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Emily Carr House

207 Government Street, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1973/11/22

Exterior view of Emily Carr House and grounds, 2004.; BC Heritage Branch
Front (west) elevation
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Other Name(s)

Emily Carr House
Richard Carr House
Carr House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/08/13

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Emily Carr House consists of a two-storey Picturesque-Italianate-style house on a residential city lot in the James Bay district of Victoria, BC.

Heritage Value

Emily Carr House is significant because of its association with the birth and life of Emily Carr (1871-1945), a well-known author and one of Canada's most famous painters. This house and its surrounding environment, and the impact they made in her life, are mentioned in all of Emily's books. This place was the wellspring of Emily's creativity - this is where her desire to create and her appreciation of art began. The location of the house is significant because its proximity to Beacon Hill Park and the shoreline played an important role in Emily's appreciation of her natural environment. The situation of the house in the James Bay neighbourhood is valuable, as it inspired the nearby construction of subsequent houses by Emily and her sisters.

This house is an excellent example of a Picturesque Italianate villa designed by John Wright, a prominent early architect in Victoria. Built in 1864 for Richard and Emily Carr (Emily's parents), this house exemplifies Wright's contemporary work.

Source: BC Heritage Branch property files

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Emily Carr House include:
- the relationship between the house and Beacon Hill Park and the shoreline
- the relationship with other nearby Carr family houses in James Bay, such as 646 Simcoe Street (The House of All Sorts), 218 St. Andrew's Street, and 231 St. Andrew's Street
- the situation of the house on the lot
- the situation of the house within a garden context, with unimpeded views between the house and Government Street
- the Picturesque Italianate form and massing of the exterior of the house, including the three-bay façade, small square balcony above the main door, and decorative urns
- the spatial configurations of the dining room, hall, drawing room, sitting room, and breakfast room, stairway, and the upstairs bedrooms at the front of the house (in particular the bedroom in which Emily was born)
- any historic woodwork and finishes, such as paint, wallpaper, and decorative plaster work, related to the Picturesque Italianate style, and dating to the time of the Carr family's residence in the house (1864-1937)



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Province of British Columbia

Recognition Statute

Heritage Conservation Act, s.9, s.13(1)(a)

Recognition Type

Provincial Heritage Site (Designated)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1871/01/01 to 1945/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling
Historic or Interpretive Site


Architect / Designer

John Wright



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

BC Heritage Branch file No. 27000-30-CO-06

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places

General view

Emily Carr House National Historic Site of Canada

Emily Carr House National Historic Site of Canada is a two-storey Picturesque-Italianate style house located on a residential lot in the James Bay district of Victoria, British…


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