Celebrating Christmas in Victoria

December 10, 2015 by Martin Vernon

The opportunities for celebrating Christmas in Victoria BC are broader than in most medium-sized North American cities due to the heritage of its cultures and architecture, fanned by the flames of tourism. Here’s a guide to a variety of events offering something for everyone.

The Lighted Ships and Trucks Parades introduces Santa to Victoria sailing by in the Inner Harbour. Celebrating Christmas in Victoria BC

Crafts shows run until mid-December.

The Magic of Christmas at The Butchart Gardens is magical indeed. Even if you are not in the mood for the celebrations this will inspire and delight. My wife and I enjoy this every year.

Our other annual visit in December is to stroll around the Inner Harbour and along Government Street popping into numerous venues for special displays, food and drink.

Musical concerts extend far beyond Christmas carols. They include swing, soul, Bach, celtic, blues, Handel’s Messiah, and even 65 massed tubas.

Christmas at Craigdarroch Castle includes one-man readings of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Santa gets around everywhere, often enjoying breakfasts, lunches or dinners; no wonder he’s such a round jovial guy. You’d think his itinerary would keep him slim.

Or you can drive around to admire the Christmas lights and decorations outside homes throughout the Victoria area.

For more specific information, do speak to your Victoria bed and breakfast innkeepers.

Victoria Christmas lights

December 17, 2014 by Martin Vernon

Few things get us in the mood for seasonal celebrations better than viewing Victoria Christmas lights on houses throughout the area. Each year our local newspaper, The Times Colonist, publishes a map of these which we acknowledge with gratitude. It shows homes (red pointers) and businesses (blue pointers) on the Saanich Peninsula with noteworthy lighting displays – click on the dark ones to view them.

Of course, the best way to view these displays is to take a driving tour. Thousands of us do this every year. We can not fail to be impressed by the amount of work involved in their creation. The first house our family lived in here is one of these; the present owner plans his (over-the-top) display months in advance. There’s creativity, beauty and humour to be found.


If you do not have access to a car there are two excellent alternatives to see Victoria Christmas lights in their full glory. One is simply to wander around downtown – my favourite is the sight of the BC Parliament Buildings (below). The other is to take a bus or taxi to The Butchart Gardens for their Magic of Christmas displays.

Victoria Christmas lights - BC Parliament Buildings

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