The Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013 – Road Trip! {Letter “V”}

A to Z Challenge

I am very excited to be taking part in the Blogging A to Z Challenge 2013.  This is actually my third challenge; the first year I featured a recipe for each letter and last year I drew on  my nursing background and used “the human body” as my inspiration!

This year I have decided to change things up a bit.  I live in Canada and believe it is one of the most beautiful countries on the planet; so I have decided to feature a different Canadian “place”, for each letter of the challenge.

I am very much looking forward to seeing how everyone interprets the Challenge and I would love to have you join me, as I crisscross this vast country on my Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013 – Road Trip!

So, without further ado, “V” is for Victoria, British Columbia.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit Victoria and I am in love, it is such a beautiful and vibrant city.  I live on Canada’s east coast, very near the Atlantic Ocean; so visiting a city on the Pacific Ocean, more than 6,000 km away was very special!

A to Z Challenge   Victoria, is the capital city of British Columbia, Canada and is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off Canada’s Pacific coast.  Named after Queen Victoria, it is one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest, with British settlement beginning in 1843.

The region’s Coast Salish First Nations peoples established communities in the area long before non-native settlement, possibly several thousand years earlier, which had large populations at the time of European exploration. Victoria, like many Vancouver Island communities, continues to have a sizable First Nations presence, composed of peoples from all over Vancouver Island and beyond.

The city has retained a large number of its historic buildings, in particular its two most famous landmarks, the British Columbia Parliament Buildings (finished in 1897 and home of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia) and the Empress hotel (opened in 1908).  The city’s Chinatown is the second oldest in North America after San Francisco’s.

Victoria-Harbor-PAN resized

Panorama of the landmarks on the Inner Harbor, Victoria, British Columbia {Photo attribution: Bobak Ha’Eri (CC)}

Population:  City 80,032 / Metro 344,630  {2011 Census}

Climate:  Victoria has a temperate climate with mild, rainy winters and cool, dry and sunny summers. It is at the northernmost limits of the cool, dry-summer subtropical zone or cool-summer Mediterranean climate, due to its dry summers.

  • Record high temperature:  36.0 C (96.8F)
  • Record low temperature:  −15.7C  (3.7F)

Economy:  The city’s chief industries are technology, food products, tourism, education, federal and provincial government administration and services.

  • Technology:  Advanced technology is Victoria’s largest revenue producing private industry with $1.95 billion in annual revenues generated by more than 800 tech companies that have over 13,000 direct employees. The annual economic impact of the sector is estimated at more than $2.65 billion per year
  • Tourism:  Victoria is a major tourism destination with over 3.5 million overnight visitors per year who add more than a billion dollars to the local economy.As well, an additional 500,000 daytime visitors arrive via cruise ships which dock at Ogden Point near the city’s Inner Harbour.

A to Z Challenge

 Christ Church Cathedral (Victoria) {Photo attribution: HighInBC (CC)}

Attractions:  Beacon Hill Park is the central city’s main urban green space. 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 mountain range.

In the heart of downtown are the:

  • British Columbia Parliament Buildings
  • The Empress Hotel
  • Victoria Police Department Station Museum
  • the gothic Christ Church Cathedral
  • and the Royal British Columbia Museum/IMAX National Geographic Theatre.

North of the city on the Saanich Peninsula are the:

  • Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre
  • Butchart Gardens {If you ever visit Victoria these gardens are a must see; to say they are spectacular would be a huge understatement!}
  • Dominion Astrophysical Observatory
  • Victoria Butterfly Gardens
  • Centre of the Universe planetarium.

A to Z Challenge

 Butchart Sunken Gardens {Photo attribution: Warfieldian (CC)}

Some notable people:

  • Jeff Mallett, President and COO of Yahoo
  • Nelly Furtado, Grammy Award winning singer, actress
  • David Foster, musician and record producer

A to Z Challenge

 The Empress Hotel {Photo attribution: Deadkid dk (CC)}

Even though it was a very long drive from PEI to Victoria, I was so happy to be back!  It was fun to once more enjoy “tea” at the Empress, fly over Vancouver Island in a seaplane, spend many hours at the beautiful Butchart Gardens and dip my toes in the Pacific.  But, man am I tired…good-night and I’ll see you in the morning to continue the “road trip”.

Past visits on the A to Z Challenge 2013 – Road Trip:

Complete listing of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013 participants.

CREDITS – Map source – By Qyd (GIS data) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (altered to include place name) Information contained in this post was obtained from, Wikipedia and Victoria Tourism. 




  1. Victoria looks like an amazing place to visit. Such rich history and colorful places to see. Tea at the Empress would certainly be a must. Great post for ‘V’ Thanks for sharing.
    a href= >Kathy at Oak Lawn Images

  2. Victoria, British Columbia is beautiful!! The pictures you posted makes me want to visit.

  3. Doing a happy dance here!! I even said out loud, ‘WHOO HOO! She did Victoria!!!’ I could spend hours talking to someone about this amazing city. I’ve been 5 times to the island in the 12 years I lived in Washington….and only once to Vancouver on the mainland. I was addicted to going to Victoria. Love it there. So much to see! Thunderbird Park with all the totem poles, I never got inside the Royal BC Museum though. OMG if you ever go again you must take the Ghostly Walks tour at night. I did both of them and it’s well worth it!

    • Isn’t it a wonderful city JoJo! I would definitely go back if I ever had the chance and I would put the Ghostly Walks tour at the top of my list, it sounds really interesting and out of the ordinary realm of activities!
      The museum was amazing, they had a Titantic exhibit at the time and we were treated to a special, red carpet style, evening dinner and tour, for me it was definitely a once in a lifetime event!

  4. Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice says

    I think it would be so amazing to be able to travel to the other side of our beautiful country. There are so many great things I have heard about Victoria, I would have to visit for a month to just drive by all of them.
    The garden is spectacular.


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