Your host, Peter Grant

45 croppedPhoto by Molly Grant, June 2013.

I am the author of seven books about Victoria and Vancouver Island:

Victoria from Sidney to Sooke: An Altitude SuperGuide (1994)
Victoria a History in Photographs (1995)
The Story of Sidney (1997)
Wish You Were Here: Life on Vancouver Island in Historical Postcards (2002)
Vancouver Island Book of Everything (2008, second edition 2015)
Vancouver Island Book of Musts (2010; second edition 2017)
Vancouver Island: Imagine (2014, co-author)

Having lived in Oak Bay for close to fifty years, I’m now writing a book about my home range.

Feel free to send a message or ask a question at petergrant(at)


25 thoughts on “Your host, Peter Grant”

  1. Wow! Really looking fwd to finished product… this where the Keith story is? Just back from long w/e at D &T’s newly acquired lake house only an hour n of the city….reminds me of Bowen, but much more space, and an acre of flat, no-bank lakefront w little sandy beach…perfect for small boyz!

  2. Ask and ye shall receive … This is where the Keith story will be — it’s only Day 1 — and the Husband story … the Westinghouse story … Clark … Skelton … Oliver … Rattenbury … the whole gang … stay tuned …

  3. I’d be agreeing that Donald was probably afflicted by what we “talked” about two days ago in his recounting of his ancestor’s sailing activities in BC/Ak waters in 1831.

    I’ll be looking forward to the new stuff!

  4. Hey Peter! Fantastic! Back to work, eh? Miss the OB Rec Centre and my friends, you and everyone, but it doesn’t rain here, as I said, Santa Fe is my “brown town” and Victoria is my “green town” . . . I look forward to seeing you when I can visit! This project looks really interesting, and well done!
    X Erin

  5. Just attended your talk last night at Windsor Park. I again realized what a small world we live in as you began to speak about the Johnston family. I am currently reading the 1934 editions of The Colonist and I just found this article on Monday.
    September 18, 1934, 3 – died recently at Colima, Mexico, Robert Henry Johnston, 63, eldest son of Philip Thomas & Agnes Johnston. The father was a pioneer resident of Victoria [1862]. He was born 1871 in Victoria and resided in Mexico for 26 years. Leaves widow, 4 children, in Mexico, 2 sisters, brother.

    1. This is why your work is so valuable Leona – otherwise such information would probably be lost. A fascinating family, eh? Glad you could make it to the talk.

      1. Is this the same Johnston family that lived on Clive Drive above Oak Bay Village? That would be Laurie and Patricia Johnston and their sons Phillip and Richard. I was born and raised across the drive from them. Richard is my lifelong friend born six days apart. He mentioned recently that his relative donated the property now called Haynes Park to the community.

    2. Interesting how families intertwine. Phillip Johston’s daughter Esther married James Stirling Floyd, mentioned above as building a home in 1888 on Mt. Baker Ave. J.S.Floyd was Oak Bay’s clerk at incorporation and then carried on as Auditor for Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria until his death in the 1930’s. There are quite a few of their descendants still in Greater Victoria.

  6. Hi Peter — I’m writing a biography of Reginald Heber Pidcock, whose daughter Margaret married Edward Purcell Johnston — who I believe may have been related to you. I’m hoping to find someone who has tracked the history of the Johnston family, in hopes you have photos and stories that may relate to this book I’m working on. I believe the Johnstons and Reginald’s wife’s (Alice Guillod) family were friends in Eng, before they emigrated. I think Alice came to Canada in 1872 with one of Philip Thomas’ sisters — and would really like to know her first name.

    As a p.s. to this — I’m Leona Taylor’s sister, who I see a note to you from above. Just a coincidence — historian sisters….

    Cheers, Jeanette Taylor, Quadra Island, BC

  7. Hi, Peter, new to Victoria and familiarizing myself with the history and geography of the area, in particular Victoria and Oak Bay. Thanks for making this information available online.
    Cheers, Don

  8. We are looking for informati about Henderson Hill for a student at St. Margaret’s school. She is 10 years old. Could you help

    1. Henderson Hill? Never heard the term before. Could it be the hill on Henderson Road from Neil St to Lansdowne Road? It was part of Uplands Farm from 1850, used by Chinese farmers for growing vegetables, and became a suburb in the 1950s. If that’s the place, i can give you sources.

  9. Hi Peter,
    Have just read a couple of your articles in OB Chronicles about the Keiths (I have an ancient copy of her book “Three Came Home”) and our combined time with them, the Grants, the Guthries and the Aclands at the Aclands Guest House on Salt Spring Island. These articles were turned up by Jessica Thomas who is married to Ben Guthrie, Nick’s #3 son, in LA. Some of the pictures are in a retrospective I compiled of our time at Aclands. Let me know if you would like a copy. Meantime, best wishes to you and yours. I am about to celebrate my 80th birthday on July 1 here on Salt Spring island. How the time has flown by.

  10. Greetings Peter. can you please tell me the dates of your two Sid Baron transportation cartoons.? Thank you very much. Is it possible to get copies of these two cartoons.? I have many Oak Bay streetcars photos to share with you if you are interested in getting together sometime.? THANK YOU. Wally Young.

    1. I have two albums of Barron cartoons that i will bring to our meeting … The coming week is good … Monday morning?

  11. Hi Peter

    Just stumbled on your OBC. Fascinating, esp about the Keiths. I was in Victoria in 2003. Stayed with Jean in Seattle 🙂

  12. Hi Peter, we’ve spoken before about one aspect of Oak Bay history: St. Michael’s School. I mentioned to you that I have been identifying boys in their collection of photos. Your years are pretty complete; but there are quite a few ‘blanks’ in your brother J.’s years, and you said he might be willing and able to help. Could you forward my message to him, if he does think he can assist? Many thanks for this and all the other ‘services’ you give to Oak Bayites. Warm regards.

  13. Tom Preece was going to write a book about Henry George Keith (as per the article on the Keith’s as part of this website.) Has he done so and what it is called please?
    I have read all Agnes’ books and always wondered what happened to George. It was with sadness that I read he had taken his own life. Any more details please?
    Thank you

    1. I have been in touch with Mr Preece recently and got the impression he is not working on that book about George Keith at present. I hope he completes it. What he told me was in confidence. If you like I can ask him to contact you. Please reply by email.

  14. Hello – really enjoying your site. Last summer we bought 2560 Orchard Ave. I am particularly interested in your article:


    but towards the end, the images (clippings, photos) cease. Can you send it to me with those images included? Thanks

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