Pillsbury House lessee outlines operations and plans


I am the “person” who leases Pillsbury House and I would like to politely address the gentleman who wrote a recent letter to the editor.


I am the “person” who leases Pillsbury House and I would like to politely address the gentleman who wrote a recent letter to the editor.

Mr Hill….I’m not sure I’ve had the pleasure…… I did not completely get his meaning re: Pillsbury House. It is most certainly up to the city and the heritage committee to debate the status of the house in this economy and not me. I cannot speak for them. Hopefully they will address this letter from Mr Hill.

I lease the premises, I pay to rent and I pay to cover the overhead. My presence here has assured the survival of the house for 15 years.

Although I have no proof, it has been suggested that when rescued by the heritage committee and myself the home was being allowed to deteriorate in the view that it could be eliminated, as the property was coveted for commercial ventures.

I can’t decipher what was meant in this writer’s statements . As far as this being an informal B&B yes it is. The most basic original encyclopaedia description of a B&B is a room in a private home…. may or may not share bathroom…. breakfast served at the family table. It more than satisfies this definition. It is legitimate and meets all necessary requirements. I maintain 2 business permits, I also accept Visa and Master Card, I have wireless internet service, my phone listing is business. I have Serving it Right and Superhost certificates. I am bilingual and answer my phone with business salutation day or night.

Other than rent received, the heritage committee does rely strictly on donations and grants and there is no cost to the city for the operation of the house.

I am a gifted entertainer [see busker /interpreter cruise ship Thursday]. I entertain my guests. I open my home to the public on a reasonable basis as per agreement with Heritage Committee..

Two conditions the heritage committee was requiring of a tenant were that the person live on the premises as well as operate business. I have fulfilled these .

The heritage committee is having the house professionally painted this year as well as the main bathroom restoration in the fall the other bathroom is up to date.

I am grateful to be here I do my best to keep the operation of the businesses as professional as possible while also living my private life. I believe it has been a good mutual arrangement. The house is in need of repair but I more than balanced that off as I serve a very formal, classy [yet charmingly informal] breakfast which makes it unique and unforgettable for the visitors. I am willing to remain until such time as what is deemed “a preferable arrangement” is arrived at by the powers that be and their finances.

As for now all I can say is the guests of the B&B are very happy with their stay and in turn with Prince Rupert. I feel that if I could publish the guest book comments, the folks of Prince Rupert would beam with pride at the job done here for us all. I even am in touch with an original Pillsbury family member. Here is a random selection of recent guest remarks;

From Japan….Really enjoyed staying in this house and sharing your marvelous stories. From Redding California ….Colleen we enjoyed all your stories about Prince Rupert I am so grateful to have this opportunity to stay in such a historic place. It was so comfortable here just like staying with a favorite aunt.

Colorado Springs…..We traveled to the Northwest of Canada by car but when we arrived we found a little bit of Paris. We felt like we were in a Paris Cafe.

Reading my guest book restores my sense of pride and worthiness to be here. The time has not yet come for me to leave but when it does I will happily oblige as per our understanding, meanwhile this venue brings something very special to Prince Rupert. Many have stated that when it is transformed it will have lost it’s genuine charm….

With love

Colleen McLaren [ host ]

Pillsbury House