To say Mike Holmes’ local real estate roots run deep doesn’t quite do the story justice.
Holmes’ great-great-grandfather, Joseph Pemberton, first journeyed to Fort Victoria from Ireland, arriving in 1851 to begin his role as surveyor with the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Pemberton would become integral to the region’s development, laying out Victoria’s townsite, surveying from Sooke to Nanaimo, and detailing the region’s topography and natural resources, before later becoming a member of the first Legislative Assembly.
In 1887 Joseph and his eldest son, Frederick Bernard Pemberton, opened the firm of Pemberton & Son – Engineers, Surveyors, and Real Estate Agents.
Fast-forward to 1917 when Fred’s daughter, Phillippa Pemberton, married Cuthbert Holmes, whose family were also early Victoria settlers. Cuthbert was on leave from active duty in France at the time, and upon his return following the war, he joined his father-in-law in Pemberton & Son. The business later became Pemberton Holmes – thriving through the years as a modern business still conducted on Pemberton’s traditional values.
Pemberton Homes today
Six generations later, Mike Holmes is the owner and manager of Pemberton Holmes, and turns a new leaf on the business with a brand new office on Oak Bay Avenue.
“We’re one of the few local independent, family-owned companies left in Victoria and I think people appreciate that,” he reflects.
But while the office may be new, their beautiful building at the corner of Oak Bay Avenue and Foul Bay Road has stood the test of time – much like Pemberton Holmes!
Prospective home buyers and sellers are invited to stop by to view the current listings posted in the window, or speak directly with the realtor on duty.
“We’ve had a lot of people stop in already,” Holmes says. “It’s an area of Victoria we wanted to be in for some time, and a lot of our realtors were wanting to work from this location.”
With more than 300 realtors currently working under the Pemberton Holmes banner, 15 will be based out of the Oak Bay office.
And for Mike, while continuing the family tradition brings its own rewards, so too does his ability to call upon his extensive expertise as a business lawyer, particularly in a busy market, amid often-changing real estate regulations.
“It is a long circle but the Pembertons were one of the first settler families in Oak Bay. Gonzales was named after their first house and Victoria Golf Club was the cattle farm and given to the Club by Joseph’s widow. It is good to be back,” Holmes says.
The Pemberton Holmes team invites the community to help them celebrate with a grand opening this Saturday, May 12, from noon to 3 p.m. Enjoy refreshments and the chance to meet Pemberton Holmes’ Oak Bay-based realtors!