City of Victoria Archives
Empire Day Celebrations at Beacon Hill Park, 1923 Photo Credit: City of Victoria Archives

Many Victorians share a fascination for our city’s history. In fact, there are several Facebook groups dedicated to the topic, including Old Victoria BC, which has over 17,000 members.

But now, the archives of BC’s Capital City are being made more accessible than ever with the establishment of the City of Victoria Archives Online Search.

For the past 50 years, the City of Victoria Archives has been the caretaker of unique records, carefully stewarding the stories of Victoria’s past.

Now, they’re making those Archives easier to access than ever! A few clicks will let you look through over 10,000 digitized archival photos and records.

Some of the amazing stories in the Archives include:
  • A collection from prolific photographer H.U. Knight including candid photos of Emily Carr in her studio in 1934 (below)
Emily Carr City of Victoria Archives
Emily Carr and John Vanderpant in her studio at 646 Simcoe Street, 1934, by H.U. Knight
Photo Credit: City of Victoria Archives
  • A large collection from local photographer W.E. John, known for his quirky and candid shots of people living their lives throughout the city, particularly in the 1960’s.
  • Evocative photos chronicling the history of our city (below and in featured photo) including soldiers marching off to war, a haying on Dallas Road, pulling up wooden paving blocks on Yates Street in 1947 and soldiers digging trenches in Beacon Hill Park as part of a training exercise prior to deployment in World War I.
City of Victoria Archives
Soldiers digging trenches in Beacon Hill Park, 1915
Photo Credit: City of Victoria Archives

Additional records will be added to the site over the coming months as part of the final phase of this initiative, including descriptions of documents such as City reports, maps, plans and news clippings that are held in the Archives Reading Room.

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