Address: 5126 Sooke Road
The 17 Mile House was built in 1894 as the British Ensign Hotel. During the early 1900s, the building saw a wide array of functions: it served as a temporary school, performed church services, and even received the scar of a bullet hole after a dispute with rail workers that had been working on the Canadian National Railway. Eventually this popular landmark becomes known as the 17 Mile House Pub, as it is located 17 miles from Victoria City Hall. During the 1920s the 17 Mile housed the area's only telephone. Mrs. Mary Jackson obtained a beer licence, drawing thirsty patrons long distances. Brawls were known to break out from time to time, sometimes with guns blazing. From 1940 to 1970 Mrs. Edith Wilson or "Ma" Wilson operates the 17 Mile House Pub. She ruled the Pub with an iron hand, closing the business over supper hour and refusing to serve more than two beers to family men. She kept a loaded shotgun under her bed "just in case!" Colourful Dutch tile floor is made and installed by Robert Marsh, a Victoria craftsman who did the tilework in the Christchurch Cathedral, and the local parliament buildings and legislative museum. Since then it has been operated by family members as the popular watering hole and restaurant it is today.
As one of the area's oldest buildings, the 17 Mile House Pub is known for its supernatural history. One of the first reported hauntings involves a bartender, who after stacking tables and chairs during a late shift, found one particular chair continuously pushed away from the table without anyone touching it. What made the event eerier was that he later discovered the chair had been "Ma" Wilson's favourite. Then there are the rumors of a ghost who haunts the Pub - the boyfriend of former owner Mrs. Mary Jackson, who hung himself either in the building or close by. Other manifestations include lights turning on and off, strange sights reported by visitors, and a variety of other unexplainable events.
Background image and photo from the 17 Mile Pub