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Historic Buildings of Victoria B.C.

In 1792, Captain George Vancouver sailed through the Strait of Georgia, noting and naming Vancouver Island.  In 1843, the Hudson's Bay Company built Fort Victoria (named after England's Queen).  In order to stake England's claim to the island and stave off the rapidly expanding United States, the British began to settle the area and in 1849, the island was declared a Crown colony and leased back to the Hudson's Bay Company.  In the 1850s, gold strikes on the mainland's Thompson and Fraser rivers brought gold miners into Victoria, and overnight, Victoria became a boom town.  Victoria was officially incorporated in 1862, and in 1868, it was made the capital of British Columbia.

Today, many of the original Victorian era homes and buildings remain and are commonly visited attractions.   You'll find big discounts on many of them in the  Entertainment Book, such as Craigdarroch Castle and the Maritime Museum of British Columbia.

Empress Hotel

What trip to Victoria would be complete without the Empress Hotel (except ours...)? The grandeur of the Empress, built in 1908, is Victoria's most recognizable landmark.  It's ivy-covered walls house the most expensive roomsThe Empress Hotel over Inner Harbour in Victoria, up to $2000 per night during peak season for a suite.  Tourists from all over the world flock to have afternoon tea (for $42 ea.) in it's tea lobby, and drool over the menus of its restaurants.  Make sure to make reservations at least two weeks in advance for tea.  The Empress Room is the cream of the crop here, with meals starting at $30 and going up from there.  You will get an elegant setting with live harp music for your money, though.  Hit the Empress in off-season for dramatic price reductions. Click HERE for up to 70% off your Empress Reservations!

Parliament Buildings

Completed in 1897, and designed by Francis Rattenbury, they are lit at night, providing the centerpiece for Victoria's after-dark scene.  Tours are offered every 20 minutes in the summer, and less frequently in the winter.

Emily Carr House

Emily Carr House

This 1864 home belonged to Emily Carr, a painter and writer native to British Columbia.

Helmcken House

Built in 1852, this is the oldest house in British Columbia.  Tours are $5 for adults, $3 for kids.

Old Town

This section of Victoria focuses on Bastion Square.  The oldest section of town, the cobblestoned streets, lined with gas lamps date from the 1860s.  Once the site of Fort Victoria, Today, this is home to nightclubs, restaurants, shops, and cafes.  You'll also find Chinatown and the Maritime Museum of British Columbia here.

Craigdarroch Castle

Craigdarroch Castle

Built in 1890 for Robert Dunsmuir, a wealthy industrialist and politician who died just before the building was completed.

Craigflower Manor & Schoolhouse

One of Vancouver Island's first farming communities, this Georgian manor dates back to 1853.

Point Ellice House & Garden

Overlooking the waters of scenic Gorge Waterway, many people enjoy afternoon tea in the gardens of this 1867 estate.

St. Ann's Academy

This convent and boarding school, established in 1858, is now open to the public.

St. Ann's Academy

Government House

Occupying the same space since 1858, fire ravaged the Government House several times, totally destroying it.  The current home of the Lieutenant Governor was finished in 1959.

Hatley Castle

Completed in 1908, the Hatley Castle stands on the grounds of Royal Roads University.

Fisgard Lighthouse

Built by the British in 1860, this was the first lighthouse on Canada's west coast.

Fort Rodd Hill

A National Historic Site, Fort Rodd Hill is a coast artillery fort built in the 1890s to defend Victoria.

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