Victoria BC is a vibrant city, full of history, culture, breathtaking scenery and unlimited opportunities for once-in-a-lifetime adventures. We have listed a few favourite tourism activities that should be added to everyone’s Victoria travel plans. Victoria is also a host to many festivals and events, be sure to visit this Event Calendar to find out where you should be!
- Royal British Columbia Museum
- Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
- Pacific Opera Victoria
- Maritime Museum Of British Columbia
- Royal London Wax Museum
- Butchart Gardens
- Beacon Hill Park
- The Galloping Goose Trail
- Victoria Butterfly Gardens
- Craigdarroch Castle
- Orca Spirit Adventures-Whale Watching Tours
- Five Star Whale Watching
- Prince of Whales Watching Tours
- Tallyho Carriage Tours
- Victoria Carriage Tours
- Eagle Wings Whale Watching Tours
- Island Transportation links
A Very Short History of Victoria, BC
Victoria, BC is Western Canada’s oldest city that began in 1843 as a Hudson Bay Company trading post, named in honour of Queen Victoria. With the Fraser Valley gold rush in 1858, Victoria grew rapidly as the main port of entry to the Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia. When the colonies combined, the City became the colonial capital and was established as the provincial capital when British Columbia joined the Canadian Confederation in 1871.
For most of the nineteenth century, Victoria remained the largest city in British Columbia and was the foremost in trade and commerce. However, with construction of the Transcontinental railway, Vancouver, as its terminus, emerged as the major west coast port and the largest city in British Columbia.
In the twentieth century, Victoria evolved primarily as a city of government, retirement and tourism. The City remains, however, Canada’s western naval base and home to a major fishing fleet. The City is also noted for its fine educational institutions which include the University of Victoria, Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific and Royal Roads University.
Today with an estimated regional population of 326,000, a moderate climate and scenic setting, Victoria has retained a very vital but comfortable quality of life. The City is proud of its British heritage, its fine homes and neighbourhoods, its historic and attractive downtown, the flowers and parks and, of course, the Inner Harbour with its vistas toward the famous Empress Hotel and the Parliament Buildings.
In a survey conducted by Conde Nast Traveller magazine, Victoria was judged to be one of the world’s best cities, topping the list in the category of environment and ambience. In a cross-Canada survey, Victoria residents registered the greatest satisfaction with their city. This satisfaction and regard for the quality of life and environment is perhaps the most notable feature of Victoria today, and the challenge in its future.