John Albert Kyle (died September 1951, aged 67) was Initiated and Passed in Temple Lodge, No.33 in 1918. He operated Kyle Taxi, a business he started in Duncan in the early 1920s. He later added an ambulance service to his taxi business. Kyle Taxi was based at 165 Station Street in downtown Duncan from the 1920s until the 1950s and the building is still standing.

161-165 Station Street in downtown Duncan. The storefront at 165 Station Street (on the left of the photo) was occupied by Kyle's Taxi from the 1920s to the 1950s.
161-165 Station Street in downtown Duncan. The storefront at 165 Station Street (on the left of the photo) was occupied by Kyle’s Taxi from the 1920s to the 1950s.

Kyle Taxi operated from 165 Station Street, which would be on the right of the building in the photo above. The space at 165 Station Street formerly occupied by Kyle Taxi is currently occupied by the Global Initiatives Free Trade Store (G.I.F.T.S.).

A historical marker placed on the building by the Cowichan Valley Museum reads, in part:

“Like many buildings in {Duncan], this one, once the site of Kyle’s Taxi Company, has gone through many incarnations. It was also known to have been a house of ill repute. Renovation undertaken here in 1990s revealed specially constructed tiny cubicles designed for the prostitution trade…..”

Bro. John Kyle was definitely not involved in any brothel operated in this building.

The Kyle family home is still standing at 971 Government Street, at the intersection of Government Street and Cairnsmore Avenue.

971 Government Street in Duncan's Cairnsmore residential district. This was John William Kyle's family home prior to his death in 1951.
971 Government Street in Duncan’s Cairnsmore residential district. This was John William Kyle’s family home prior to his death in 1951.

At the time John Kyle lived there, the address was 971 Island Highway North. In the early 1950s, prior to the completion of the current Trans Canada Highway through Duncan, Government Street was called Island Highway and was part of the main north-south highway transportation link on Vancouver Island.

Here is Bro. John Albert Kyle’s 1951 obituary from the Cowichan Leader newspaper:

“Kyle – Mr. John Albert Kyle died in the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster last Thursday at the age of 67. Born in Frederickton, N.B., he came to Duncan in 1901 to be a conductor on the E&N Railway. Leaving the railway some 30 years ago he started the Kyle Taxi, from which business he retired in 1948, leaving his sons Val and Bert to carry on the business. [note: John Kyle’s sons changed the name of the business to Duncan Taxi and it is still in business under that name.]

Mr. Kyle was the founder of the Cowichan District Ambulance Association and helped organize many social functions to raise funds for the purchase of the first ambulance. At the beginning of the war this service was turned over to him to operate for the community and it is still operated by his two sons.

He was a member of Temple Lodge, A.F. & A.M., for which he acted as tyler for some years. A Charter member of the B.P.O.E. he was made a life member in recognition of the high esteem in which he was held by his brother Elks.

Mr. Kyle is survived by his wife, Alice Ellen, with whom he left Duncan to take up residence in Ocean Park in May last. Also surviving are two sons, G.A. (Bert) and H.V. (Val), both of Duncan, and a brother, George, residing in Petaluma, California.

Funeral services will be held from the United Church, Duncan, with the Rev. F.H. Golightly officiating. The honorary pallbearers will be Messrs. Lewis Langlois, Joseph Elliot, Harry Mills, Charles McDonald, Jack Drew and Albert Anderson. Active pallbearers will be Messrs. Edward McLean, Robert Mason, Edward McColl, George Parker, Dave Madill and Bertram F. Allard.

Hirst Funeral Chapel have charge of the arrangements, interment being made in Mountain View Cemetery, Somenos.”

(Source: Cowichan Leader, 20 September 1951 – from Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives collections)

John Kyle is buried in Mountain View Cemetery, North Cowichan. The Kyle family plot in Mountain View Cemetery does not have any inscriptions apart from the single word, “Kyle”, so we don’t currently know for certain which family members are buried here. We will do some more research on that and post any information we find.

The GPS location of the Kyle family grave is N 48° 43′ 225″ W 123° 44′ 150″

John Kyle family grave, Mountain View Cemetery, North Cowichan
John Kyle family grave, Mountain View Cemetery, North Cowichan
John Kyle grave marker, Mountain View Cemetery, North Cowichan
John Kyle grave marker, Mountain View Cemetery, North Cowichan

Would you like to leave a comment or question about anything on this page?