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Begbie Hall National Historic Site of Canada

2101 Richmond Road, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1998/03/12

General view of Begbie Hall, showing the regular placement of doors and windows, 2008 and HSMBC plaque.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2008.
General view with HSMBC plaque
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Other Name(s)

Begbie Hall National Historic Site of Canada
Begbie Hall
Begbie Hall
Pavillon Begbie
Pavillon Begbie

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/04/30

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Begbie Hall National Historic Site of Canada is located in the Royal Jubilee Hospital complex in Victoria, British Columbia. It is a large, three-storey brick building with a flat roof that was purpose-built as a nurse’s residence. The site is now part of a large institutional setting. Official recognition refers to the building on its footprint.

Heritage Value

Begbie Hall was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1997. It is recognized because:
- it commemorates the contribution of nurses and nursing to scientific medicine and to women’s agency as health care professionals;
- it commemorates the residence, which was central to the nursing culture, and speaks to the training and professionalism of nurses, to their social life, to the development of their unique culture and to the emergence of leaders in the field of nursing.

Built in 1926, Begbie Hall represents the recognition and development of nursing as a profession. This former women’s residence was purpose-built to house students of the Royal Jubilee Hospital School of Nursing, who cared for patients as part of their training. The hospital was founded in 1890, and the school of nursing in 1891. Its modern lecture rooms, laboratories and reference library supported the scientific education that was critical to their work. Here, as elsewhere in Canada, a place of their own helped nurses shape a professional role indispensable to health care within the hospital and in the community. Their success inspired women to assume new roles in society. This former women’s residence now houses the Corporate Head Offices of the Capital Health Region.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 1987.

Character-Defining Elements

The key elements that contribute to the heritage character of this site include:
- the location in an institutional setting as a component of the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria;
- the purpose-built residential architecture including:
- the three-storey massing set under a flat roof, red brick construction;
- the regular placement of doors and windows, including the porticoed entrance;
- the exterior detailing including the banding under the parapet;
- the interior’s functional design that reflects its function as a residence, a site of learning and of leisure activity that includes the reception room and recreation hall called the Pink Room, the reference library, the octagon-shaped historic operating room, the Woodward Room, the classrooms in the basement, the nursing lab, instructors’ offices and some bedrooms that remain in their original state;
- the interior detailing including the surviving original fittings and finishes of the learning, recreational and accommodation areas.




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)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type



Health and Research
Hospital or Other Health Care Institution

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage Directorate Documentation Centre 3rd Floor, room 366 30 Victoria Street Gatineau, Québec J8X 0B3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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