Walking Tour of Victoria, British Columbia
Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is located at the southeastern tip of Vancouver Island. The city is equidistant from Seattle, Washington, and the city of Vancouver, on the British Columbia mainland. There are ferries which carry visitors to and from Victoria from either location. Victoria is a quintessential British city and is a delight to walk, especially around the Parliament Buildings which are regal and impressive, and throughout the area which includes Thunderbird Park, a spot that contains a number of totem poles recalling Victoria’s far distant past.
My walk begins on the grounds of the Parliament Buildings, which face Belleville Street and the harbor. Wander the extensive, landscaped expanse leisurely. Be sure to take a close look at the marvelous buildings themselves, and also check into the guided tour schedule to view the interior.
Exit the area on Belleville Street and turn left to visit the Undersea Gardens (at #409 Belleville), where visitors can observe the harbor’s underwater marine life.
Now, walk back on Belleville Street, past the Parliament Buildings, and then turn left on Government Street. Miniature World, a fascinating venue in which visitors can see various scenes “come to life” through the use of animation in concert with lights and sounds. This attraction can be found inside the Empress Hotel, on Humboldt Street.
The Emily Carr House is also on Government Street. It is a Victorian home, furnished to look the way it did in the 1870’s.
Continue north on Government Street and then turn left on Fort Street. Walk to Bastion Square which contains restored buildings from Fort Victoria, a community which evolved into the city of today.
Return to Government Street via View Street and turn left. Market Square is ahead, on the left. You will find numerous shops and restaurants here. At Pandora Street, turn right. Centennial Square, the location of Victoria’s City Hall, is on your left.
Continue east on Pandora Street to Quadra Street, and then turn right. Pioneer Square is ahead on your left, and Christ Church Cathedral is just beyond it. This church is one of Canada’s largest and is reminiscent of Europe’s great, Gothic cathedrals.
Now, continue south and west on Rupert Street, and then on Blanshard Street to Belleville Street. Turn right onto Belleville and then take a brief detour, right onto Douglas Street. Here, you will find Crystal Garden, a beautiful spot which displays tropical plants, butterflies, birds, and even small monkeys. Return to Belleville Street and turn right. On the left is Thunderbird Park which contains a number of Native American totem poles, recalling the area’s origins. Also here is the Royal British Columbia Museum, one of Victoria’s most popular attractions. Exit the park onto Belleville Street and turn left to reach the Parliament Buildings, where the walking tour started.