St. Joseph’s Hospital is a four-and-one-half storey, plus basement, stone Neoclassical Edwardian structure located across the street from St. Ann’s Academy.
St. Joseph’s Hospital, built in 1876 with additions in 1888, 1897, and 1908, is valued for its strong association with the French Canadian Sisters of St. Ann, its connection with the health care of Victoria’s citizens, its architecture and architect, and its grounds. St. Joseph’s Hospital has value for its association with one of British Columbia’s major pioneering religious orders, and for its role in the provision of health care in the region.
This place is also valued for its proximity to St. Ann’s Academy across Humboldt Street. A historic chapel on the northeast of the structure has been preserved and provides a visual link to the religious past. Several interior features have been retained, further enhancing the historic importance of this building. It has been rehabilitated for use as seniors’ housing with units for transient accommodation.
The Sisters of St. Ann arrived in Victoria from Quebec in 1858, to establish education and health service for new settlers and Indigenous people. While many of their contributions are celebrated, in 2014 the Sisters acknowledged that their involvement in Canada’s Indian Residential Schools contributed to a form of cultural oppression that has had a lasting effect not only on those who attended the schools but also on subsequent generations.
In addition, the surrounding manicured lawn, mature plantings and park like setting are valued for their contribution to Victoria’s natural environment. The presence of this green space so close to downtown Victoria, coupled with the St. Ann’s Academy grounds and Beacon Hill Park just to the south, provides a counterpoint to the hard urban landscape of the city core.