House Tour opens door to the beautiful, quirky

Six Victoria-area homes on display for fundraiser

Walking down Oak Bay Avenue, it’s easy to miss one of the region’s most unique dwellings perched above the throngs of people who pass by obliviously each day.

Next to the roofline of the Penny Farthing pub, Jim Kirk lives in a flat-roofed, mid-century-modern dwelling. There are the 1970s Barcelona chairs, a near-industrial kitchen and glossy grey walls. Outside is a bonsai garden with trees that have been growing since the 1960s.

The loft at 2233 Theatre Ln. is one of six stand-out houses in Greater Victoria on this year’s House Tour, a fundraiser for the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

“We sell out every year,” said Joan Huzar, who chairs the event. “I think it’s about getting inside. These are homes the owners designed themselves.”

Kirk, 71, worked with interior designer Diane Kettner on his abode, which he bought in 1988. It’s been through three renovations since then, the most recent taking place last Christmas. He’s happy to have people stroll through his living space.

“It’s the least we can do for the community,” he said.

Last year’s House Tour raised just less than $30,000 for the AGGV’s programs and exhibits and the hope is to raise even more this year.

An artist will show work and prepare new pieces at each of the addresses on the self-guided tour. The tour isn’t for children under 12, and there are stairs at all addresses, which could prevent access for people with mobility issues.

The House Tour is Sunday (Sept. 11), from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tickets are $40, available at AGGV, 1040 Moss St., Peninsula Gallery in Sidney and all three Garden Works locations in Greater Victoria.

Each ticket purchased can be used for two-for-one admission at AGGV.