Richard Nesbitt Residence

10455 River Road
Delta, BC

Built: 1939

The Nesbitt Residence is a modest one and one-half storey, wood-frame cottage, located uphill from the historic Glenrose Cannery in North Delta. It is situated at the top of a steep escarpment that slopes down to the Fraser River, and the elevated property, with mature surrounding trees, boasts commanding views to the west.

Status: Still Standing

Nesbitt Residence - 2005
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Heritage Value

The Nesbitt Residence is valuable as a representation of the strong influence of the canning industry in Delta. It has an historical association with the adjacent Glenrose Cannery, which dates from 1896 and is one of the last working canneries in the Lower Mainland. The salmon fishing and processing industry was integral to Delta's early development. Beginning in the early 1870s, the salmon canneries, built along North Delta's Fraser River waterfront, thrived as an industry that provided work for out-of-work immigrants after the completion of the railway and the subsidence of gold rush activities. The canneries of the time conformed to a standardized functional layout, with the main cannery building positioned over the water to facilitate delivery of fish and shipping of the final product. Ancillary buildings were located inland. This house was built by the Glenrose Cannery in 1939 for their bookkeeper, Richard Nesbitt, and is located outside the cannery complex on the opposite side of the adjacent railway tracks. It remained the property of the cannery until 1946. At that time, Johnston Fishing and Packing, the successor of Glenrose, subdivided the land and sold it to Nesbitt and his wife, Phyllis.

The Nesbitt Residence is also significant as a well-preserved example of vernacular residential architecture constructed during the interwar era, a transitional period between the popularity of the period revival styles of the 1920s and the emerging modernism of the 1930s. This modest cottage is characteristic of progressive residential design of the later 1930s, which eschewed historical references. Visual interest is provided through a variety of windows with subtly patterned muntins.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Nesbitt Residence include its:

  • location on a large lot, east of the historic Glenrose Cannery site, at the edge of an escarpment with views to the west of the Fraser River, Vancouver and the coastal mountains
  • residential form, scale and massing as expressed by its rectangular one and one-half storey plan, full basement, steep-pitched, side gabled roof with saddlebag shed roof dormers, and overhanging eaves with open tongue-and-groove soffits
  • wood-frame construction with wide lapped wooden siding on first and second storeys, and cedar shingles below the watertable covering a portion of the board-formed concrete foundation
  • additional exterior elements including internal red-brick chimney, enclosed hipped roof rear porch on north elevation and inset corner front entry porch with square corner column
  • varied fenestration, with: narrow, double-hung 6-over-1 wooden sash windows in single, double and triple assembly; fixed, segmental arch centre sash with flanking 6-over-1 casement sashes in triple assembly; casement wooden sash windows with decorative muntins in double assembly; attic window and corner window assembly with sliding wooden sash; and glazed wooden front door
  • associated mature trees, garden and grassed lawns