A History Retrospective

A History Retrospective

Rose Manor is a romantic character residence for senior, located in the heart of Greater Victoria adjacent to a wide variety of community services. Built in 1898, Rose Manor was specifically designed as a retirement home. Much of its appeal lies in the tradition of supporting retired seniors in a serene and home like environment.

Rose Manor is more than just architecturally interesting. It is also of local, women’s and historical significance, with one hundred years of intact archives. Prominent local architect Thomas Hooper designed one of the earliest sections of the present structure linking it to other buildings in the area, specifically St. Ann’s Academy and the Fairfield Health Centre (St. Joseph’s Hospital).

Since its inception, Rose Manor has been served by a volunteer Board of Directors. In 1996, The Oak Bay Kiwanis Rose Manor Society assumed management responsibilities of Rose Manor. Through the Society, the Oak Bay Kiwanis Club is committed to maintaining the integrity of Rose Manor, by operating in a fiscally-responsible manner and, most importantly, by creating a comfortable home environment thereby enhancing the quality of life for its residents. The mission of The Oak Bay Kiwanis Rose Manor Society is “to assist seniors in maintaining their independence and dignity through the provisions of affordable housing, new and innovative services and personal care with choices”.

The Oak Bay Kiwanis Club is proud to be a part of Rose Manor’s history and its worthwhile services within the community. It believes in the need for creating a warm and friendly environment for seniors, consistent with their lifestyle preferences, their desires for privacy and dignity, and their wish to exercise autonomy.


1860 – 1884
Original building was for The French Benevolent Hospital.

1884 – 1897
Building was empty.

1897 – 1907
Lady Aberdeen, wife of the Governor General of Canada, organized women from various churches in Victoria to take it over for the purpose of care for elderly widows who were homeless and poor. It was re-named The Aged and Infirm Women’s Home of Victoria, formerly “The Friendly Help Society”. Mrs. William Grant donated rose bushes from her garden in Point Ellice. This donation was announced as a celebration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The name “Rose Manor” was formally announced by the Mayor of Victoria on April 26th 1958 on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary Tea.

1907 – 1971
Additions and renovations continued with new wings being added almost every ten years until a three story dining room was added in 1971.

Accommodation was provided for men as well.

1996 – 1998
Oak Bay Kiwanis Health Care Society assumed responsibility for Rose Manor.

Rose Manor celebrated its 100th birthday

BC Housing assumed ownership of Rose Manor as a supportive housing unit for seniors. The Oak Bay Kiwanis Rose Manor Society manages the facility and every Oak Bay Kiwanis club member is a member of the society.

Demolition of the West Wing commences.

New West Wing opens.

Rose Manor received a “Care” award for the excellent, re-built West Wing. Construction begins on South Block and Rupert Wing. Since its inception Rose Manor has always been managed by volunteers. Oak Bay Kiwanis are simply carrying on a fine tradition from the past and on into the future.

2004 – 2006 The partnership between BC Housing and The Oak Bay Kiwanis Rose Manor Society in rebuilding the West Wing and renovating the South Block, Rupert Wing, Main Lounge, Kitchen and Dining Room has succeeded in creating one of the finest senior’s residences in Victoria. Now complete, Rose Manor contains 70 suites.