at 1401 Rockland Avenue , V8S 1V9
Government House of British Columbia is the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, as well as that in Victoria of the Canadian monarch, and has casually been described as "the Ceremonial Home of all British Columbians." It stands in the provincial capital on a estate at 1401 Rockland Avenue; while the equivalent building in many countries has a prominent, central place in the capital, the site of British Columbia's Government House is relatively unobtrusive within Victoria, giving it more the character of a private home.HistoryThe first building in the area used specifically as a governor's residence was Cary Castle, built in 1860 by George Hunter Cary and purchased five years later by the British Crown for use as a seat for the Governor of Vancouver Island, Arthur Kennedy being the first occupant. Following the 1866 merger of the colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver Island, the mainland colony's Government House in New Westminster was abandoned to other uses and Cary Castle became the official residence of the new united colony's Governor and, from 1871 onwards, that of the provincial lieutenant governor.The mansion and its contents were destroyed by fire in May 1899, with a replacement immediately built to designs by Francis Rattenbury and Samuel Maclure. Completed in 1903, this house was used for the first time by the reigning monarch of Canada when King George VI, accompanied by his wife, Queen Elizabeth, arrived in 1939 as part of his cross-Canada tour that year. However, that incarnation of Government House also burnt down when it caught fire on 15 April 1957; the current Government House was begun soon after and completed on 19 May, two years later. The new home was furnished with pieces bought in the United Kingdom by Lieutenant Governor Frank Mackenzie Ross and then donated to the Crown following his departure from office, as well as other items donated by various British Columbians.