Government House

The gardens are open to the public free of charge from dawn until dusk everyday.

As the Ceremonial Home of all British Columbians, Government House continues the long-standing tradition of honouring the contributions of our fellow British Columbians at this beautiful historic site. The House contains the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, the representative of Her Majesty The Queen of Canada, and offices of the administrative staff who support the duties and activities associated with the appointment.

This is the fourth residence to be built on this site. The original structure, erected in 1852, burned to the ground after only three months.

It was rebuilt as Cary Castle, the residence of George Hunter Cary, Attorney General of British Columbia and Vancouver Island, in 1860, and purchased in 1865 as the official residence of the Governor of Vancouver Island.

In 1866, Vancouver Island merged with Mainland British Columbia to form a single Crown Colony, of which Victoria became its Capital in 1868.

On 20 July 1871, British Columbia entered Confederation, and Cary Castle became Government House, the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of the Province of British Columbia.

In May 1899, in the closing year of a turbulent century, the House was completely destroyed by fire.

A new Government House was completed in 1903, and occupied this imposing site overlooking the Straits of Juan de Fuca until it too was razed by fire in April 1957. With the exception of the porte cochère, the House and contents were totally destroyed.

Reconstruction commenced in December, and was completed two years later. The present Government House was officially opened on May 19, 1959.

Tours are available for organized, educational, community groups only.

Interested parties may book a tour through the Programmes Secretary at 356-0927.

The gardens are open to the public free of charge from dawn until dusk everyday.

Upcoming Special Events at Government House


Music on the Lawn 
Wednesday's in July enjoy public concerts on groundsof Government House.  Details not yet available.
Government House will be open from 4pm – 5pm on concert days and the public are welcome to tour the main floor. So bring a few lawn chairs and your family and friends and join us for an evening of entertainment.


Government House Volunteers Summer Barbecue

Her Honour hosts a summer barbecue for those who have volunteered at Government House over the past year. Volunteers at Government House work in the gardens, provide tours, design flower arrangements, work in the archives, take photographs and help out at events.