Victoria B.C. Facts

British Columbia Parliament Buildings. Victoria BC. by Shawn CCF
BC Parliament Buildings. Victoria BC. by Shawn CCF

Victoria, the charming capital city of British Columbia, Canada, is a picturesque destination known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant cultural scene. Nestled on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, the quaint city boasts a unique blend of old-world charm and modern sophistication. 

A haven for nature enthusiasts, Victoria is surrounded by lush gardens, including the world-renowned Butchart Gardens. Additionally, the temperate climate allows for year-round outdoor activities that range from exploring scenic parks and hiking trails to enjoying water sports along the coastline. Residents and visitors alike appreciate the city’s commitment to environmental sustainability and its emphasis on maintaining a healthy balance between urban living and natural beauty.

Victoria’s cultural vibrancy is reflected in its diverse arts and entertainment scene. The city hosts numerous festivals, art galleries, and theaters, contributing to a lively cultural atmosphere. 

Plus, it’s just a 45 minute scenic flight from Lake Washington and Lake Union aboard a seaplane to Victoria Inner Harbor. Alternatively, you can catch a convenient flight from Boeing Field directly to Victoria International Airport

Test Your Victoria Knowledge

Romantic. Walkable. Loaded with family-friendly things to do. Victoria is all this and more. Are you as smitten with this B.C. gem as us? Find out just how much you know about Victoria by answering the following true and false questions:

True or False: Victoria was established before Vancouver, B.C.

True. Victoria was established in 1843, 43 years before Vancouver.

True or False: Victoria’s Chinatown is the oldest in North America

False. Victoria’s Chinatown is the oldest in Canada and the second oldest in North America. The oldest Chinatown is in San Francisco.

True or False: Vista 18 is located in the tallest building in Victoria, B.C.

False. The tallest building on Vancouver Island is the 25-story Hudson Place One. Vista 18 Restaurant is located on the 18th floor of the Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites. But don’t be fooled. As Victoria’s only rooftop dining room, it’s known as the best place to catch the sunrise over Victoria’s cityscape and sunsets over its stunning Inner Harbour. The locally sourced menus and impeccable service are also a bonus!

True or False: The Fairmont Empress serves more than 500,000 cups of tea annually?

True. Regarded as one of the most iconic landmarks in all of Victoria, the Empress has been serving afternoon tea since 1908. The regal tradition has been enjoyed by dignitaries and royalty from throughout the globe. The daily tea service is considered an iconic event for any visitor.

True or False: It rains a lot in Victoria.

False. Victoria is located in the Olympic Rain Shadow — a temperate region that’s protected by the Olympic Mountains. As rain moves into the Pacific Northwest, the Olympics act as a wall, sparing Victoria from most of the drizzly onslaught. The result is Victoria averages 308 days with some bright sunshine a year. By comparison, Seattle averages just 164 days.

True or False: The Butchart Gardens plant more than 300,000 bulbs during the spring.

True. Year-round floral displays are available at The Butchart Gardens, but spring is a particularly impressive time to visit. The meticulously manicured 55-acre ground emerges from its winter slumber with a riot of color. The more than 300,000 blubs — featuring daffodils, peonies, irises, and, most prominently, tulips — offer the effect of a patchwork quilt, lining walkways and filling flower beds with brilliant blooms.

True or False: Victoria is home to 50 urban parks.

False. Fondly known as the “City of Gardens,” Victoria boasts more than 70 urban parks, many of which feature stunning floral displays.

True or False: Victoria was named the best cold-water diving destination in the world by National Geographic.

True. In a 2018 National Geographic article about scuba diving along the British Columbia coast, diving expert Paul Nicklen said, “There’s nothing that compares to the density of life underwater anywhere else in the world.”

True or False: What we know today as Greater Victoria was first inhabited by Coast Salish peoples.

True. For thousands of years the region known today as Greater Victoria was inhabited by Coast Salish peoples. Europeans first made contact with the local First Nations in the 1790s during a Spanish expedition. In 1843, Fort Victoria was erected by Hudson’s Bay Company as a fur trading post. This was the first commercial relationship formed with the local First Nations.

True or False: “Mile 0” of the Trans-Canada Highway is located in Victoria.

True and False. The Trans-Canada Highway has no officially recognized starting point. That being said, one end of it is located in Victoria’s Beacon HIll Park and is marked by a “Mile 0” sign.

True or False: The domes of the Parliament Buildings were originally shiny copper.

True. The Parliament Buildings were designed by Francis M. Rattenbury, who also designed the Fairmont Empress. Rattenbury wanted to showcase the natural materials of B.C. by placing them front and center as decorative features. To highlight the land’s rich copper deposits, the Parliament Buildings feature copper domes. In the early days post-construction, the domes glistened in the sun. But due to the ocean’s proximity, the copper has oxidized. Today, the shiny domes are a stunning turquoise.

Fun Things To Do In Victoria B.C.

Fun Things To Do In Victoria B.C.