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Craigflower Schoolhouse National Historic Site of Canada

2765 Admirals Road, Victoria, British Columbia, V9A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1964/10/27

General view of the Craigflower Schoolhouse, 1994.; Parks Canada/Parcs Canada, 1994.
General view
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Other Name(s)

Craigflower Schoolhouse National Historic Site of Canada
Craigflower Schoolhouse
École Craigflower
Maple Point School

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1854/01/01 to 1855/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/07/08

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Craigflower Schoolhouse National Historic Site of Canada is a two-storey timber-framed building located on the north bank of the Gorge Estuary in the greater Victoria area. Built in 1854-1855, to meet the educational needs of children at Craigflower Farm, the building’s five bay plan, gable roof, Georgian proportions and white clapboard exterior echo the form and design of the nearby Craigflower Manor House National Historic Site of Canada. The schoolhouse is a conspicuously sited historical landmark. Official recognition refers to the building on its lot.

Heritage Value

The Craigflower Schoolhouse was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1964 because:
- preserved virtually intact, it is the oldest surviving school building in Western Canada.

The Craigflower Schoolhouse was constructed with lumber obtained from a steam-powered sawmill at the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Craigflower Farm. Designed with a schoolroom and accommodation for the teacher and his family on the main floor and several rooms for boarders on the second floor, it served children from the farm and nearby settlements. The building was also used for church meetings and public gatherings. After the schoolhouse ceased operations in 1911, the building quickly fell into disrepair. In 1927, it was acquired and restored by the Native Sons and Native Daughters of British Columbia and preserved as a museum. Its well-preserved interior and exterior illustrate architectural and construction practices associated with the transition from fur trade to settlement on the West Coast, and convey the importance attached to education during the early stages of European settlement in Western Canada.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, October 1964, June 1983.

Character-Defining Elements

The key elements relating to the heritage value of this site include:
- the situation of the schoolhouse on its original site and relationship between the building and its grounds and the waterfront;
- its siting on the north bank of the Gorge Estuary opposite the Craigflower Manor House National Historic Site of Canada and the former site of the Craigflower Farm settlement;
- its rectangular, two-storey massing under a gable roof with end chimneys, and its two clapboard lean-tos located on the south-west side and along the rear;
- its mortice-and-tenoned timber frame construction with clapboard siding;
- its use of local construction materials;
- its five-bay façade with evenly spaced double-hung multi-pane windows;
- its pedimented and protruding single entryway;
- its surviving original interior layout, materials and finishes, including original furnishings.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1854/01/01 to 1911/01/01
1927/01/01 to 1927/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type




Primary or Secondary School

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places

Craigflower Schoolhouse in the late 19th Century

Craigflower Schoolhouse

Craigflower Schoolhouse is a two-storey, gable-roofed building on Admirals Road, just north of the Craigflower Bridge in Saanich, BC. The land on which the schoolhouse sits is on…


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