Point Ellice House, one of Victoria’s oldest homes, is reopening to the public this weekend.

It will be your first chance to get a glimpse at this historical site since the Vancouver Island Local History Society took over management in April.

The society and the province have invested in extensive improvements such as a renovated visitor centre, invigorated artifact displays, a new feature exhibit space, accessibility upgrades and heritage conservation measures. 

“Over the last three months we have worked with Vancouver-based Double Dare Design and Victoria’s Edda Creative to bring visitors an updated experience,” said society president Patrick Dunae.

“This has truly been a local project, from the design and build to the roller blinds and flooring, the Rock Bay business community has been incredibly supportive.”

The feature exhibit space will give visitors a comprehensive look at the history of Point Ellice House and a chance to get up close and personal with the 6,000 plus artifacts held there. 

The first exhibit to launch, called the Politics of Luxury, takes a look at the relationships that historically sustained people, power and privilege in Victoria through images, artifacts and stories. Visitors will experience the opulence the O’Reilly family lived in during their 108 years calling the historical site their home, and some of the workers who made that lifestyle possible.

“The Politics of Luxury isn’t your grandmother’s historic house experience,” said executive director Kelly Black.

“The exhibit takes on the colonial past and examines how decisions made within these historic homes had important and sometimes devastating effects on the people of British Columbia, particularly First Nations – decisions that continue to shape the province today.”

Opening weekend at the Point Ellice House Museum and Gardens is this Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. 

On Sunday, July 28, the site will host Archaeology Day. The event will feature family-friendly food activities and well as food and drinks.

Point Ellice House is located at 2616 Pleasant St. in Victoria’s Rock Bay neighbourhood. It was built between 1861 and 1862 and is among the oldest homes in the city.

It became a national historic site in 1966 and a provincial historic site in 1975.

Admission rates and other details can be found here.