British Columbia’s capital city, Victoria, is located at the southern tip of Vancouver Island. With an abundance of parkland and coastline, Victoria is a mecca for outdoors activity and healthy living. With a metro population approaching 380,000, it is a bustling center with something for everyone. Shopping, food, music, theatre, year round golf and fishing, as well as attractions such as the world famous Butchart Gardens and the Royal BC Museump. Victoria has the amenities to suit everyone, with an abundance of hotels, motels and camping facilities ready to welcome visitors.
Victoria’s Colonial Roots
Victoria’s colonial roots are very visible in the architecture. It is one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest, and has developed around its historic buildings, most notably, the legislature and the Empress Hotel.
The downtown core is centered around the inner harbour, making the city incredibly wahlkable and friendly to visitors. Countless shops, galleries, bistros, and coffee shops line the quaint streets. Great food is everywhere, from the vendors serving fresh fish at Fisherman’s Wharf to the oldest Chinatown in Canada, Victoria is home to the second most restaurants per capita in North America.
There is a very rich culture, full of artists, musicians, theatres, comedians and the night life reflects that. There are venues located around the city including Alix Goolden Hall, Langham Court Theatre, and Hecklers Comedy Club providing live entertainment every night of the week.
Victoria’s Deeper Roots
Long before the first settlers arrived, Victoria was home to the Coast Salish people, and their culture is still a huge part of the city’s identity. These islands have been inhabited for over 5000 years, and the recorded history continues to be passed down by telling stories ensuring that the heritage and traditions continue to be practiced. Visitors can learn first hand on tours guided by Coast Salish elders, taking in the indigenous flora and fauna on the Songhees Islands Cultural Tour.
Authentic art can be admired at a number of venues, including the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and the Royal BC Museum, and purchased at many shops around town. One of the finest collections of totem poles in the world can be found at Thunderbird Park, just behind the museum. The indigenous culture is thriving and visible throughout the city and should not be missed.
A year round temperate climate, provides a beautiful green background in the “City of Gardens.” It is a sportsman’s paradise. Beautiful golf courses such as the Jack Nicklaus Bear Mountain Resort are open year round. Marinas and charters in and around Victoria, make fishing a year round passtime.
The entire community is linked by more bike trails and lanes than any other city in the nation, giving access sites like Mt. Work, McCauley Point and Beacon Hill Park. If an escape from the hustle and bustle is sought, the beaches and trails along Dallas Road provide a great view of the Olympic Mountains and a tranquil spot to pull out a book. Words can’t really do justice to the majesty of south Vancouver Island, You need to see it to believe it.
Recovery in Victoria
Victoria, BC has become a destination for people in recovery in recent years. The community is incredibly widespread and welcoming. There are 138 Alcoholics Anonymous, and 14 Al Anon meetings every week in greater Victoria.
The climate is also very friendly, allowing people to get out and stay connected all year around. A relatively small city, it’s rare to go anywhere in Victoria without running into someone from the fellowship. It has become increasingly common for people to come here to sober up only to realize that Victoria is home.