Thursday, July 25, 2024

29 fun facts about Victoria that you might not have known


Victoria, British Columbia, nestled on Vancouver Island, is a city that blends the charm of a bygone era with the vitality of a modern metropolis.

Beyond its iconic landmarks like the Inner Harbour and the Royal BC Museum, Victoria boasts a treasure trove of fascinating facts and lesser-known tidbits.

Here are 29 fun facts about Victoria that are sure to pique your interest:

  • Victoria was established in 1843, a full 43 years before the birth of Vancouver.
  • The waters encircling Victoria are home to five species of whales.
  • The Empress Hotel serves more than 500,000 cups of tea annually.
  • The city boasts four “sister cities”: Napier, New Zealand; Morioka, Japan; Suzhou, China; and Khabarovsk, Russia.
  • Victoria’s Chinatown is not only the oldest in Canada but also the second oldest in all of North America, with San Francisco claiming the first spot.
  • Cruise ships bring approximately 800,000 visitors to the city each year.
  • The city itself was founded by the Hudson’s Bay Company.
  • Victoria serves as the Western Terminus of the Trans-Canada Highway.
  • The hottest day ever recorded in Victoria was on June 28th, 2021, with temperatures reaching 39.8°C at Victoria’s Gonzales Point, while the coldest day was on December 29th, 1968, when temperatures plummeted to -15.6°C.
  • Butchart Gardens attracts over 1,000,000 visitors annually.
  • Victoria is also home to Ross Bay Cemetery, one of the oldest Victorian cemeteries in Canada.
  • With over 100 parks and open spaces, Victoria offers ample opportunities for exploration.
  • The iconic “Empress Hotel” first welcomed guests in 1908 and graces the picturesque Inner-Harbour.
  • The Parliament Building is adorned with more than 3,000 lights, illuminating it every night.
  • Victoria earned recognition from National Geographic as one of the premier cold-water diving destinations worldwide, lauded for its water clarity and marine diversity.
  • In 1858, Victoria experienced a population surge, with numbers skyrocketing from just a few hundred to nearly 30,000 in a matter of weeks, courtesy of the Gold Rush.
  • For those who appreciate history, Craigdarroch Castle, one of the city’s most immaculately preserved historic edifices, boasts a staggering 87 steps leading from the main floor to its tower.
  • The famous Canadian artist Emily Carr was born in Victoria, and her legacy is celebrated at the Royal BC Museum.
  • The Lekwungen people, part of the Coast Salish First Nations, have lived in the Victoria area for thousands of years. Their rich culture is celebrated throughout the city.
  • Victoria consistently ranks as one of Canada’s most bike-friendly cities, with dedicated bike lanes and scenic cycling routes.
  • Victoria has a thriving coffee culture, with numerous local roasters and cozy cafes serving artisanal brews. See this list for an example.
  • Larger than New York’s Central Park relative to city size, Beacon Hill Park offers a serene oasis in the heart of Victoria, complete with peacocks and a petting zoo.
  • Speaking of Beacon Hill Park, it also home to the second largest totem pole in the world standing at a height of 127 feet—you can also admire indigenous art and culture through the city’s collection of totem poles.
  • Vancouver Island, including Victoria, is among the world’s top destinations for whale watching, with orcas, humpback whales, and gray whales regularly spotted.
  • Victoria has been a backdrop for numerous film and TV productions, with its scenic beauty often doubling as other locations.
  • Bastion Square is said to be one of the most haunted places in Canada, making it a hotspot for ghost tours.
  • In the summer, you can find over 1,600 hanging flower baskets adorning Victoria’s streets.
  • Victoria has a thriving craft beer scene, with numerous breweries serving up a diverse array of brews.
  • Victoria is home to a burgeoning tech sector, earning it the nickname “Tectoria.”

Whether you’re a visitor or a resident, these 29 fun facts about Victoria are a testament to the city’s unique charm and endless possibilities for exploration.

Now, venture forth and share your newfound knowledge!

Victoria Buzz Staff
Your inside source for Greater Victoria happenings. Established in 2012.

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