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Ambrosia Bed and Breakfast

522 Quadra Street, Victoria, British Columbia, V8V, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1984/11/08

Exterior view of Ambrosia Bed and Breakfast; City of Victoria, 2007
Front elevation
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Other Name(s)

Ambrosia Bed and Breakfast
Anton Henderson House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/03/18

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Ambrosia Bed and Breakfast is a wood frame two-and-a-half storey Queen Anne Revival residence, backing on to St. Ann's Academy in Victoria's Fairfield neighbourhood.

Heritage Value

The historic place, built in 1897, is valued for its architecture, its original owner, and what its construction and continued evolution says about changes in society.

The Ambrosia Bed and Breakfast is a good example of the Queen Anne Revival style popular in the late Victorian period. It reflects the type of house built by the emerging middle class, as exhibited by the embellishment typical of the period. The British Columbia form of the style served as a bridge between the early wood frames of the pioneer families and the West Coast bungalow so prevalent in the 1920s. This building serves as a reminder of the large mansions that once lined the street - now replaced with apartment blocks and other buildings.

There is heritage value in the association with the original owner of the property. Born in Denmark, Anton Henderson came to Victoria via the USA in 1880. He worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway, several other transport companies in Victoria, and in the gold fields. In 1882, he joined the Victoria Transfer Company, soon becoming superintendent, and transported wagons and supplies to the Klondike. Henderson, who helped form the Victoria Tourist Association, founded the Tally-Ho horse-drawn tour service in 1903, a tourist transportation amenity that continues today. Henderson served as Alderman for the City of Victoria in 1893 and 1909.

There is heritage value in the continued evolution of the property. Built as a private residence, it was converted to apartments in 1958. In 1966, it suffered a disastrous fire and was restored as a bed and breakfast inn in 1984. Its location close to downtown and tourist transportation links, and its position as one of several such establishments in the area, reflects the changing use of this portion of the Fairfield neighbourhood from solely residential to commercial.

Source: City of Victoria Planning Department

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage character of the Ambrosia Bed and Breakfast is defined by the following elements:
- characteristics of the Queen Anne Revival style, including steep hipped roof, tall chimneys, bracketing, waffle work in gables, Queen-Anne style truncated tower with gable roof on side of front facade, decorative wood detailing, open front verandah with turned spindles, carved wood spandrels, and wood railing, and wood shingles
- form and pattern of fenestration
- setback from street
- street presence
- relationship between this property and St. Ann's Academy



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.967

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn


Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Victoria Planning Department

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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