Robert W. Reford was the heir to the Reford shipping and navigation business. In 1889 he journeyed from Montreal to British Columbia in order to assist with his family’s business there. He stayed in the province until 1891. Though centered in Victoria, Reford made several trips along the coast of British Columbia, into the interior and in to the Arctic. Reford was an amateur photographer and while in British Columbia he took a large number of photos, both of his acquaintances and of the local scenery and inhabitants.