What’s New

The Point Ellice House Picnic Tea

With on site renovations to the Carriage House, we have been unable to  prepare and present the High Teas as we’ve had in the past.  We no longer have a kitchen, nor the ability to properly clean and sanitize our fine china.

However, in order to share the Point Ellice House gardens and to support the ongoing activities to preserve the heritage house and artifacts we are serving our ‘Picnic Tea‘.

The Picnic Tea, is served with a complete menu of sandwiches, scones, and dessert as we had in our high teas served in the past.  Truffles Catering is our partner who prepares and delivers as per advance reservations.

Our tea is provided by Silk Road serving their traditional black tea blend ‘Point Ellice House Tea’. Also available is their ‘Philosopher Brew’ herbal tea.

As being a picnic tea, the food and drink is served on our Gorge-view lawn under our tents using our comfortable chairs and tables, as we have in the past.  In case of inclement weather, the Visitor Centre is available for seating.

In order for Truffles Catering to properly prepare your Picnic Tea, we ask for reservations at least two days in advance.  Reservations can be made by calling the Visitor Centre at 250-380-6506 (please leave voice mail) or by email at info@PointElliceHouse.com.

If you have further questions, or would like to schedule a large group on a different time frame, please contact our Visitor Centre.

Volunteer opportunities at Point Ellice House

Point Ellice House VolunteersPoint Ellice House is in need of volunteers to assist with tourist activities to support the maintenance and support of the heritage house and artifacts:

  • Tour Guides— taking visitors through the historic house and telling the wonderful tales of the O’Reilly family who occupied the house for 3 generations on the beautiful Gorge Waterway.  Training and support given.
  • Tea Service — involving carrying tea and coffee thermoses to and from the lawn.
  • Crafters — for painting/refreshing small furniture items for the Gift Shop.
  • Hauling  (with small truck or SUV) — for delivery of larger items for the Gift Shop.

3 hours per week suggested for Tour Guides and Tea Volunteers, please contact Shirley at Volunteer@PointElliceHouse.com or call (please leave a message) at the Visitor Centre at 250-380-6506.

Miniature House Display

Point Ellice House is proud to be a site to display the miniature projects by the Small Endeavor Miniature Club.  Their Canadian Heritage in Miniature exhibition is now on display at various locations throughout Victoria.

We are excited about the 1:12th scale miniature projects their members have made to celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation.  The display will be in the Visitor Centre through July 31 during our open hours.

For more information, check out the Small Endeaver Miniature Club website at:

Heritage Plants for Sale

You’ve seen our gardens (or maybe just pictures here), now you can bring a small part of the Point Ellice House and Gardens home with you.

For $3.99 to $7.99, depending on pot size, you can take home a plant started by our Head Gardener and volunteers ready for your house or garden.

Plants available include:
Fall aster, Gooseneck loosestrife, Bearded iris, Montbretia, Lamb’s ears, Yarrow, Hollyhock, Fall chrysanthemum, Japanese anemone, Lavender,  and Tomatillo

For more information please contact our Visitor Centre.

Tour the Point Ellice House Roses…

An 1867 Garden in 2017

Immerse your self in a historical horticultural tour of the past, still blooming in the present.
Take a walk through our garden lead by our head gardener as he provides the history of the roses planted and cared for by the O’Reilly family.
Garden Tour – July 15th at 2:00 pm

Point Ellice House and Gardens
2616 Pleasant Street

By Donation

In addition, Heritage Plants will be available for sale.

Children’s Birthday Party for Canada

We feel sure when your children are half a century older, they will remember this day and the other wonderful Canada
 150 events we will be privileged to attend this month in Victoria.
When:  Thursday, June 22, 2017   3:30-5pm (dropin event, your choice of time to come and go)
Where: Point Ellice House, 2616 Pleasant Street, off Bay Street.  Very limited parking.
Information:  www.pointellicehouse.com
Phone: 250-380-6506
We’re also on Facebook and Instagram.
Admission: by donation.  Suggested donation: $5 per family group     All proceeds are shared between two great ‘causes’:  1) to aid in the upkeep of our beautiful O’Reilly gardens; and 2) because Frank and Jack O’Reilly joined the British army in 1914 and served throughout the war, (with Jack as a spotter,similar to a spy in a tiny plane) half the donations will be given to the Military Family Resource Centre.
What will you remember, what will your children remember, in 2067, about Canada 150 events?
There are so many of them planned, and some folks may already be feeling a form of celebration fatigue.
I was struck, a few years back, with these thoughts as I heard Dr. Helen Davies, the Superintendent of the  BC Coastal Field Unit of Parks Canada, as keynote speaker at a planning event for heritage and similar groups wishing to put on a commemorative event for Canada 150.
She spoke of her PhD dissertation.  She had chosen several actual Centennial Year events and followed up to see how the communities involved viewed their local efforts.  There were
a wide range of ideas represented, brought into being by many  dedicated volunteers and partners such a businesses, nonprofits, service clubs, and three levels of government. It was so inspiring to hear how, decades later, their event was still fresh in the minds of the locals.
So we wondered: how could we, a small nonprofit with a difficult and ongoing job,( that of bringing a family story to life for new generations and newcomers to Victoria), make a meaningful contribution to the communities of Victoria.
There was a “hook” –  the date.   In 1867, as well as the confederation of Canada,  there were two events in Victoria of note that year.   First, Peter and Caroline Trutch O’Reilly had to move to the Colony of Vancouver Island since Peter’s job in New Westminster was moved to Victoria when the capital of the Colony was changed. Housing was at a premium, almost as scarce as it is now for families.  After many disappointments, they heard about a cottage on the Gorge that had been abandoned.  This 5 room bungalow had been built in 1861, as a wedding present for a young couple. Unfortunately, after a few years it was empty and the elements were encroaching, as the setting was considered quite a way from the city centre. The O’Reillys moved in in December of 1867 with their 14 month old son.  Three weeks later, on December 31, the second ‘Canada 150’ event occurred: their daughter Kathleen was born.
So being led by this historic information, we determined to follow a ‘children’s birthday party theme’ for our commemorative event.
There will be croquet and beanbag toss, some dancing on the green. ice cream and cake, and attenders are encouraged to add to the theme  decor with red and or/white clothing.
As it is an after-school event, we are hoping children can come for all or part of the party; the tone will be fun and informal, rather like an Open House.
Because our parking lot is limited, we are encouraging families to come by number 14 bus or park elsewhere and walk.  A special treat can be worked into your visit by parking at the Wharf Street lot and taking the Harbour Ferries water taxi to our dock.


Splendour of Roses Historical Tour

You are invited to the Gardens of Point Ellice House and Gardens for a tour and exploration of our Roses.

Our horticultural expert along with our heritage historian will take you on a tour of the many varied roses in our garden so you can enjoy the fragrances, learn their secrets, and the century old tales these magnificent flowers have to share.

The tour will be on June 18 at 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm, and will be by donation.

To reserve your spot on this tour, please contact the Visitor Center Coordinator be email at info@PointElliceHouse.com or phone 250-380-6506.

The 2017 Season is Almost Here!

June 1 will mark the opening date of the O’Reilly’s Visitor Centre for the 2017 season.

Please note we have a couple of changes:
1) We no longer have the equipment to be able to operate as a restaurant.
2) Our open hours are modified to accommodate the ongoing construction at the old carriage house.

Point Ellice House will offer a Picnic High Tea, on the Gorge Lawn, thanks to our partnership with Truffles Catering.

Our hours of operation starting June 1:
Thursday and Fridays:  
Tours of the Historic House:  11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday and Sundays:
Tours of the Historic House:  11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Picnic High Tea: Seatings for Picnic High Tea are available at 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm
Please note that reservations for the Picnic High Tea must be made at least two days in advance.