Downtown DuncanCraig Street

The building at 45 Craig Street, between Government Street and Station Street in downtown Duncan, is now Just Jake’s Restaurant but it was originally designed and built in 1922 by architect Douglas James and contractor Edward Lee for Harold Fairfax Prevost, who used it for his stationery business. Harold Prevost became Mayor of Duncan 1929-32.

45 Craig Street. Built in 1922 by architect Douglas James for Harold F. Prevost
45 Craig Street. Built in 1922 by architect Douglas James for Harold F. Prevost

Here is a map showing the location of 45 Craig Street:

Additional Information on 45 Craig Street

  • Assessed Value (July 2016): $245,000; Land – $104,000, Buildings – $141,000
  • Assessed Value (July 2015): $237,000; Land – $100,000, Buildings – $137,000
  • Assessed Value (July 2014): $237,000; Land – $100,000, Buildings – $137,000

Brief History of 45 Craig Street

Here are some descriptions of this building’s construction and history taken from local newspaper and historical records:

September 1922

“Excavations were begun yesterday for the erection of a new store on Craig Street, Duncan, next to the Canadian Bank of Commerce. It is for Mr. H.F. Prevost. Mr. E.W. Lee has the contract. Mr. Douglas James is the architect.”

Building On Craig Street Will Enhance City’s Appearance

As noted last week, excavations have begun on the site of Mr. H.F. Prevost’s new store on Craig Street, Duncan, adjoining the Canadian Bank of Commerce.

These new business premises will be a decided addition to the buildings of the city. The block is to be 30 feet wide by 60 feet long and it will be constructed of interlocking hollow tile, similar to that used in Mr. C.B. Mains new store [note: 70 Government Street]. This hollow tile, owing to its air space, makes the building very cool in the summer.

It will be a one floor building on concrete foundations with a small cement basement. It will occupy the whole of Mr. Prevost’s lot. The large plate glass windows will face Craig street and the front will be of buff pressed brick with a gallery across the back. [note: this gallery is still visible in Just Jake’s Restaurant today]

While making excavations for this building, operations were somewhat hampered, owing to the discovery of a twenty-foot well, just at the back of the bank building. Some years ago the site was used for a livery stable when the well was then is use.

The contract calls for the building to be completed in two months’ time. Mr. Douglas James is the architect and Mr. E.W. Lee is the contractor…..”

January 1923  

“Mr. H.F. Prevost and his staff spent a very busy week end moving from the Odd Fellows’ Block, Duncan, to the new store next to the Canadian Bank of Commerce, on Craig street. As so much of his stationery and toy business is of very small size, its transportation was a lengthy and difficult process, having chiefly to be done by hand. However, they are now firmly established in a larger and more commodious building. The former place of business is in the hands of carpenters, undergoing alterations necessary before Mr. H.W. Fox removes his dry goods business there.”

Harold Fairfax Prevost later rented this building to William Bruce Powel, who used it for his business, Powel’s Mens’ Wear. until 1972.

In 1972 Powel’s Mens’ Wear moved next door to 25 Craig Street (where the Craig Street Brew Pub is today) and operated there until 2004, when the 25 Craig Street became the home of Craig Street Brew Pub.

(Note: historical information taken from Cowichan Valley Museum and Archives collections)

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