is indeed a secret
. but more and more people are discovering this little
"Shangri la." It is like being dropped in an oasis in the middle of
the desert! It is hard to believe there are snowstorms and bitter temperatures
just miles away while Victoria enjoys spring like weather on a daily basis!! There
is always something in bloom !!!
if British Columbia were a country, it would hold the second longest
life span in the world behind Japan!!! Why you ask? Well, I am sure if you asked
a 100 people you would probably get a 100 various reasons but the one thing that
I see as a consistency especially here on the island is the incredible weather
and the slower pace of life. Stress, if any, is battled on a daily basis by walking!!
I have never seen so many people walking to work!! We know all know how exercise
is the enemy of stress and what better way then to walk it off!!
then the small out ports of the east coast, I have never experienced a slower
lifestyle or a friendlier community!!!
are some of Victoria's secrets!!!
Climate in Canada
hours of sunshine annually, Victoria boasts the mildest climate in Canada!!!
Average daytime temperatures range from 71 degrees F / 22 degrees C in July and
45 degrees F / 7 degrees C in December!!
Arbutus Tree also know
as the Strawberry tree since it's trunk is reddish in colour. It only grows in
.the west side of Vancouver Island and an Island somewhere in
the Southern hemisphere!! A magnificent yet fiercely rugged tree, Arbutus shows
its fullest beauty while clinging to rocky bluffs and craigs.These trees are never
far from the ocean. It can be over one hundred feet tall and some can be as wide
as ten feet in diameter. These beauties can live to 500 years.
makes its crooked shapes because of how it has to cling to the rough terrain and
rocks and also how it searches for sunlight bending around other trees searching
for light!! It also stores water in its burls for drier times. It is the only
tree that grows horizontally!!!
is an amazing feature
.Arbutus is the only deciduous tree that does not
lose its leaves in the winter! It is like an evergreen tree with leaves instead
of needles!. What happens is that in the early summer, new leaves grow and the
old ones then fall off but the tree is never ever naked! It always has leaves.
It is a beautiful broadleaf evergreen. It is very distinct in that the bark is
constantly peeling away to reveal a greenish appearance that is incredibly smooth
to the touch.
Victoria, the Salish First Nation honours the Arbutus Tree as their Tree of Knowledge
because it knows how to find the sun.
Home to the World's
narrowest Street! Fan Tan Alley is only about 4 feet at either end and no more
than 6 feet in the middle. In the late 1800's Fan Tan Alley was home to opium
dens and gambling halls. Chinatown now mixes contemporary stores and live-work
condos with traditional Asian markets and diners.
of Victoria's contemporary home decor and furnishings stores are found in this
neighbourhood. Scenes from one of Mel Gibson's movies, "Bird on a Wire",
which co-starred Goldie Hawn, was filmed here.
Chinatown is small, but the oldest in Canada!
Cemetery in Oak Bay
Chinese Cemetery in Oak Bay is the oldest of its kind in Canada and has been designated
a National Historic Site. It was established in 1903 by Victoria's Chinese community.
Gibson was the first person in Canada to design, build and fly his own aircraft
when he took to the air at Victoria's Mount Tolmie in 1910.
has the honour of experiencing the longest period of rainfall of any Canadian
city; it received 33 consecutive days of rain in 1986.
Kipling met George Balcom when he visited Victoria, which inspired him to write
the story "The Devil and the Deep Sea." It's based on one of Balcom's
Beacon Hill Park is named for the beacons that were lit to warn ships about the
dangerous shoals offshore. It was set aside as a park reserve in 1858.
Royal Canadian Navy has maintained its principal west coast base and training
establishment in Esquimalt since 1910.
Steve Nash is Canada's greatest basketballer. His back-to-back MVP wins put him
in elite NBA company.
first female prime minister hailed from Vancouver Island. Kim Campbell served
as prime minister after Brian Mulroney stepped down in 1993.
its heyday in 1910-13, Vancouver Island's Cumberland was home to the second largest
Chinatown north of San Francisco.
in 1860, the Fisgard Lighthouse was the first light station on the coast. It is
located at the entrance to the Esquimalt Harbour and was automated in 1926.
1858, four Sisters of Saint Ann came from Quebec to open Saint Ann's Academy in
Victoria, now a landmark heritage sight.
Craigdarroch Castle is reputed to be the most expensive residence ever built in
western Canada. It was built for Robert Dunsmuir, who died before it was finished
- The Dominion Astrophysical
Observatory on Little Saanich Mt was established in 1918 by the federal government.
Its 1085 metre telescope was the largest in the world at the time.
Currie, a school teacher from Victoria, became one of Canada's greatest war heroes
during WWI. His strategic planning helped capture Vimy Ridge in 1917.
and Jennie Butchart began developing a sunken garden in a neighbouring quarry
site in 1904. Butchart Gardens would later become a popular tourist attraction
on Vancouver Island.
- The B.C.
portion of the Trans-Canada Highway was completed in 1962 after 12 years of construction.
The highway begins at mile 0 in Victoria.
BC Ferry Corporation originated in 1958 during a labour dispute that shut down
the privately owned ferry service between Vancouver Island and the Mainland.
B.C. teams have won hockey's Stanley Cup: the Vancouver Millionaires did it in
1915, and ten years later Victoria's Cougars took home the trophy.
Douglas was the first governor of the colony of British Columbia from 1858 to
1864. He chose the location for Fort Victoria in 1842 and served as the governor
of Vancouver Island.
was the first sailing vessel brought to the coast by the Hudson's Bay Company
to conduct trading and supply voyages. Cadboro Bay in Victoria is named after
- The Colony of
Vancouver Island, established in 1849, merged with the mainland Colony of British
Columbia to form a single colony in 1866.
Royal BC Museum opened in Victoria in 1886 as the Provincial Museum of Natural
History. It moved to its current location across from the Parliament Buildings
- The University of
Victoria was located in the Craigdarroch mansion from 1921 to 1946. In 1963 it
was officially proclaimed a university and moved to its present location.
Provincial Park is named for a minor gold rush in the 1860s. Today the main attraction
is the autumn salmon spawning season.