Victoria: Capital of BC Information
Victoria: The capital of British Columbia, is a small, quaint and charming city on the southern tip of Vancouver Island easily accessible by air and water from Vancouver and the mainland. With the feel of a cozy hometown, and the unique beauty of the island, Victoria (population 83,000) is a must-see on your travels to British Columbia. Fly into Victoria International Airport or go by float plane from Vancouver’s harbour into Victoria’s Inner Harbour downtown, or take the BC Ferry - a journey through the smaller islands makes the 1.5 hour trip all worthwhile. Of course there is always the chance you might see a pod of our resident orcas.
- See also Holiday Suggestions & Travel Ideas for Vancouver Island.
Victoria has many historic buildings such as the regal Fairmont Empress Hotel, Craigdarroch Castle and Emily Carr’s house, one of Canadian’s most notable artists. The City is also home to BC’s stately Parliament Buildings which at night time is outlined with thousands of lights.
Established in 1843 by James Douglas and the Hudson’s Bay Company, Victoria was originally named Fort Victoria. By 1849, Vancouver Island was made a British crown colony. Today, Victoria still retains many of its earlier British customs and as such you can find tearooms for a proper afternoon cup of tea. Influenced with First Nations cultural heritage and Asian traditions, the City continues to grow as a cosmopolitan hub of the Pacific Rim. Victoria’s Chinatown for instance is the oldest one in Canada going back to mid 19th century. It is still a thriving centre and while small, it is abuzz with vegetable markets, shops and restaurants. Stroll through Bastion Square, the original site of Fort Victoria, and Market Square for a peek into the past.
Festivals & Cultural Events In Victoria
Rich in the arts and with a wealth of cultural energy and events, the city and surrounding region showcase vibrancy in the fine arts and performing arts featuring impressive stage performances, music, and works of art, paintings, sculptures, jewellery and folk art. Enjoy lively entertainment during the summer months with many buskers as well as artisans along Victoria’s Inner Harbour waterfront. The culinary scene equals any city adding to its allure for foodies with an array of restaurants, farmers markets, artisan cheeses, specialty farms, ciders, wines and locally crafted brews from Vancouver Island.
City Of Gardens
The passion for gardening is very evident in Victoria with nearly 1,000 hanging baskets adorning lampposts around the city, and spectacularly showcased at the famous Butchart Gardens, Beacon Hill Park, Government House, Abkhazi Gardens, Hatley Park Gardens at Royal Roads, and the Glendale Gardens and Woodlands at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific.
Most Moderate Climate In Canada
The weather in Victoria is the mildest in Canada with not too hot summers (averaging 21.8°C / 71°F) and not too cold winters (averaging 6.5°C / 44°F), allowing the pursuit of outdoor pleasures all year round. Popular with both locals and visitors there are many recreational and leisure activities including a round of golf, cycling, hiking trails, kayaking, whale watching adventures, and much more things to do and see in Victoria.
Where to Stay?
From waterfront to boutique hotels there is a wide range of popular hotel accommodations available in Victoria city centre and surrounding communities.
Return to the British Columbia regional overview page.
Map: See street photos by zooming in and using Google’s Street View by dragging the yellow man icon from left hand side bar onto streets highlighted in blue.
Photo credits: Piper courtesy Tourism Victoria/Tony Austin; Dragon Boat Festival in Victoria Inner Harbour courtesy Tourism Victoria/Jim Bradley; Parliament Buildings and colourful Hanging Baskets courtesy Tourism Victoria/Robert Forbes; Sealions courtesy Tourism Victoria/Jo-Anne Lacroix; Fishermans Wharf courtesy Tourism Victoria/Deddeda Stemier
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