Travel time is longer during rush hour times due to large volume of traffic entering the downtown core in the morning and departing at evening rush hour. Victoria averages just two or three days per year with at least 5 cm (2.0 in) of snow on the ground. Notable professional athletes include basketball Hall-of-Famer Steve Nash, twice Most Valuable Player in the National Basketball Association, who grew up in Victoria and played youth basketball at St. Michael's University School and Mount Douglas Secondary School. Victoria is also home to the world's largest all-seaplane airline, Harbour Air. Victoria is also popular with retirees, who come to enjoy the temperate and usually snow-free climate of the area as well as the usually relaxed pace of the city. Passenger rail service previously operated by Via Rail provided a single daily return trip along between Victoria – Courtenay, along the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, to the cities of Nanaimo, Courtenay, and points between. [13], A number of rooms at the Château Frontenac are also occupied by restaurants and other food-based services. Sports teams presently operating in Victoria include: Notable defunct teams that operated in Victoria include: The Jordan River Diversion Dam is Vancouver Island's main hydroelectric power station. Every year, the Swiftsure International Yacht Race attracts boaters from around the world to participate in the boat race in the waters off of Vancouver Island, and the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival brings over 90 teams from around North America. [103] To improve bus reliability and reduce delays, a bike and bus priority lane was opened in 2014 during peak traffic periods with fines for motorists operating in the bus/bike lane who are not turning in the same block. The city's Chinatown is the second oldest in North America after San Francisco's. Pacific Opera Victoria, Victoria Operatic Society, Victoria Philharmonic Choir, Canadian Pacific Ballet and Ballet Victoria stage two or three productions each year at the Macpherson or Royal Theatres. The extensive system of parks in Victoria also includes a few areas of natural Garry oak meadow habitat, an increasingly scarce ecosystem that once dominated the region. Bus service from Victoria to points up island is run by Island Link Bus or Tofino Bus. The honey is harvested three times a year and is used by the hotel's restaurants. Victoria has recorded completely freeze-free winter seasons four times (in 1925/26, 1939/40, 1999/2000, and 2002/03). The first hotel was built during the 1780s, and was known as the Château Haldimand, named after the Governor of Quebec who ordered the hotel's construction. [15] Dufferin's plan did not take off until the City Council and the Board of Trade adopted the idea and planned to instead construct a grand hotel on the site to attract upper-class tourism to the area, but after failing to finance its construction, businessmen from Toronto and Montreal with connections to the Canadian Pacific Railway took control of the project. [6] Châteauesque elements include the hotel's asymmetrical profile, with steeply pitched roofs, massive circular and polygonal towers and turrets, ornate gables and dormers, and tall chimneys. The hotel is situated in Old Quebec, within the historic district's Upper Town. It was built in 1911.[81]. The city has a population of 85,792, and the Greater Victoria Area has a population of 367,770. [54] In early 2008, an anti-homelessness programme based on a successful Italian programme was introduced to Victoria. Gayleen Froese's 2005 novel Touch is set in Victoria. Rider fare payments can be made in cash, monthly bus passes, disability yearly passes, day-passes purchased from the driver or tickets purchased from a store. The major sporting and entertainment complex, for Victoria and Vancouver Island Region, is the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre arena. The Cougars won the Stanley Cup as members of the WCHL in 1925 after defeating the Montreal Canadiens three games to one in a best-of-five final. Bike to Work Week began in 1995 in Victoria and has expanded to include other communities in BC through their local bicycle advocacy groups all supported by the Bike to Work BC Society. As of April 1, 2016 bus drivers do not provide transfers as proof of payment. [72] Each summer, the City of Victoria presents dozens of concerts at the Cameron Band Shell in Beacon Hill Park. The city is also a destination for conventions, meetings, and conferences, including a 2007 North Atlantic Treaty Organization military chief of staff meeting held at the Hotel Grand Pacific. [9] Since its completion, the hotel has undergone several major expansions and renovations led by several different architects and architectural firms. Beacon Hill Park is the central city's main urban green space. [12], Aside from world leaders, the hotel also offers suites themed to Alfred Hitchcock, a director who filmed much of I Confess at the hotel, and William Cornelius Van Horne, the second President of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and Celine Dion. [6] The central fortress-like tower design is derived from medieval chateaus found throughout France's Loire Valley. A number of well-known musicians and bands are from Victoria, including Nelly Furtado, David Foster, The Moffatts, Frog Eyes, Johnny Vallis, Jets Overhead, Bryce Soderberg, Swollen Members, Armchair Cynics, Nomeansno, The New Colors, Wolf Parade, The Racoons, Tal Bachman, Dayglo Abortions and Hot Hot Heat. Also west of the city is Western Speedway, a 640-metre (4⁄10 mi) oval vehicular race track and the largest in Western Canada. [90][91] Greater Victoria also has an expanding system designed to facilitate bicycles and electrically assisted bicycles via bike lanes on many roads as well as separated multi-use paths for bicycles and pedestrians known as the Galloping Goose Regional Trail, Lochside Regional Trail and the E&N rail trail. Victoria's newest sports team is Pacific FC of the Canadian Premier League. Victoria is popular with boaters with its rugged shorelines and beaches. [13], In 1993, the hotel saw another expansion, with the addition of the new wing that included a pool, fitness centre, and outdoor terrace. [99][100], Victoria is served by several ferries with the Lower Mainland, Gulf Islands and the United States. Canadian director Atom Egoyan was raised in Victoria. Its area of 75 hectares (190 acres) adjacent to Victoria's southern shore includes numerous playing fields, manicured gardens, exotic species of plants and animals such as wild peacocks, a petting zoo, and views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains in Washington across it. [87], The Saanich Peninsula wastewater treatment plant serves North Saanich, Central Saanich and the Town of Sidney as well as the Victoria International Airport, the Institute of Ocean Sciences and the Tseycum and Pauquachin First Nations communities. Victoria resident Stanley Evans has written a series of mysteries featuring a Coast Salish character, Silas Seaweed, who works as an investigator with the Victoria Police Department. Victoria co-hosted the 2019 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships along with Vancouver, British Columbia. 1999 is the only calendar year on record without a single occurrence of frost. [11][12] The Songhees established a village across the harbour from the fort. The city is about 100 km (60 mi) from Seattle by airplane, ferry, or the Victoria Clipper passenger-only ferry, and 40 km (25 mi) from Port Angeles, Washington, by ferry Coho across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Average travel time between the two cities is under 4 hours with an hour and half of that time spent on the ferry crossing. [79] Cycling advocacy groups including Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition (GVCC) and the Bike To Work Society have worked to improve Victoria's cycling infrastructure and facilities, and to make cycling a viable transportation alternative, attracting 5% of commuters in 2005.[80]. Actors Cameron Bright (Ultraviolet, X-Men: The Last Stand, Thank You for Smoking, New Moon) and Ryan Robbins (Stargate Atlantis, Battlestar Galactica, Sanctuary) were born in Victoria. [82] At the Victoria Gonzales weather station, daily temperatures rise above 30 °C (86 °F) on average less than one day per year and fall below 0 °C (32 °F) on average only ten nights per year. [6] The hotel was named after Louis de Buade, Count of Frontenac, who was the Governor General of New France from 1672 to 1682, and again from 1689 to 1698. Mayfair, one of the first major shopping centres in Victoria, first opened as an outdoor strip mall on 16 October 1963 with 27 stores. It is protected by a breakwater with a deep and wide opening. The Château Frontenac is situated on 1, rue des Carrières, at the eastern edge of Old Quebec's Upper Town, built on the promontory of Quebec, a raised mass of land that projects into the Saint Lawrence River. Victoria will be one of four host cities for the 2020 FIBA Men's Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in June 2020. The event culminates with the Symphony's evening concert, with Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture as the grand finale, complete with cannon fire from Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Gunners from HMCS QUADRA, a pealing carillon and a fireworks display to honour BC Day. It is treated with chlorine, ammonia and ultraviolet light to control micro-organisms. [55], Despite Victoria's reputation as a tourist destination, pervasive homelessness and panhandling are serious problems in the downtown area as is "open-air" drug use. Two militia infantry battalions, the 88th Victoria Fusiliers and the 50th Gordon Highlanders, formed in the immediate pre-war period. One of these Trachycarpus palms stands in front of City Hall.[35]. [citation needed] Most of the elementary schools in Victoria now offer the popular French immersion programmes in addition to programmes in English. [5] It is one of the first completed grand railway hotels, and was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1981. Renovations in the 1990s was led by the Arcop, an architectural firm based in Montreal. [20] The proponents of amalgamation argue it would reduce duplication of services,[21] while allowing for more efficient use of resources and the ability to better handle broad, regional issues and long-term planning.[22]. Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific is an international school, in Metchosin, a municipality to the west of Victoria. Other sectors of the Greater Victoria area economy include: investment and banking, online book publishing, various public and private schools, food products manufacturing, light aircraft manufacturing, technology products, various high tech firms in pharmaceuticals and computers, engineering, architecture and telecommunications. [45] By population, Greater Victoria is the 15th largest metropolitan area in Canada. The Belfry Theatre started in 1974 as the Springridge Cultural Centre in 1974. In addition, within the city proper there are several smaller schools serving segments of the community such as the Chinese School in Chinatown and Christ Church Cathedral School. Before the end of the war he would command the Canadian Corps. Greater Victoria periodically experiences calls for the amalgamation of the thirteen municipal governments within the Capital Regional District. a Mecca for elderly: census", "Ethnocultural Portrait of Canada – Victoria, BC (2006 Census)", "Downtown McDonald's restaurant projecting "painful" noise as anti-loitering measure", "Canada's most dangerous cities – Canada", "Victoria News – Panhandler keeps Victoria police busy", "Conference organizers scared off by Victoria's panhandlers – British Columbia – CBC News", "Panhandlers, tacky shops cost Empress a conference – Discussion Forum", "Oct. 16, 1963: $6,000,000 Mayfair mall open to public", "Brickyard to boutiques: Mayfair mall marks 50th birthday this month", "Woodward's store at Mayfair Shopping Centre, 16 October 1963", "Victoria's Mayfair set to sparkle on its 50th birthday", "Table 22-10-0058-01 Internet use, by location of access by geography", "Cricket in Canada/Daily Colonist, March 16, 1863", BRC-HIA: Centre of the Universe – Public Observatory and Astronomy Centre, Hall, Mary Beth. The $C0.43 stamp features an image of the hotel building, and is perforated 13.5 and printed by Ashton-Potter Limited. Generally speaking, one can expect to reach most destinations within Greater Victoria within a time span of 20 – 30 minutes, perhaps approximately 60 minutes, dependent on traffic conditions, road construction or other reasons for blockage, where you are coming from, going to, and mode of transport. Opened in 1893, the Châteauesque-styled building has 18 floors; its 79.9-metre (262-foot) height is augmented by the 54 m (177 ft) elevation it sits at. It is organized by the Greater Victoria Bike to Work Society with a Spring bike to work week scheduled in late May every year and a Fall bike to work week scheduled in October. That hotel was later demolished to make way for the present hotel. Price's plan called for a horseshoe-shaped hotel, made up of four wings of unequal length, connected at obtuse angles. Victoria has been home to many accomplished athletes that have participated in professional sports or the Olympics. The University of Victoria is on the Saanich, Oak Bay border. The 5th (British Columbia) Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery Band traces its roots back to 1864, making it the oldest, continually operational military band west of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The landscape of Victoria was formed by volcanism followed by water in various forms. [30] The average annual temperature varies from a high of 11.4 °C (52.5 °F) set in 2004 to a low of 8.6 °C (47.5 °F) set in 1916.[27]. The hotel is presently managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. The first lane opened in Spring 2017 on Pandora Avenue, between Store Street and Cook Street in the downtown core. Multiple scheduled helicopter and seaplane flights are available daily from Victoria's Inner Harbour to Vancouver International Airport, Vancouver Harbour, and Seattle. Robert Dunsmuir, a leading industrialist whose interests included coal mines and a railway on Vancouver Island, constructed Craigdarroch Castle in the Rockland area, near the official residence of the province's Lieutenant Governor. The Château Frontenac includes 611 guest rooms and suites spread throughout the hotel building. Another major attraction south of the hotel is the Citadelle of Quebec, situated at the atop Cap Diamant, an elevated point of the promontory. [11] As a part of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts' larger "Bee Sustainable" program, the Château Frontenac hosts four queen honey bees in hives on the hotel's rooftop garden. That amount places Victoria 3rd for biggest snowfall among major cities in Canada. Opium trade was legal and unregulated until 1865, when the legislature issued licences and levied duties on its import and sale. [11] Eight executive suites were renovated into specialty "themed rooms". [citation needed]. [8] Public rooms made up the majority of the first two floors of Price's designs. The Citadelle serves as an active military installation for the Canadian Armed Forces, as well as a secondary official residence for the Canadian monarch and the Governor General of Canada. A source of Victoria's power, 18 March 2001 (pdf 140K). Precipitation in December, the wettest month (109 mm or 4.3 in) is nearly eight times as high as in July, the driest month (14 mm or 0.6 in). The Victoria Symphony, led by Christian Kluxen, performs at the Royal Theatre and the Farquhar Auditorium of the University of Victoria from September to May. Transit to drop transfers, will offer $5 all-day pass", "BC Transit – Tender issued for new southbound Victoria bus and bike priority", "Douglas Street bus lanes should be enforced, in effect 24/7: Helps", "BC Transit – Bike Racks | Rider Info | BC Transit", "Island's Dayliner train parked indefinitely due to track problems", "E&N rail service doomed without huge injection of government cash says operators",,_British_Columbia&oldid=1001632997, Populated places on the British Columbia Coast, Port cities and towns on the Canadian Pacific coast, Pages with non-numeric formatnum arguments, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2019, Articles with dead external links from July 2017, Articles with permanently dead external links, Articles with dead external links from July 2018, Articles with dead external links from June 2016, Short description is different from Wikidata, All Wikipedia articles written in Canadian English, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2015, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2010, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2014, Wikipedia articles in need of updating from December 2018, All Wikipedia articles in need of updating, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2007, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2010, Wikipedia articles in need of updating from December 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2018, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2018, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz area identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 20 January 2021, at 15:48. The oldest (and most intact) Chinatown in Canada is within downtown. Due to its mild climate, Victoria and its surrounding area (southeastern Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands, and parts of the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast) are also home to many rare, native plants found nowhere else in Canada, including Quercus garryana (Garry oak), Arctostaphylos columbiana (hairy manzanita), and Canada's only broad-leaf evergreen tree, Arbutus menziesii (Pacific madrone). Television series such as Smallville, The Dead Zone and Poltergeist: The Legacy were also filmed there. The Victoria Clipper is a passenger-only (no vehicles) ferry which operates daily, year-round between downtown Seattle and the inner harbour of Victoria. The lake water is very soft and requires no filtering. 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