Our History

Charming, Heritage Character

The Glenshiel was built in 1908/1909 in the style of a turn of the century European hotel. It was initially operated by a series of private owners and was considered one of the best places to stay in Victoria. There was a strong Scottish connection and many of the original managers were retired army captains associated with the Scottish Regiments.

History of the ‘Stag-Head Shield of the Seaforth Highlanders'

"Attacked by a wounded stag while hunting in the Highlands of Scotland, King Alexander II was saved by Kenneth Fitzgerald, a Mackenzie Clansman. In gratitude for saving his life, Kenneth Fitzgerald was given the stag-head shield and the estate and castle of Eilean Donan in the Highlands of Glenshiel."

Over 30 Years Experience

The Glenshiel was acquired by the provincial government in December 1972 and operated as a hotel and residence for senior citizens.

Managerial responsibility for The Glenshiel was transferred to the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing with management services provided by the British Columbia Housing Management Commission in October, 1980.

In 1997, The Glenshiel Housing Society was formed and is now responsible for the operation of The Glenshiel. B.C. Housing continues to own and maintain the building.

Ongoing Improvements and an Up-to-date Security System

In the early part of 1980, B.C. Buildings Corporation completed structural and elevator repairs, installed smoke detectors and upgraded the fire alarm system.

A $500,000 renovation program was started in May 1982 to modernize the building and add 44 additional housing units for senior citizens. The renovation program was planned and supervised by B.C. Housing Management Commission. The official opening of the restored Glenshiel as a residence for senior citizens was on September 19, 1983.

Major renovations began again in 1996 and in May 1997. The Glenshiel was returned to the heritage look you see today and was fully upgraded to meet all fire and safety regulations.

Upgrades and improvements to the building continue to be made and in 2002 a new larger elevator was installed.

In 2008, our centennial year, The Glenshiel underwent extensive refurbishing again. The Hallmark Society, recognizing our interest in heritage and our continued work on this landmark building, honoured us with an award for the exterior painting of the building.