Let me throw a scenario at you: You’re doing your morning routine, brushing your teeth to the tune of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ when you get a text message from a friend: “Will be in Victoria for a few days, show me around!”
Time to play the role of a tour guide! Here are a handful of facts to keep in your back pocket just to up your credibility as a representative of our great city.
- The waters surrounding Victoria are home to 5 species of whales.
- The Empress Hotel serves more than 500,000 cups of tea per year.
- The city also has 4 “sister cities”: Napier, New Zealand; Morioka, Japan; Suzhou, China; and Khabarovsk, Russia.
- Victoria’s Chinatown is the oldest in Canada and the 2nd oldest in all of North America. The first? San Francisco.
- Cruise ships bring in around 600,000 visitors per year.
- The city itself was founded by the Hudson’s Bay Company.
- Victoria is the Western Terminus of the Trans-Canada Highway.
- The hottest day in Victoria was 35.3 C on July 23, 2004.
- The coldest? -15.6 C on December 29, 1968.
- Over 1,000,000 people visit Butchart Gardens per year.
- Victoria is home to Ross Bay Cemetery, one of the oldest Victorian cemeteries in Canada.
- Victoria has over 100 parks and open spaces for you to explore.
- The “Empress Hotel” opened up in 1908 and is located in the stunning Inner-Harbour.
- Over 3,000 lights light up the Parliament Building every night.
- National Geographic named Victoria as one of the best cold-water diving destinations on earth for both water clarity and marine diversity.
- Victoria was founded in 1843, 43 years before Vancouver.
- Victoria saw a population spike from a few hundred to nearly 30,000 over the course of a few weeks in 1858 thanks to the Gold Rush.
- There are 87 steps from the main floor to the tower of Craigdarroch Castle, one of the most pristine historic buildings in the city.
Now go out there and spread some knowledge!