About

Vista 18 Westcoast Grill & Wine Bar is located on the 18th floor of Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites in the heart of downtown Victoria. With an extraordinary menu and breathtaking views of the city’s busy Inner Harbour, the snow-capped Olympic Mountain range, impressive Mount Baker, the Pacific’s Juan de Fuca Strait and beautiful downtown Victoria – Vista 18 has a lot to offer. The modern, comfortable décor allows you to enjoy our menu focusing on free range, organic and local products. Our culinary team pride themselves in combining the best flavours on the planet with our bounty of fresh local ingredients. Every meal from breakfast to late night small bites is given the attention to detail you would expect from one of Victoria’s best contemporary restaurants, letting the food speak for itself with clean natural flavours and down to earth prices. Our sleek lounge offers a tempting martini list, or try one of the locally-brewed beers we have on tap. Dine to the sublime sounds of local live entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings. Move on up and visit Vista 18 for breakfast, lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch! You can be assured that a meal in Vista 18 will engage all your senses.

History

Prior to the name “Vista 18”, our rooftop restaurant was called the “Parrot House Restaurant” in honour of a very real and lovely parrot named Louis. Louis was a special bird, and enjoyed the life of the rich and famous. Many years ago he was removed from his lofty and private life to a place of seclusion where he peacefully lived out the rest of his life. Despite the erosion of inflation at the time, his pension arrangement was more than adequate to meet his daily requirements. But the story of Louis the parrot goes beyond the simple story of a bird born to privilege. Louis was actually a gift to Miss Victoria Jane Wilson on her 5th birthday in 1882. The daughter of the family which lived on the property on which the Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites currently resides, Miss Wilson was thrilled at her father’s choice of gift.

As with many celebrities, and indeed reclusive types, there were rumours about the bird. One that persisted was that he could be seen in the windows of said white mansion drinking, gambling and engaging in debauched activities. This was simply untrue. Although he enjoyed a tot of brandy when he was sick or at a party, he preferred to eat eggs and converse with his keepers. Although pampered and favoured for many years, personal wealth and subsequent fame did not come to Louis until after Miss Wilson’s death in 1946. Beside the house and its large area of land, she left an electric automobile, over 100 pairs of white gloves, a large collection of clothing and an aviary in which Louis was the principal resident.

The will distributed most of the estate to charity, but retained a generous sum for the stipulated support of Louis and rest of the feathered flock. Caring for Louis and the house fell to Yue Wah Wong, Miss Wilson’s trusted gardener. Over the years, the rumours and stories persisted, and Louis’ star of fame grew far and wide. Many thousands of words have been written about him, including a full page story in Life magazine.

Yet this residential arrangement bothered many people in Victoria for various reasons. Some felt that the aging bird should be moved and the property developed. This also would have kept with the growth in what had become an important area of the Capital City since long after Miss Wilson’s death. Finally in 1966 the administrating lawyer of the estate could not justify the mounting costs of supporting Louis and the big white mansion at 737 Courtney Street. He transferred ownership of the bird to Wong and arranged for his lifelong care. Wong was delighted but sadly passed away soon after the transfer. Wong’s family continued to bestow care and affection on Louis until his death in 1985 at 115 years of age.

The property had changed hands several times since Miss Wilson’s death, but a clause in the sale had required that the aviary be leased, which prevented any re-development. Louis’ departure cleared way for the change, and today the Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites stands on the historic location which was once the Wilson home.