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Victoria on Vancouver Island

The capital of British Columbia

By Rasma RaistersPublished 3 months ago 4 min read

Victoria the capital of British Columbia is located on Vancouver Island. The city is found in one of the warmest places in Canada in the winter. It has become a popular tourist destination. Victoria has no land connections to mainland Canada.

The scenic Inner Harbor is the main attraction. People enjoy strolling along the waterfront past such buildings as the Empress Hotel and the Parliament. Boat tours leave from the docks and horse-drawn carriages can take you for a ride.

The Royal BC Museum is one of the best museums of natural and cultural history in Canada. There are many 3D displays. You can enjoy walking through a rainforest, viewing animals on West Coast beaches and in tidal wetlands as well as sitting among aboriginal ceremonial poles and masks. Among the interactive features is a replica of HMS Discovery, the ship that brought Captain Vancouver to Canada.

Thunderbird Park is home to traditionally carved memorial totem poles.

Nearby is the 19th-century Helmcken House. This is the oldest residence in British Columbia. It was once home to J.S. Helmcken, a practicing doctor and local politician.

Butchart Gardens is a short drive from downtown Victoria. These gardens were started by Jennie Butchart, wife of a wealthy quarry owner in 1904. Here you'll find an Italian garden, a rose garden, a Japanese garden, and sunken gardens. The open spaces among pools, fountains, and exotic plants are used for artistic and musical performances.

The Victoria Butterfly Gardens are located near Butchart Gardens. The indoor tropical gardens are home to 75 species of exotic butterflies and moths as well as tropical birds, fish, and reptiles. In 2017 an Insectarium was opened.

You can find ducks, flamingos, parrots, tortoises, frogs, and iguanas in the jungle environment. Visitors enjoy the waterfalls, flowers, and trees,

The Fairmont Empress Hotel was built in 1908 for the Canadian Pacific. The hotel sits on the Inner Harbor and has become one the the best-loved landmarks in Victoria. The hotel has played host to celebrities, famous people, and members of the British Monarchy.

At Miniature World on the north side of the Fairmont Empress Hotel, you can see a collection of various scenes in miniature. There are models of historical events, castles, and dollhouses.

The Parliament Buildings are located on the south side of the Inner Harbor and are the seat of the provincial government of British Columbia. On top of the huge dome is a gilded statue of Captain George Vancouver, who accomplished the first circumnavigation of Vancouver Island. A large statue of Queen Victoria looks across the Inner Harbor from the terrace. When parliament is sitting, the public is welcome to observe the session from the visitors' gallery.

Taking a walk from the Parliament Buildings some of the top sights are:

The Front Fountain

The Knowledge Totem Pole

The giant Sequoia Tree

Visitors enjoy the Premier's Rose Garden during the spring and summer.

Market Square includes restored historical buildings. Here you'll find more than 30 retailers. There are three main entrances at Johnson, Pandora, and Store Streets.

Il Terrazzo Restaurant across Johnson Street and down a cobblestone alleyway to the entrance is one of the most enduring and popular restaurants in Victoria.

Cook Street Village is a trendy area just down the street from Beacon Hill Park. There are nice shops and restaurants.

The Dallas Road Waterfront Trail is the place to take a relaxing walk as it stretches for miles offering views of the Juan de Fuca Strait to the Olympic Mountains.

Beacon Hill Park from its highest point offers great views across the Juan de Fuca Strait all the way to the snowy peaks of the Olympic Peninsula. The lovely park has huge trees, gardens, and ponds. There are walking trails with benches along the way to relax upon. Among the wildlife here are deer, peacocks, ducks, and occasionally an otter.

Craigdarroch Castle is a fairy-tale-like mansion and a National Historic Site. The mansion was commissioned by immigrant Scottish entrepreneur Robert Dunsmuir, who made his fortune in coal mining. It is located in the affluent area of Rockland.

On Rockland Avenue, you can find the Government House the official residence of Her Majesty's representative in British Columbia. It is open to the public.

Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site is located about 13 km west of Victoria. The gun batteries here were used to guard the sheltered waters of Esquimalt Harbor, at one time a British naval base. The fort is a popular tourist attraction.

From the beach out to the point is the Fisgard Lighthouse which was the first light on the west coast of Canada.

Hatley Park National Historic Site includes Hatley Castle built in 1908 by former British Columbia Premier and coal baron, James Dunsmuir. This estate has rose, Italian, and Japanese gardens. The castle has been featured in films and was a filming location in the X Men movie series.

Chinatown adjoins the Old Town entered through a gate it occupies two blocks. It has become a designated historic district. Among the highlights is the narrow Fan Tan Alley with interesting shops and restaurants.

The new Johnson Street Bridge is a futuristic white bridge that is a new addition to the waterfront. Lit up at night it shows in a soft blue color.


About the Creator

Rasma Raisters

My passions are writing and creating poetry. I write for several sites online and have four themed blogs on Wordpress. Please follow me on Twitter.

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran3 months ago

    Oooo, I'd love to go to the Victoria Butterfly Garden just to see all the other animals!

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