Ocean Island Inn
Located at 791 Pandora Avenue in Victoria, it is a four-storey heritage building, readily distinguishable by its Italianate architectural form and massing, and by its distinctive beveled corner.
Ocean Island Inn is one of the oldest large-scale commercial buildings of its era to survive in this part of Victoria’s downtown. Constructed in 1891 for Carlo Bossi, a prominent pioneer developer and landowner, it is important to the city's heritage because it is representative of the development patterns of the late nineteenth century, which saw the expansion of the City away from the commercial core and the waterfront. Designed as a hotel with commercial spaces at street level, it is significant that it has retained an element of its original function through a major 1944 renovation which converted it to war-time housing, and through to its present-day use as a backpacker's hostel.
Since 1891, it has been variously known as Allies Hotel, Osborne House, Pandora Hotel, and Ocean Island Inn Backpackers Suites. It was called the Alexander Apartments during the 1980's and was purchased by Howie Siegel (through his construction company, Perma Construction) around 1990 and renamed the Solomon Apartments. Howie's team were responsible for commissioning the "Honeymooners" mural that graces the south side of the building. Subsequently it became, and remains today, the Ocean Island Inn Backpackers Suites.
The south side of the building has a Trompe-l'œil of "The Honeymooners" – depicting two characters from the television show The Honeymooners – and a Pacific Northwest temperate rainforest mural painted by Robert Scott Dobie, a Vancouver Island-born artist. The mural is 40' wide x 65' tall and is painted with acrylic resin on stucco.