Victoria’s quiet revolution has gradually transformed conventional eateries, pubs, and stores into elegant coffee bars, top notch restaurants, and bohemian shops. It is definitely worth visiting some of the venues and landmarks on foot but if you are an activity fan, you may also hop on your bike: Victoria is known for having more bicycle routes than any other city in Canada.

The history of Victoria begins in 1841, when the British colonial governor and fur trader James Douglas was tasked with establishing a trading post in the southern part of Victoria Island. The fort was founded by the governor in 1843 and turned into a supply base, port, and outfitting center after the discovery of gold in 1858. After the political unification of the island with mainland and the 1871 incorporation of British Columbia in the Canadian Confederation, Victoria became capital of the province.

The capital of British Columbia is situated on Vancouver Island, and its landscape has been shaped largely by water. The retreat of glaciers in the Pleistocene Era left substantial deposits of gravel and sand. Granite rocks reaching 985 feet and rolling lowlands are another typical feature of its topography. The ocean surrounds the city on three sides, with lagoons, cliffs, and spits shaped by glacial action. Beaches of sand and pebble are punctuated with numerous coves. Elevated points in and around Victoria offer a breath-taking view of the cityscape.

The temperate climate of Victoria is typically described as Marine west coast and Oceanic and characterized by mild, dry summers and mild winters. The daily average temperature during the winter varies between 4°C and 8°C. The summer is mild, with temperatures in the range of 11°C and 20°C. The highest temperature in Victoria, 36.1 °C, was recorded in July 1941.

The major industries represented in the city are education, tourism, technology, provincial and governmental administration, and services. Other economic sectors of importance include the public and private education system, banking and investment services, book publishing, pharmaceutics, telecommunications, and food processing. Major employers in Victoria are Canadian Forces, University of Victoria, and Camosun College, among others.

In terms of demographics, the city has about 79,000 residents, with one of the largest concentrations of persons 65 years and older (close to 18 percent). Visible minorities in the city are the Chinese, South Asian, African Americans, and Filipino.

To the eager tourists, Victoria offers numerous options for sightseeing: The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria boosts a collection of Asian art and one the famous collections of Emily Carr; the Fan Tan Alley is the oldest Asian-populated district with family run-eateries and vegetable stores; the Bastion Square, which once held the gallows, jail, and a brothel, nestles stone buildings turned into elegant boutiques and restaurants. Unique souvenirs may be purchased at the summer market of the one-day Bastion Square Festival of the Arts. Museum aficionados may visit the Royal British Columbia Museum, with its legendary woolly mammoth and recreated forest where grizzly bears and deers eye the inquisitive visitor from between the trees.