THE LAND CONSERVANCY OF BC SELLS HISTORIC ROSS BAY VILLA TO VOLUNTEER SOCIETY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 23, 2015
Victoria, BC – The Land Conservancy of BC (TLC) sold its historic Ross Bay Villa to the Ross Bay Villa Society for its continued restoration and protection on October 23. The Supreme Court of B.C. previously approved the sale as a part of TLC’s Plan of Arrangement on April 2, 2015.
Located at 1490 Fairfield Road, the house was built in 1865 and is one of the few surviving 1860s houses left in the City of Victoria. The building was home to Frank Roscoe, a Member of Parliament for Victoria from 1874 to 1878.
With support from the local heritage community, TLC purchased the 0.27 acre property in 1999 for $300,000 to protect the home from demolition and preserve it in perpetuity. A mortgage of approximately $130,000 remained on the property.
Over the past 15 years hundreds of volunteers have restored the house and garden to the 1860s period and the nonprofit Ross Bay Villa Society now curates the site as the Ross Bay Villa Historic House Museum.
“Relief, Gratitude and Excitement. These words sum up how the executive and the membership of the Ross Bay Villa Society feel today. Relief that we now own this landmark in which we have invested the past 15 years of our lives. Gratitude towards The Land Conservancy for saving Ross Bay Villa in the first place and for partnering with us to ensure its legacy. Gratitude also towards the many donors who contributed to our fundraising campaign and who have demonstrated that heritage matters. Excitement for a future in which we will be working to further protect the site and establish Ross Bay Villa as a heritage destination,” said Simone Vogel-Horridge, President of the Ross Bay Villa Society.
TLC has been working with the Ross Bay Villa Society to generate funds for creditors while protecting the historic value of the property. By negotiating the transfer to the Society for the cost of the outstanding mortgage, TLC was able to satisfy creditors while protecting the site for future generations to enjoy. Further protecting the home is the City of Victoria’s Heritage designation.
“Satisfying our creditors while balancing our moral obligations to protect properties has been our goal for the last couple of years,” said Briony Penn, Chair of TLC’s Board. “Integral to TLC’s
successful restructuring are our partnerships with other Land Trusts and Societies. Once again we have witnessed the power of standing together for a cause; TLC would not have found a solution to its financial difficulties without the support of like-minded organizations.”
“We are so pleased that the house has been transferred to the Ross Bay Villa Society,” said Cathy Armstrong, TLC Director of Administration. “They have worked with TLC since day one and have poured their blood, sweat, and tears into the restoration of the home. We could not have found a better outcome for the property.”
The Ross Bay Villa Society hosts tours of the site every Saturday at 2 p.m. and will celebrate the property transfer with a special event in the coming weeks.
About The Land Conservancy of BC:
The Land Conservancy of BC (TLC) is a non-profit, charitable Land Trust working throughout British Columbia. TLC’s primary mandate is to benefit the community by protecting habitat for natural communities of plants and animals. Founded in 1997, TLC is membership-based and governed by an elected, volunteer Board of Directors. TLC relies on a strong membership and volunteer base to help maintain its operations.
About Ross Bay Villa Society:
The Ross Bay Villa Society is a non-profit, charitable organisation working to inform the public about the social, cultural and architectural heritage of late Colonial Victoria through the vehicle of the Ross Bay Villa Historic House Museum, a restored, 1865 house and garden located at 1490 Fairfield Road. The Society runs tours and hosts lectures and heritage themed events. It works to facilitate discovery, understanding and appreciation of the era through the ongoing restoration of the house and garden, curatorial work on period artifacts and furnishings and research into all facets of life at Ross Bay Villa in the 1860’s and 70’s.
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Director of Administration
TLC The Land Conservancy of BC
Ross Bay Villa Society