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Point Ellice House Museum

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Victoria

Point Ellice House: A Treasure trove of Victoria History

Activity:
Museum
Difficulty:
Easy
Location:
Victoria
Time:
30-60 min
Distance:
.1

Activity:

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Accessibility:

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Where to this weekend, Vancouver Island: A Fascinating Collection of Historic Victorian and Edwardian Artifacts

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In 1975, 108 years after the O’Reilly family first purchased Point Ellice House, John and Inez sold the house and its contents to the Province of British Columbia. Realizing the significance of the family’s possessions, the couple left behind nearly everything – from armoires to tea services, a harp, clothing, writing desks, board games, kitchen utensils, and more. Today, the Point Ellice House collection contains over 12,000 artifacts original to the O’Reilly family. The items now on display cover the period from 1890 through 1920.

Point Ellice House Museum Victorian architecture exterior located in Victoria BCThe landscape, gardens, and plants of Point Ellice House are an integral part of the site’s historic collections as well. The lawn on the west side of the house functioned as the O’Reilly’s croquet and tennis court. The Woodland Walk, in the northwestern corner of the property, is an important ecosystem, home to native plants such as ocean spray, arbutus, and red currant, as well as mink, river otters, raccoons, and deer. In the southern portion of the property, a vegetable garden is separated from the rest of the grounds by a wire and post fence, and a greenhouse once stood alongside it. The South Garden historically contained the working kitchen garden, a small orchard, and a cut flower garden.

The Point Ellice shoreline is known as the largest surviving natural and heritage landscape along Victoria Harbour and the Gorge Waterway. Point Ellice House is also located within the oldest migratory bird sanctuary in Canada (created 1923). Barred owls, eagles, and other raptors roost in the mature trees on the property.

Throughout the twentieth century, industrial operations overtook the once residential character of the Rock Bay neighborhood. Point Ellice House and its surroundings remain a prime example of the urban, social, and environmental changes that Victoria and British Columbia have undergone over the last 160 years.

Today, the house and gardens provide a rare opportunity to see one of North America’s largest collections of late Victorian and early Edwardian objects, as well as Victorian gardens, in their original setting. Point Ellice House continues to be a site for recreation, social gatherings, and learning – a small oasis in the midst of urban commotion.

One of the most fun ways to experience Point Ellice House is to arrive via the water using a Victoria Water Taxi coming from the inner harbour.

Contact Information:

Website:
pointellicehouse.com

Phone Number:
250-380-6506

Address: 
2616 Pleasant Street
Victoria, BC

Hours of Operations and Rates:

Open Saturdays and Sundays, 12pm to 4pm.
Admission is by donation. We suggest a minimum of $5 per person.

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Original Author:

Modified: December 6, 2023

Thank you for visiting – I hope you found the information you were looking for at VIBL (Vancouver Island Bucket List) please continue to discover all of the great places that makes Vancouver Island so great! 

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