Hycroft House exterior

Last Friday, I was invited to the Hycroft House along with a group of bloggers to both unveil a commissioned painting by Vancouver artist Michael Kluckner and tour the house ahead of Hycroft’s 100th anniversary. A gorgeous painting of the Hycroft House was presented to the University Women’s Club of Vancouver, an organization founded in 1907. The UWC purchased part of the Hycroft estate in 1962. That same year, the stables were also demolished and the property was subdivided. Hycroft House forms a significant part of our city’s history.

Painting Unveiling

Hycroft House painting
[Detail, Hycroft House Painting by Michael Kluckner]

Invited guests

After several opening remarks and the painting’s unveiling, our group was given a private tour of the house by civic historian John Atkin. We walked through parts of the house normally not open to the public. This included a fantastic bathroom with a not-to-be-believed shower!

Hycroft shower
[Image courtesy of Randal Kurt]

During our tour, I discovered that the house was bought by Mr. Alexander McRae in 1909 for $100,000. Subsequently, the street was named after him. Back in the day, houses didn’t contain numbers (a strange ruling particular to Shaughnessy for exclusivity) but were instead named.

Hycroft House images

A 2.5 acre park surrounded the house. Its original stable was as large as the house. Hycroft House contains over 30 rooms, each one decorated in a unique style. This includes 10 fireplaces, five solariums, two lounges, a dining room, a drawing room, a library, several bedrooms and a ballroom with a sprung floor. The house and sequence of rooms followed the design of other houses built at the time in the neighbourhood.

Stained glass ceiling

Adding to that was a coach house, stables, swimming pool, Italian garden, rose garden, teahouse, pergolas, statuary, and a children’s playhouse. Mr. McRae, his wife, and children moved into Hycroft in 1911.

Hycroft images

The fanciest room of the house is the Georgian Room, with its gorgeous ceiling mouldings and collection of artwork acquired by the University Women’s Club over the years.

Two events in March will mark the Centennial:

A Gala will be held on Saturday, March 12, 2011, from 6:30 – 10:30 pm. Dal Richards and His Quartet will perform, and the evening will feature Historical Tableaux, a silent auction, appetizers, and a no host bar.

Hycroft images

A traditional English Tea will be served on Sunday March 13, including Ivan Sayer’s Vintage Fashion Show. Tickets for both events are available either online or by calling 604.731.4661.

The entire photo set from my experience at Hycroft House can be found here.


  • Comment by Bob T. — February 21, 2011 @ 11:00 am

    Stunning! Love the bathroom shower. Must’ve been quite a costly thing back in those days.

  • Comment by virginia — February 21, 2011 @ 11:02 am

    I’ve often driven around these streets and wondered about the interiors. Might be a good idea to take a tour one of these days!

  • Comment by Cyndi — February 22, 2011 @ 8:47 am

    Beautiful post, Ariane! You’ve transported me back to Hycroft again with those incredible pictures. Was so great to see you!

  • Comment by arianec — February 22, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

    @ Bob T: Thanks. I don’t think I’d ever seen a bathroom like that before! I know a great deal of that house contains imported pieces, so no doubt that the bathroom would have cost a fortune as well.

    @ Cyndi: Thanks, sweetie! It was great touring the house with you, and wonderful to see you tonight at Richard’s event as well.

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