The ‘Tulip House’ at Beach Drive and Dalhousie Street is for sale for $1.4 million. The Flemings, Bob and Jan, planted 12,000 tulips this year and then replaced them with begonias. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

After 30 years as Greater Victoria regulars, Bob and Jan Fleming are selling their famous Tulip House on Beach Drive.

The couple are Americans who split their year between Oak Bay (near downtown Victoria) and Marin County, California. They’ve spent many months here every year since they bought the home in 1989. And they’ve worked tirelessly on the home, especially the flower beds, reaching a point of local fame.

“It’s been quite a pleasure being part of the community,” Fleming said. “It’s been very satisfying to see so many people being pleased with the flowers. People take pictures and send them to us, with thank yous, and we’ve had people knocking on the door, thanking us.”

READ MORE: Famed ‘Tulip House’ goes for new record

But the future of the flower beds are now in question as Bob Fleming blames B.C.’s new speculation and vacancy tax for forcing them out of the country. As a foreign owner, the couple are charged a two per cent tax on the assessed value of the house. B.C. Assessment’s 2019 assessment for the property is $1.368 million, which amounts to $27,360, annually.

Bob Fleming prepping the flower beds in the fall of 2018. (Keri Coles/News Staff)

“I’m sorry to say it, but it puts us in an unfortunate position,” Fleming said. “We’ve had good memories. And now we’ll have the memory of being kicked out of the country. Canada is not very receptive now to second home people.”

The speculation and vacancy tax applies to residences in the Capital Regional District, including Oak Bay. The couple might purchase a home somewhere else in Canada but are unsure at this point.

In the meantime, the Tulip House is listed for $1.395 million. It has three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a total of 3,700 square feet (including a finished 1,400 sq. ft. basement).

“It was supposed to be our retirement home,” Fleming said. “We are only a couple years out from retiring. It’s just the way it goes.”

READ ALSO: Photo gallery of Oak Bay garden putting petal to the metal for summer flowers

They started the flower beds years ago with a small bed, and every year the made it a little bigger and better, he said.

This spring the beds boasted 12,000 tulips and currently there are 12 different varieties of begonias.

“We try to make it better every year because we get so many people coming by, the tour buses, tourists, residents, and it’s been a real pleasure when they come by and chat with us.

“We’ve also spent a lot of money on flowers, on food, on house maintenance, and if it were only $700 or something like that we could afford it. But we can’t afford that extra $25,000 to 30,000.”

Meanwhile, Fleming noted it’s common for Canadians to own places in California and Arizona.

“We don’t tax extra in the U.S. Not only does B.C. tax foreigners but also other Canadians. It’s obvious we’re not welcome.”

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The ‘Tulip House’ at Beach Drive and Dalhousie Street is for sale for $1.4 million. The Flemings, Bob and Jan, planted 12,000 tulips this year and then replaced them with begonias. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

The ‘Tulip House’ at Beach Drive and Dalhousie Street is for sale for $1.4 million. The Flemings, Bob and Jan, planted 12,000 tulips this year and then replaced them with begonias. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

The ‘Tulip House’ at Beach Drive and Dalhousie Street is for sale for $1.4 million. The Flemings, Bob and Jan, planted 12,000 tulips this year and then replaced them with begonias. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Just Posted

Kelowna mayor to request RCMP’s ‘unfounded’ sexual assault report

RCMP said the report was completed over a month ago but have yet to release it or make a statement

Criminality not suspected in Ellison trailer fire death

The body was discovered after crews responded to reports of a house fire

Kelowna’s Stuart Park ice rink closes to public on Wednesday

The city said warmer temperatures are to blame for rink’s closure

Kelowna youth accused of killing 16-year-old released with conditions

The young woman was arrested on Feb. 21 and is facing one charge of manslaughter

‘Please be quiet,’ Kelowna Mayor tells sexual assault survivor protesting in council chambers

Forty per cent of sexual assaults reported to Kelowna RCMP in 2019 were deemed ‘unfounded’

Kelowna rescue team comes back home from Australian mission

Brad Pattison’s team spent 33 days rescuing wildlife

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Interior Health appoints administrator at Summerland Seniors Village

Numerous concerns raised about private seniors care facility

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

North Okanagan ultra athlete ‘hearts’ ice baths

Shanda Hill and father carve stunning creations into ice at Ellison Lake

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Most Read