It's Victoria Day So Let's Look at Some Gorgeous Victorians For Sale

It's Victoria Day So Let's Look at Some Gorgeous Victorians For Sale

Jon Gorey
May 22, 2017

In Bizarro America — where everyday life is fairly similar, except the road signs are in kilometers, Thanksgiving is celebrated in October, and the elected leader looks more like a movie star than a reality TV host — today is Victoria Day. I'm speaking, of course, about Canada, where Queen Victoria's May 24th birthday has been celebrated since 1845.

Not every Canadian province actively celebrates the holiday—Quebec, in particular, has a thorny history with the British monarchy. But in most parts of of Canada, Victoria Day is celebrated with fireworks, parades, and cases of beer, and the three-day weekend it creates is considered the unofficial kickoff to summer — much like Memorial Day in the United States.

Queen Victoria's reign lasted more than 63 years, from 1837 until her death in 1901. Those were heady years in the history of Western industrialization—and the Victorian era also gave us some of the most beautiful homes in America.

We often think of Victorian architecture as its own style: Asked to imagine a Victorian house, you might conjure the "Painted Ladies" of San Francisco, or a grand home with a cone-topped turret and fancy decorative woodwork and flourishes. But Victorian architecture really refers to the time period it was built, not any one specific style. So while gingerbread houses in the Queen Anne revival style are considered Victorians, so too are Second Empire homes (think mansard roofs), or the brownstones of Brooklyn and Boston's South End.

Anyway, we decided to celebrate Victoria Day in our own way: by gawking at some gorgeous Victorians for sale right now.


Price: $1,995,000
Square feet: 3,456
Bedrooms: 4
Baths: 3 full, 1 half
Year built: 1870

With big bay windows, wide pine floors, fireplaces, and high ceilings, this Second Empire home in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood is a stunner.

San Francisco

Price: $949,000
Square feet: 1,124
Bedrooms: 2
Baths: 1 full
Year built: 1897

A late 19th-century boomtown, San Francisco is famously full of colorful Victorian rowhouses, like the Painted Ladies near Alamo Square. But even just a piece of one will cost you a pretty penny.

Newburgh, N.Y.

Price: $619,000
Square feet: 6,913
Bedrooms: 9
Baths: 5 full, 1 half
Year built: 1890

From pocket doors to intricate molding, there's enough classic charm to go around in this enormous four-family brick Victorian. The owner's unit has 14-foot ceilings and five fireplaces.

New Orleans

Price: $349,500
Square feet: 1,050
Bedrooms: 2
Baths: 1 full
Year built: 1893

Not all Victorians are enormous. This colorful shotgun-style home in New Orleans shares many characteristics of its bigger gingerbread-style cousins.

St. Paul, Minn.

Price: $549,000
Square feet: 3,050
Bedrooms: 4
Baths: 2 full, 2 half
Year built: 1889

If you live on the coast, the price of this elegant Ramsey Hill beauty will make you rethink your life choices. The whole neighborhood, especially Summit Ave., is lousy with Victorian architecture.

Cape May, N.J.

Price: $1,365,000
Square feet: 2,790
Bedrooms: 6
Baths: 3 full, 1 half
Year built: 1870

This Jersey Shore town is another treasure trove of Victorian architecture, with front porches perfect for summer sipping.


Price: $1,250,000
Square feet: 4,429
Bedrooms: 4
Baths: 4 full, 1 half
Year built: 1892

Bright colors and the warmth of pine floors—plus some quirky design choices—give this old home a youthful personality.

Louisville, Ky.

Price: $724,900
Square feet: 3,865
Bedrooms: 3
Baths: 3 full
Year built: 1900

Despite modern updates like a sleek new kitchen and carriage house apartment, this home still has its six fireplaces, 12-foot ceilings, and lead stained glass windows.

Oak Bluffs, Mass.

Price: $2,595,000
Square feet: 2,997
Bedrooms: 4
Baths: 5 full, 1 half
Year built: 1880

The gingerbread cottages of Oak Bluffs have long greeted visitors to Martha's Vineyard as they step off the ferry. This one is bigger and more modernized than most—for better or worse—but one can't argue with ocean views from nearly every room.


Price: $1,499,000 CAD
Square feet: 2,260
Bedrooms: 4
Baths: 4 full

Celebrate Victoria Day from your deck in downtown Toronto, in a glamorous Victorian rowhouse with all the fixings: 10-foot ceilings, coal-burning fireplace, and crown molding.

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