Stepping through the gates is like stepping back in time, a simpler time, one where challenges created the rewards of starting a new life in a new country.  Ross Bay Villa represents this time as one of the few remaining original homes built during colonization of Victoria in the mid 1800’s.  We can think of no better way to spend a lovely summer’s day than to visit it, and become fully immersed in a very unique experience.  The Villa was pleased to welcome one and all at its Grand Opening on August 4th, 2013, and we were there to photograph the big event!  Join us as we take it all in!

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening - Victoria, BC, Canada

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening – Victoria, BC, Canada –

When we arrived on a perfect day full of sunshine the west coast is so famous for, Her Honour, The Honourable Judith Guichon,  Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia was there to deliver a speech and launch the ceremonies.  The grounds were packed with folks and it was really great to see such a fabulous turnout.  As time progresses and fewer and fewer examples of our heritage are preserved, places like Ross Bay Villa take on a very special meaning.  Years and years of restoration have been undertaken by some of our finest local craftspeople and heritage experts to achieve this milestone.  It’s much more than just a beautiful old house lovingly and meticulously restored, it’s a symbol of our past and a link to our future.

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening - Victoria, BC, Canada

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening – Victoria, BC, Canada –

Under the bluest of skies we found people from all walks of life who’ve come to be a part of it all.  Under the blue tent in the distance you can see a lovely lady dressed in period correct costume.  This enthusiasm and love for the Villa was really universal, everyone made their personal connections with the place in their own meaningful way.

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening - Victoria, BC, Canada

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening – Victoria, BC, Canada –

A wonderful string duet filled the hot afternoon air with music that perfectly complimented the incredible aroma’s that were to be found everywhere from the fragrant flowers in the carefully restored gardens.  No attention to detail was overlooked, and it all added so much to the overall experience.  All the volunteers and people who put so much time, care and love into restoring the home and the gardens shared their pride through the results, making it impossible to not feel something when you understand the enormity of what went into such an undertaking.

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening - Victoria, BC, Canada

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening – Victoria, BC, Canada –

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening - Victoria, BC, Canada

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening – Victoria, BC, Canada –

Friend and stranger alike stopped to share a word, everyone was here for a common purpose and conversation flowed like the tea and scones that added so much authenticity to it all.

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening - Victoria, BC, Canada

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening – Victoria, BC, Canada –

The blue skies rained down bright light.  Trees provided shade in certain spots and the bright, warm rays of summer shone through intensely in others.  The gardens were carefully restored to be as close to original as possible, and even though you are standing in the heart of a busy and thriving city, it all melts away as you are enveloped in the arms of the nature that surrounds you.

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening - Victoria, BC, Canada

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening – Victoria, BC, Canada –

As you walk the grounds certain vignettes pop out at you, color and detail is found everywhere.  This particular scene with the rain barrel and the flowers casting their colorful personalities just begged to be captured in HDR.  Who are we to say no?  The home and the grounds are perfect, each element carefully considered and brought into the setting with the only goal of adding to it all.

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening - Victoria, BC, Canada

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening – Victoria, BC, Canada –

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening - Victoria, BC, Canada

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening – Victoria, BC, Canada –

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening - Victoria, BC, Canada

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening – Victoria, BC, Canada –

Even the vegetable garden is carefully created to be authentic and full of the plants widely believed to have been here all those years ago.  Situated just outside the back door, access was easy allowing for fresh produce and herbs to be used during a time when these things were likely very hard to come by.

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening - Victoria, BC, Canada

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening – Victoria, BC, Canada –

The house tours were very popular, requiring reservations to be made as soon as you arrived.  After a fashion we heard that they were all booked and rain-checks were then handed out, making sure no one left disappointed but also showing how the community has embraced Ross Bay Villa and were so happy to be here on this day.

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening - Victoria, BC, Canada

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening – Victoria, BC, Canada –

It’s hard to imagine the hours that went into creating the entrance paneling, this isn’t wood inlay, it’s hand painted and crafted to take on the appearance of it.  You have to touch it to believe it as the results are so realistic the eye won’t believe otherwise.

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening - Victoria, BC, Canada

Ross Bay Villa Grand Opening – Victoria, BC, Canada –

Nostalgia was found everywhere on this day, even in this old blue sedan parked out front.  The sunlight glinting off its colorful paint and chrome, it was really easy to start thinking of all the years that had passed by the Villa, and all that it has witnessed over that time.  Parties, births, deaths, graduations, you name it I am sure it’s all happened here at some point.  Each of these events leaves behind a fingerprint, an indelible mark that helps make up the composition that becomes a symphony as the years pass.

We’re quite sure Mrs. Roscoe would be pleased with the day and how her house and gardens have been so lovingly kept in this manner for generations to appreciate and enjoy.  We’ve said it many times before and it bears saying here again, our links to our past are important both for what they mean to us all today, but also to our future generations, allowing them to understand how and where we have all come from.

If you’re in the Victoria area we can think of no better thing we can suggest than to visit Ross Bay Villa yourself.  Show your support for this very important project and cause, and find yourself whisked away at the same time.

Thank you very much for your visit to our blog today, we really appreciate it.  As always, we love to hear from all our visitors so please feel free to leave us any comments you may have.




  1. Great post, very interesting and well shot series!

  2. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Terrific post Toad and I agree with Mike. Very well shot.

  3. avatar ehpem says:

    Hi Toad. Somehow I missed this post. I sure am glad to have found it! I see myself in one of these photos! It was a very nice event and we were so pleased to meet up with you and Mrs. Toad for this event. Four bloggers all sitting down for a cream tea on the sunny lawn; what a fun chat that was.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      We had a terrific time with you guys in the beautiful gardens that day! It sure it great to have such wonderful friends as you guys that we can share this all with. We’re really looking forward to the next one!

  4. avatar LensScaper says:

    How good to see all the hard work reaching fruition.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      We completely completely agree with you on that, Andy, thank you for your wonderful visit and comments!

  5. Looks like a brilliant party. I have to visit the place now even if it is only to have a look at the entrance paneling you have pictured here so beautifully.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks Joseph, so much! We have plans in place to return in the coming days and do an extension shoot of the interior. The day of the big event we were trying to stay out of everyone’s way and as such couldn’t really take that many great shots. We’ll be changing that in the coming days!!! Many thanks for popping on by to see us today my friend!