Historic Sooke mansion targeted by vandals


WATCH: One of Sooke’s oldest mansions has been all but destroyed by vandals. The English-style country estate’s walls have been smashed and spray painted, and as Kori Sidaway tells us, it’s left the home’s old tenant heartbroken, and calling for the community to step in.

Frederique Philip has only fond memories of the view from her former home.

“I mean it’s so beautiful and so peaceful. In a way because it was such a grandiose house. From old days,” said Philip.

This classic Tudor-style home was built in 1925, but now, it looks very different.

The 30-acre estate was sold in 2008 to an unknown buyer. Since then, the property appears to have been forgotten.

“For me, this is really senseless,” said Phillip.

And instead of paintings, graffiti now covers the walls.

“It’s very hard for me to be here and see the destruction because it’s very hard for me to understand,” said Philip.

Sooke RCMP says they’ve responded to three calls at the house over the past year, the last time was in March.

They’re not sure when the vandalism occurred, but say it’s likely old.

“You have to be lost to do something like this,” said Philip.

But as the 93-year-old building lays abandoned, Philip is hoping the community will step in.

“In my dream world, I would like to see Sooke owning this house and having it as a place where people can gather, have a community garden may be,” said Philip.

The property is not up for sale, but anyone can make an application for the property to be protected under a heritage designation.

The problem? The District of Sooke has never given a heritage designation for any of their older buildings.

“We need to learn and understand the past,” said Philip.

“It will tell us what the future can be. Without the past, we really miss a great part.”

Philip hopes a new precedent will be set in Sooke, starting with her old home.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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