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

‘Pods’ set up at Surrey homeless centre

Temporary shelter set up in April to help stop the spread of COVID-19

Suspect sought in alleged indecent act in South Surrey

Police say incident occurred near 13 Avenue and 131 Street

New video evidence in Surrey man’s West Kelowna murder trial shown in court

The defence closed its case following the playing of the video in court, marking the end of the evidentiary phase of the trial

IHIT investigating ‘suspicious’ death of Surrey man

Officers found a body in the 11300-block of Bridgeview Drive: Surrey RCMP

PHOTOS: White Rock Farmers’ Market ‘welcomes all vendors’

Relaxing pandemic restrictions mean full spectrum of vendors can return to uptown market: manager

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Most Read