Malaspina Aquires Historic Milner Estate

March 21, 1996 - 4:00pm

Malaspina University-College has acquired the historic Milner Estate in Qualicum Beach and will preserve its famous gardens for posterity.

The 42-acre estate is widely known for its striking waterfront beauty, extensive plantings of rhododendrons and as the occasional home of the Queen and members of the royal family.

The estate was donated to Malaspina University-College in order to preserve the famous gardens. Malaspina will maintain the gardens indefinitely as a community asset and Mrs. Milner will live in the residence for her lifetime and be responsible for the costs of operating her household.

“I’m very grateful to Mrs. Veronica Milner and some very special people who made this acquisition possible. They deserve our warmest regards, respect and thanks,” said Malaspina University-College president Rich Johnston.

“Together, without cost to the taxpayer, we have been able to ensure this unique and historic garden will be preserved, and will ultimately become a priceless treasure for the community.

Later this spring the garden will be dedicated “The Milner Gardens” in recognition of Veronica Milner and her late husband, Ray, who built the estate together.

The main residence is colonial in style and was built in 1929. The property also comprises a gardener’s house, tennis courts, swimming pool, and an extensive vegetable garden. The prime feature of the estate is an 8-acre English garden overlooking Georgia Strait which contains more than 500 rhododendron species, as well as first-growth native trees.

Mrs. Milner has always hoped to preserve the gardens for future generations.

“Malaspina University-College was greatly assisted by members of our community Foundation in completing the transaction,” President Johnston said. “This is another instance of the great benefits Malaspina enjoys from the support of the community.”

“The unique garden will be well utilized as a living lab for our Horticulture and Forestry students,” Johnston said. “Others interested in botanical gardens will also benefit from the beauty and naturalness of this park-like setting for decades to come.”

Contact: Roger Prior, (250) 740-6212.

Tags: In the Community

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