The John Lewis House Bed & Breakfast

The John Lewis House was built in 1900 by master cabinetmaker John Lewis, who came to Victoria from Wales in the late 1890s. Evidence of his craft can be seen throughout the house, especially in the ornate mantelpiece and decorative woodwork in the living room as well as in the wood-panelled vestibule.

We’re located a short walk from downtown and also the U.S. ferry terminals (Coho to Port Angeles, Victoria Clipper to Seattle).

Address: 58 Government Street, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (map)

Phone: (250) 483-6588


The John Lewis House

Our neighbourhood

The John Lewis House is located on Government Street in James Bay, the oldest residential neighbourhood in Victoria. James Bay contains many significant heritage homes that are designated under the city’s Residential Heritage Program.

Our house is less than a block from the Dallas Road waterfront, where you can walk towards Ogden Point in one direction, or east to Clover Point and further around the coast. The scenery is stunning, with the Olympic Mountain range in Washington State to the south across the Strait of Georgia.

Downtown Victoria is 15 minutes’ walk from the John Lewis House. We are ideally placed for visits to the Royal BC Museum, the Legislature, the Inner Harbour and many other attractions as well as shopping and restaurants.

Beacon Hill Park is a short walk away, where you can enjoy the many landscaped gardens, especially the rhododendron garden, as well as the trails, playground, playing fields and petting zoo. Pause for a while to watch games of tennis, cricket, lawn bowls, or even croquet.

Things to do nearby

There are so many places to visit and explore in Victoria, and on Vancouver Island! Here is a very small selection of places and activities we have visited or experienced, or hope to visit very soon.

Butchart Gardens – The Butchart Gardens offers 22ha (55 acres) of wonderful floral display located in Greater Victoria on Vancouver Island. Tours are available from Government Street by the Empress Hotel – or be adventurous and take the Victoria Transit bus from Douglas Street.

Glendale Gardens – The Horticulture Centre of the Pacific (HCP) was proposed in 1978 by a group of citizens from Victoria and was envisaged as a Pacific Demonstration Garden, a Pacific Horticultural Training Centre, and a Pacific Cultural Centre with the nations of the Pacific Rim each providing a pavilion as a national showcase. Funding was provided and a parcel of Crown Lands in Saanich was identified as a suitable site.

Abkhazi Gardens – The Abkhazi Garden is an exquisite heritage home and garden located in Victoria, British Columbia; a city known for its wonderful gardens. Prince and Princess Abkhazi began creating their garden in 1946 shortly after they married and settled in Victoria, after living separate lives touched by both privilege and tragedy. They immediately began to develop their one-acre property, and continued to maintain and improve the garden throughout their lives together. The garden is a serene oasis right in the centre of the city and well worth a visit.

Craigdarroch Castle Historic House Museum, located at 1050 Joan Crescent, just off Fort Street, Victoria, is a short drive or walk from the downtown harbour. The castle, built by wealthy coal baron, Robert Dunsmuir, is described as a “must see attraction” and is an 1890’s mansion with exquisite stained-glass windows, woodwork and period antiques.

Hatley Park National Historic Site, Home of Royal Roads University, is located at 2005 Sooke Road. The historic castle is set in formal gardens, part of a 565 acre Edwardian estate. Enjoy views of the Olympic Mountains to the south.

Whale Watching Tours:

Lizard Adventure Travel offers a variety of eco- tours and winery and culinary tours as well as visits to provincial heritage and national historic sites, etc. They also offer personalized private tours to fit your schedule and interests.

Travel with Taste – Do you love to eat and drink? Do you love to explore meeting chefs, vintners, farmers, cheesemakers, and producers tasting along the way? If so, then you will love to Travel With Taste.

Ghostly Walks – Why is Victoria the most haunted place in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest? Over 5,000 years of native history and a lively parade of events and characters since Fort Victoria was founded in 1843 are good reasons to start with. Bastion Square, Old Town, Chinatown, St. Ann’s Academy and the historic waterfront have more hauntings than any other parts of the city. Join John Adams and his team of professional guides on Victoria’s famous ghost tours that explore the narrow alleys, historic courtyards and other spooky places where the echoes of hangings, murders and colourful events can still be heard and where ghosts can make their presence known at any time of the day or night. Prepare to be spooked …..

The Royal BC Museum Corporation is one of the foremost cultural institutions in the world. The museum was founded in 1886; the archives in 1894. In 2003 these two organizations integrated to become British Columbia’s combined provincial museum and archives, collecting artifacts, documents and specimens of BC’s natural and human history, safeguarding them for the futurre, and sharing them with the world.

The Victoria Symphony – In its 70th year of operation, the Victoria Symphony is Vancouver Island’s largest and most active performing arts organization. With over 50 performances in its season which spans September to May, the Victoria Symphony continues to engage and inspire the community with high-quality concerts in seven diverse series and also with its outstanding education and outreach programs.

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria – Since its inception sixty years ago, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria has offered a wide variety of educational opportunities to the community of the Capital Regional District. The Gallery programs appeal to a wide spectrum of the community: from children and adolescents, to university students, adults, seniors, and those with special needs.

The John Lewis House

Orcas. Photo by Paul Mannix