Greater Victoria Region of British Columbia
This list of Greater Victoria Bed and Breakfasts does not include the Bed and Breakfast in Central Victoria. For a list of those B&B, please click on the link for Central Victoria.
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Greater Victoria, Canada is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, which is the largest of British Columbia's 6,500 islands. About 325,000 people make their home in the Greater Victoria area.
Outside the downtown area, there are a myriad of activities and events to enhance your visit to Victoria, BC. Esquimalt is Canada's West Coast Navy base and is home to the Pacific fleet. It occupies approximately 41 square kilometres (10,000 acres). Tours of the Base are conducted daily and visitors will want to take in the Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum which focuses on Canada’s Navy on the West Coast, The Canadian Women's Army Corps (CWAC), The Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS), and West Coast Defences. In addition to the exhibits, the museum houses an ever-expanding archive and library that is open to teachers, researchers, and history-buffs alike.
A little known heritage gem that is hidden right in plain is Cole Island, located at the head of Esquimalt Harbour. This tiny place holds a lot of history. When the Royal Navy first located the Pacific Fleet in Esquimalt, Cole Island was identified as a safe location for an ammunition depot. The first building, a powder magazine, was completed in 1859. A total of sixteen buildings had been constructed by the time the Royal Navy left the coast in 1905. Five years later the island depot was transferred to the new Canadian Navy.
Esquimalt is known for its many spectacular green spaces featuring greenways, parks, open spaces, waterways and beaches, all of which will bring you refreshment and joy. Lots of wonderful walking routes are available for all ages and levels of activity. Fleming Beach and Macaulay Point are popular destinations, and even if you only go for a jog or a walk, you will be impressed with the activity there. Rock-climbering (otherwise known as boldering) is extremely popular and climbers flock to this area to practise their skills. Sports fishers head out of the docks at the ramp there, and the seals check out their catch when they come back. As an off-leash area, many dog-walkers are out enjoying the gorgeous views of the Juan de Fuca Strait, the Western Communities, and the Olympic Mountains to the south in Washington State.
Oak Bay is a vibrant community only 10 minutes from downtown Victoria but it remains a world away from the rush of everyday life. An unhurried day may be spent browsing one-of-a-kind shops and galleries, strolling through the many green spaces or soaking up the ambience in cafes and bistros.
And if you happen to be out on the water, beyond Oak Bay’s serene coastline, be on the lookout for an ancient, unexplained phenomenon named Cadborosaurus Willsi - better known as Caddy, Oak Bay’s sea serpent in residence. The Manhousat First Nation referred to Caddy as hiyitl’iik – “he who moves be wriggling side to side”. Sorry, but we aren’t able to provide a photo of this popular attraction.
Abkhazi Gardens offer an escape from the rush of modern life. Created in 1946 by Prince and Princess Abkhazi, it is a heritage garden famous for its majestic trees and dramatic site. As a dynamic and evolving garden, new plantings pay respect to the Abkhazi's original vision but welcome guests from around the world.
Oak Bay's Chinese Cemetery is Canada’s oldest Chinese cemetery and the Government of Canada designated it a National Historic Site in 1996. The site was selected in part because it adheres to the principles of feng shui. Between 1903 and 1908 many of the Chinese graves in Ross Bay Cemetery were relocated to the new cemetery. Most Chinese in Victoria were buried at Harling Point Cemetery until it was closed in the early 1950s. About 400 Chinese are buried in the cemetery.
Francis Rattenbury's former home is located at 1701 Beach Drive. Rattenbury designed many of Victoria's famous buildings including The Empress Hotel and the Parliament Buildings. The cost was $3,700. The house became a private boys school in 1929. Rattenbury was married in 1898 to Florence Eleanor Nunn but he later divorced her to marry a pianist! Shunned in Victoria, the couple moved to England where, in 1935, Rattenbury was murdered by an 18 year old boy who was having an affair with Alma. Sounds like a movie or at the very least a TV series on the morals of Victorian Victoria!