Skip to Main Content

Saanich, British Columbia, Canada: Howard, World's Tallest Gnome

28 feet tall, stubby boots and giant hands, built over a period of four months in 1998 by Ron Hale to promote a go-cart track. Moved to current location in 2019.

Galey Farms

4150 Blenkinsop Rd, Saanich, BC, Canada
Galey Farms. North of McKenzie Ave.
Oct. weekends only 10-4 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults $12.
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Howard, World's Tallest Gnome

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Howard, World's Largest Gnome

The 28-foot-tall, big-booted giant-handed gnome named Howard has been saved from destruction, but with a few significant catches. New owner Rob Galey moved Howard to his agri-tourist farm and has restored and upgraded the gnome, giving him blinking eyes, a waving hand, and a less-terrifying smile. But to Galey's apparent surprise, Howard was found to be too tall for the town's signage regulations. There was alarming talk of standing the gnome in a pit or chopping off his legs. Then Galey and the town reached a compromise: Howard could stand at full height on level ground, but only during the Galey Farms fall festival. For giant gnome fans, this means that Howard will only be visible for four weekends a year in October, and you'll have to pay admission to see him. The rest of the year, Howard will be on his back, in storage.

[ Team, 10/10/2019]

Howard, World's Tallest Gnome.

Howard, World's Tallest Gnome

A report on CTV news hints that Howard the Gnome's move to his new home in Saanich is not going as smoothly as was hoped. Over 100 towns in the U.S. and Canada offered to take Howard when he had to leave his previous home in Nanoose Bay; Rob Galey in Saanich won the bidding because Howard's previous owner wanted the Gnome to remain on Vancouver Island, and because Galey has promised to restore and even mechanize the giant creature.

But it turns out that Saanich has a height restriction for outdoor displays, and Howard, the World's Tallest Gnome, is 17 inches too tall.

According to Galey, Saanich officials said, "just shorten him," but that would jeopardize his world record height, and what part of him would be lopped off? Some have suggested standing Howard in an 18-inch-deep hole, but Galey said that "stipulations" made that unlikely as well. It was hoped that Howard would stand again in time for the Island's pumpkin festival in October, but those plans may have to be changed.

[ Team, 05/11/2019]


Esso Gnome: Largest in Canada

The gnome had been repainted a rather bright blue as of November '14.

[Bruce Triggs, 12/01/2014]
Esso Gnome: Largest in Canada

There used to be a go-cart track and private theme park here before they built the gas station. The gnome is all that's left.

[Paul, 03/24/2013]

The self-described "World Famous Gnome" -- according to its sign -- has been standing on this spot since the 1990s.

World Famous Gnome.

World Famous Nanoose Bay Gnome

A giant 29-foot-tall gnome stands next to an Esso service station just off of Nanoose Bay.

[David Kamada, 08/08/2012]

The gnome was built in the 1990s for a "junk art" show by Nanoose Bay resident Ron Hale. Maybe the next visitor tipster can ask someone there how it wound up at the gas station.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Miniature WorldMiniature World, Victoria, BC, Canada - 4 mi.
Statue of Artist, Her Dog, and Her MonkeyStatue of Artist, Her Dog, and Her Monkey, Victoria, BC, Canada - 4 mi.
Cadborosaurus, Cement Sea SerpentCadborosaurus, Cement Sea Serpent, Cadboro Bay, BC, Canada - 3 mi.
In the region:
Big Metal Pig, Shelton, WA - 88 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Save Cool Vacation Destinations! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

British Columbia Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, Woodland Park, Colorado (Apr 15-21, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings