Victoria is a dynamic city that exploded over night from a small 500-person town to over 5,000 during the Gold Rush. Today, it’s a hot spot for retirees, boaters, outdoor lovers and new families; the population totals to around 370,000 people. There are plenty of other things that Victoria encompassed over the years as it grew, including a few new titles. There are also more than a few fun facts associated with the popular Vancouver Island city.
Things Victoria B.C. is the Capital of
1. The Province of British Columbia
First things first, if the presence of the Legislative Buildings didn’t give it away, Victoria is the capital of the province of British Columbia. Despite Vancouver being a larger metropolitan hotspot on the West Coast, Victoria played a key part in British Columbia and Vancouver Island’s past, and has held on to its title of capital city since 1871.
Food Network officially claimed Victoria B.C. as the Brunch Capital of Canada. As a city with the second highest number of restaurants per capital under San Francisco, this comes as little surprise.
Nearly 10% of the entire population of Victoria chooses to bike to work or school. This is the highest in the country and is part of why Victoria is considered to be the Cycling Capital of Canada. The other reason is thanks to the city’s extensive bike paths and routes. Not only is it home to the infamous Galloping Goose Regional Trail, a scenic, 55-km trail linking Victoria to Sooke, but there are also hundreds of kilometers of trails, paths and routes throughout the city. The mild year-round climate is also conducive to pedaling to work, even in the winter.
4. Craft Beer
Victoria is labeled the Craft Beer Capital of British Columbia: another fun provincial title, and more than understandable if you’ve ever taken a beer tour while in the city. Aside from the famous labels of Vancouver Island Brewery (VIB) and Phillips, there are plenty of low-key places to grab a perfectly crafted pint. Spinnakers, for example, or Swans, Moon Under Water, Category 12 and Canoe Brewpub are simply the first that spring to mind – all places that make their own. Hoyne is another great brewery whose darkest beer, Dark Matter, is a local favourite. Hotspots like the Drake or Churchill have numerous taps, all with local/nearby or craft brews as well.
A Few Fast and Fun Facts
- Victoria has the oldest Chinatown in Canada. It is also the second oldest in North America, being surpassed only by the Chinatown in San Francisco.
- Speaking of Chinatown, Fan Tan Alley is the narrowest alley in Canada, too.
- There are about 70 parks in Victoria.
- Victoria is known as the City of Gardens. According to flowercount.com, in 2017 Victoria and its surrounding areas counted a total of 25, 864,976,064 blooms.
- Victoria is also known as the City of the Newly Wed or Nearly Dead – about 18% of the population is over 65.
- Victoria is a popular city to visit: nearly 3.5 million people stay the night, and over 50,000 come by for just the day.
- The Inner Harbour is the only working harbour in Canada.
- About 3560 lights adorn the Parliament Buildings.
Contributed by: Laurissa Cebryk