Western Canada's oldest city, and the provincial capital of British Columbia, Victoria is located on the Southern tip of Vancouver Island. Victoria is a burgeoning harbour city of heritage architecture, diverse global culture, rich history, metropolitan arts and entertainment, and rugged coastal beauty. The Capital Regional District is composed of many municipalities and sub-districts, with the original city of Victoria situated centrally surrounding a beautiful inner harbour.
Often considered slower paced and laid back in nature, Victoria is a fast-growing city surrounded by old-world charm delightfully contrasted with new architecture. Mountain vistas, endless ocean views, the mildest climate in Canada, a strong economy, and a vibrant community makes Victoria one of the world’s most desirable cities. Victoria also has the highest number of restaurants per capita in all of Canada and is known for its vibrant culinary scene.
The list of things to see and do downtown is vast, making this area a hugely popular destination for locals and tourists alike. From award winning restaurants, to brewpubs and night clubs, streets lined with boutique stores, a centrally located shopping mall, museums, to whale watching tours departing directly from the inner harbour- there is truly something for everyone. Downtown also boasts areas such as Centennial Square, Market Square, and Bastion Square all regularly hosting small venue events, markets and festivals throughout the year. Don’t miss Victoria’s historic Chinatown (the second oldest in North America), where you can wander down the famous Fan-Tan, or Dragon Alleys. Or, head to the Save-On Foods Memorial Center, where you can catch a concert or a WHL hockey game featuring the Victoria Royals. A large assortment of bed and breakfasts and hotels, including the famous Fairmont Empress also provide a comfortable place to stay.
Amenities and attractions aside, the classic charm of historic Victoria is not to be missed, day or night. With streets and walkways running parallel to the inner harbour offering stunning views of the ocean, impeccably landscaped public spaces, and colourful architecture dating back to the late 1800's, downtown offers visitors plenty of picturesque spots to capture those special memories. Be it the autumn sunsets bronzed by falling leaves, old-world streets and buildings dressed in Christmas lights, streets emblazoned with springtime cherry blossoms, or the sparkle of the summer sun reflecting off the ocean Victoria is a visual masterpiece waiting to be explored.
Victoria has a number of neighbourhoods to explore. James Bay, the oldest residential neighbourhood is still speckled with Victorian and Edwardian heritage homes, including the famous Canadian artist, Emily Carr’s house. It is a quaint neighbourhood that offers excellent access to the waterfront as well as to downtown. Due to its prime location, all amenities are within walking distance.
Fairfield is a large and picturesque neighbourhood with tree lined streets that come to life with blossoms in the Spring. There is a mix of low-rise apartments and single-family homes on well-maintained streets. Fairfield offers plenty of options for first time home buyers to people looking for a retirement home. Rockland, a smaller neighbourhood, is rich in grandeur and elegant character. Along Rockland Ave stands old mansions and estates with stone walls and fences that are still visible. A beautiful neighbourhood, Rockland is in an ideal location, a short distance from downtown, the waterfront and surrounding amenities.
Central Park and Fernwood are two other neighbourhoods that have growing potential. Both are also in a great location, close to downtown and steps away from amenities.
Mayfair, Hillside and Oaklands are all neighbourhoods bordering the northern edge of Victoria. These neighbourhoods have pockets of residential areas as well as centralized commercial areas that offer numerous amenities and activities. Rock Bay is a predominantly commercial and industrial park area with some residential. Whatever your needs are, we are happy to help you find your new home in your desired neighbourhood!
A common theme is the repurposing of historic commercial and heritage buildings into trendy residential condos, like the Janion on Wharf Street and 595 Pandora Avenue by developers Reliance Properties and Cielo Properties. A multitude of new builds are also available, such as the Black and White on Fort Street by Abstract Developments and the Escher on Broughton Street by Chard Development LTD are excellent choices. Downtown is known for its modern, luxurious and timeless condo's making it an excellent place to call home for the urban professional.
Amenities & Transportation
Inner Victoria is as desirable a locale for tourists as it is for residents with bakeries, coffee shops, liquor stores, markets, and drug stores located near every block, often stocking local, organic, and sustainable goods. With a walkscore near 100, several car and bike-share services, and a fantastic transit network reaching deep into all the surrounding districts having a car is optional.
British settlement of the area began in 1843 with the establishment of the Hudson's Bay Company Fort by James Douglas. A large number of historic buildings are still intact including the two most famous landmarks, the Legislative buildings and the Empress Hotel. Both located in the Inner Harbor, making it an opportunity to enjoy a beautiful stroll all year round. The city’s Chinatown is the second oldest in North America after San Francisco’s, making it a vibrant area full of character and history.
Victoria offers a number of public and independent educational facilities and is fortunate to host some of the top universities in the country. As part of Greater Victoria School District 61, Victoria has over 48 public schools to choose from. Among them are the highly regarded Willows Elementary school, Monterey Middle School, and Oak Bay High School. There are also plenty of private schools to choose from including St. Christopher’s Montessori School, Glenlyon Norfolk School, and St. Michael’s University School. Several schools sit within walking distance of downtown including South Park Elementary School and Victoria High School.
The Greater Victoria School District No. 61 services the municipalities of Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Victoria, View Royal, and portions of Saanich and the Highlands. With 27 elementary schools, 10 middle schools, and 7 secondary schools serving over 20,000 local students, 1,000 international students, and 650 adult learners, this school district offers a myriad of choices for academics at any age.