Victoria is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off Canada's rugged West Coast. A thriving business and cultural centre, it is the capital of the province of British Columbia. This clean, modern city is home to approximately 350,000 residents who take great pleasure in welcoming visitors to their city's tranquil ocean-side setting, beautiful parks and gardens, and wonderfully temperate climate.
Victoria is also known as an extremely safe city, and you will feel comfortable and secure while you are here. You can experience the small-city charm amid quaint old-world architecture - where pedestrians share the streets with horse-drawn carriages and pedal-driven kabuki cabs. There are several shopping malls, while the downtown area features department stores, specialty shops, coffee bars, and nightclubs. Visitors can enjoy the many art and museum exhibits as well as numerous festivals and cultural events.
The region has Canada's mildest climate and you will enjoy its fresh, clean air and spectacular scenery. Whilst living in Victoria, you will be able to take advantage of the best of island living - hiking, salmon fishing, whale watching, sailing, kayaking, skiing, and year-round golf and tennis.
Victoria does not generally experience very hot or cold temperatures. Summer is comfortably warm and dry with temperatures ranging from 15 to 30 degrees Celsius. Our winter is short and brings mild rain, which makes the city green and beautiful throughout the winter.
Victoria has excellent city transportation, and countless bike trails mean that you are never more than 20 minutes from downtown!
Public buses are very popular and inexpensive in Victoria. You can explore most of the exciting things to see in Victoria by bus. Most buses run from about 6:30am to midnight, seven days a week. See the BC Transit routes, schedules, and fares.
If you want to travel to the mainland or to some of the other islands around Victoria, you will probably take a ferry. BC Ferries offers trips to Vancouver and many of the beautiful Gulf Islands every day. The ferry ride allows you to relax as you travel and to enjoy the beautiful views of the ocean, mountains, and Gulf Islands. See the BC Ferries schedules and fares.
The city very much retains the influence of its British colonial past. You can ride red double-decker buses, take a horse-drawn carriage ride along Government Street, or shop at international fashion boutiques. Make sure to plan a trip to the historic Fairmont Empress Hotel, where afternoon tea is a tradition not to be missed.
Victoria's location is also very convenient for day or weekend trips. Our students often spend time in Vancouver or visit Seattle, our American neighbour. There are plenty of attractions to visit in these cities for a weekend getaway. Saltspring Island, located in the Gulf Islands region, is another popular destination. You can enjoy nature and camp, or go for the day to visit the famous craft market held every Saturday during the summer months. For those of you who have never seen snow, or for skiers, we are only a few hours away from Mt. Washington or a short ferry ride and drive from the world famous ski hill, Whistler.
Things to do in Victoria, Vancouver Island and in the Gulf Islands:
Things to do in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland:
Things to do in Seattle: