St. Ann's Academy
Tourism Region: Victoria
A former convent school, St. Ann's Academy was built between 1871 and 1910. From a simple log cabin in Victoria, it became one of the largest, best-equipped educational institutions in the region and the first four-story masonary building in the city. With their origins in Lachine, Quebec, the Sisters of St. Ann developed St. Ann's in a French architectural style. Closed as a school and the Sisters' provincial headquarters in 1974, St. Ann's eventually underwent extensive restoration and re-opened as a historic site in 1997.
Walk through the wrought-iron gate, along the drive, up the grand staircase and into the school's formal entrance. View the 1920's parlours then enter the chapel. The Chapel, built in 1958 as Victoria's first Roman Catholic Cathedral, was added to the school in 1886. Like many rural French Canadian churches, it has ornate altars and ceiling carvings, gold-leaf detailing, original oil paintings, stained glass windows, and a 1913 Casavant pipe organ. The resplendent Novitiate Garden has a geometric herb bed, perennials, and a recreated 1925 summerhouse. The 1910 formal garden contains rare trees and a unique non-operating fountain.
About the Collections
St. Ann's Academy includes edwardian furnishings, religious art and artifacts as well as building components and a comprehensive photograph collection documenting the restoration of the buiiding from 1995 through 1997. An oral history project records the memories of sisters, and students of the school as well as those involved in the restoration of the building.
Approximate number of objects in the collections: 8000 items
44 Oral history interviews document the memories of sisters and students in the building as well as those involved in the restoration of the building. A collection of 7000 images documents the restoration of the building primarily in black and white art images.
Prints and Drawings •
The collection includes items of edwardian furniture, a 1913 Casavant church organ and a sister's habit as well as religious statuary.
Ceramics, Porcelain or Pottery •
Furniture or Furnishings •
Musical Instruments •
Textiles or Tapestries
Original oils and pencil sketches are on display, the works of former art teachers and their students at St. Ann's Academy.
Painting • Photography • Prints and Drawings
Folk Art • Religious Art
Costumes and Accessories
Furniture or Furnishings
Household Objects or Domestic Technology
Religious or Liturgical Objects
Services & Activities
Educational Programs, Visitor Services, Facility Rentals and Research assistance.
We respond to general inquiries regarding the history of the building and those who have lived, worked and learned here.
Archival Records •
Other: Referral to other holdings related to the history of the building
Hands-on school program for elementary students based on the current BC curriculum teaches students about the school while studying geography, historic photographs and faux-painting techniques as well as student life. This program is also available in a bi-lingual french & english format. Through the Society of Friends of St. Ann's Academy, we offer a series of free Friday lunch and Sunday afternoon lectures and presentations at various times throughout the year.
: Age 5-11 (k-6)
: Age 12-17 (7-13)(Quebec: Secondary 1-CEGEP)
: Age 18 and up (Post-Secondary)
Volunteers greet our visitors and offer a guide to the building and grounds. The guide is currently available in English with French and Spanish versions due shortly.
Accessible by Public Transportation
Information Centre or Desk
Meeting Room Rental
Nature Trails, Walks or Gardens
Special Needs Facilities
: Wheelchair access
Other Guided Tours: Group Tours are available on a pre-arranaged basis for $2 per person
Volunteer Services Available
Number of Volunteers: 10
Activities: Docent, Cataloguing, and a Society of Friends who organize public events
Via the Society of Friends of St. Ann's Academy, members recieve a newsletter 6 times a year, and invitations to special events
While food is not available for purchase, the grounds offer beautiful surroundings for a picnic.
Picnic Area •
Other: The Facility is available for catered rental events including indoor stand up receptions and outdoor garden and tented events
Local Tourism Links
A 200 seat auditorium, 150 seat chapel, parlours and several garden areas are available for rental for public and private functions.
Publications and Products
Books on the local history of the Roman Catholic faith and books published by the Sisters of St. Ann as well as the publications of the Society of Friends of St. Ann's Academy (Victoria) plus souvenir t-shirts, notecards, etc.
Annual Reports •
Museum Guide •
T-Shirts or Sweatshirts or Caps
Other: We also offer bridal accessories for wedding ceremonies
835 Humboldt Street
Victoria, British Columbia
St. Ann's Academy
613 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, British Columbia
Hours of Operation
Annual events include a Sacred Space series during the Advent season, participation in the Intercultural Association sponsored Luminara Festival and the auditorium is the location for local theatre.
Open: Summer months, May to October: Seven days a week, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Winter months, Thursday through Sunday, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
New Year's Day (Jan 1), Good Friday, Easter Monday, Remembrance Day (Nov 11), Christmas Day (Dec 25) and Boxing Day (Dec 26)
There is a suggested donation for admission of adults $2, children 6-18 $2 and seniors $1