About

Mission

Our mission is to preserve and honour the rich heritage of Point Ellice House, a site deeply rooted in the Métis and mixed-race history of early British Columbia. Through education, preservation, and community engagement, we aim to ensure that the diverse cultural legacy of Point Ellice House continues to inspire and educate future generations.

Vision

Our vision is to foster a deeper understanding of the complex relationships and cultural exchanges that shaped British Columbia's past, we aspire to promote reconciliation, respect, and appreciation for all cultures. We see Point Ellice House as a beacon of heritage preservation and cross-cultural understanding, inviting visitors to explore, learn, and connect.

Values

Integrity, Teamwork, Kindness, Humility, Innovation, Resilience, Respect

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About Point Ellice House​

Point Ellice House stands as a testament to the rich history of British Columbia. Situated on land once part of the sprawling estate of John Work, an Irish immigrant who rose to prominence as a Chief Factor of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) and later as one of the inaugural members of Vancouver Island’s Legislative Council, the house carries the legacy of a bygone era.

Point Ellice House symbolizes the cultural intersections and exchanges that shaped the region, highlighting the significant contributions of First Nations and Métis communities to its development.

Among the notable figures associated with Point Ellice House are Governor James Douglas, William McNeill, John Tod, and Charles Ross, all of whom had First Nations or Métis wives. Oral histories passed down through generations offer glimpses into the social dynamics and relationships of the time, revealing how Indigenous wives maintained their own vibrant social circles within the colonial context.

Today, Point Ellice House holds a special place in the hearts of the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC). We recognize the site as a unique opportunity to preserve and share our heritage with future generations. Our commitment to the site is rooted in a desire to honour the diverse cultural legacy it represents and to ensure that its full story is told, fostering understanding, respect, and reconciliation. Through education, preservation efforts, and community engagement, we aim to celebrate the interconnected histories of Point Ellice House and its inhabitants, inspiring visitors to connect with the past and envision a more inclusive future.

Self-guided tours are available Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00 AM to 5:00PM, fully guided tours can be pre-booked and available based on guide capacity. Group tours need to be pre-booked and can be customized per group. Pricing for groups vary depending on customization and needs. See our general pricing grid or email for more information email: info@pointellicehouse.com or phone 236-470-5127.

Special discounts and pricing for schools for the entire site including the heritage house and gardens. Specialized educational tour itineraries are currently being developed for Métis B.C. and local First Nation content, please stay tuned for more information.

Renovations and regeneration of Point Ellice House is ongoing in 2024-2025 to accommodate more groups, workshops, and programming space. In the meantime, please inquiry regarding private event needs to see if we can accommodate in our existing space.

The trading post is our retail and online space (tradingpost.com) featuring authentic Métis artists, entrepreneurs, and heritage resources. We encourage you come into the visitor centre and check our creative cultural offerings and browse some collections or pieces on loan from other institutes like the Ameila Douglas Institute (https://ameliadouglasinstitute.ca/) or local artists. It will become your unique, gift-buying place.

Regular Admission by Donation

Recommended Donation for Self-Guided Tours:

$10- Adult   $5 Youth (6-17) and Seniors    Children 5 & under – Free

Fully-Guided Site Tour- $15- adult $12 Youth (6-17) and Seniors, Children (5 and under) – Free

**Call for group tour and special tour pricing**

Visitors identifying as Indigenous receive complimentary access to the museum during regular operating hours.

Point Ellice House, one of Victoria’s oldest residences, was constructed between 1861 and 1862 for Catherine Work and Charles Wallace. Later, it was expanded and owned by the O’Reilly family from 1867 to 1975. Today, this Heritage House showcases Canada’s largest collection of Victorian-era artifacts once owned by the O’Reilly Family. 

The grounds of Point Ellice House Museum provide a green haven in an otherwise industrial urban environment. Home to the largest stretch of undeveloped land along the Gorge Waterway and part of the Victoria Harbor Migratory Bird Sanctuary, the gardens and woodland provide habitat to birds, animals, insects, and native plants. 

The landscaped portions of the gardens include historic plantings and heirloom varieties of ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers. Many of these plants are also found in the Point Ellice House archives in seed catalogues, gardening books, and diaries. The historic Kitchen Garden, continues to provide a space for growing fruit, vegetables, herbs and cut flowers. Soon, it will also feature an area for traditional Métis medicines. 

We continue to build a seed library as part of our teaching and reference collection. A variety of seeds collected, cleaned, and packaged are available in the gift shop seasonally, including the famous Point Ellice House heritage hollyhocks. 

Hours of Operation (Opening May 10)

Summer Operating Hours:

May 10 to June 30 – 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM Wednesday to Saturday

July 1- September 30- 11;00 AM- 5:00 PM Wednesday to Sunday

Stay tuned for special event dates and winter hours.

Call for a private tour option and rates.