Greater Victoria

Greater Victoria (also known as the Greater Victoria Region) is located in British Columbia, Canada, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. It is a cultural rather than political entity, usually defined as the thirteen easternmost municipalities of the Capital Regional District (CRD) on Vancouver Island as well as some adjacent areas and nearby islands. The Capital Regional District administers some aspects of public administration for the whole metro region; other aspects are administered by the individual member municipalities of Greater Victoria. Roughly, Greater Victoria consists of all land and nearby islands east of a line drawn from the southern end of Finlayson Arm to the eastern shore of Sooke Harbour, along with some lands on the northern shore of Sooke Harbour.

Many places, buildings, and institutions associated with Victoria such as the University of Victoria, Victoria International Airport, and the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal, are outside the City of Victoria itself, which has an area of just 19.5 square kilometres (7.5 sq mi) on the southern tip of Greater Victoria. Victoria is the locality indicated in the mailing addresses of several CRD municipalities and localities adjacent to Victoria. The central city of Victoria lends its name and cultural influence to many places and organizations in the metro region.

Greater Victoria
Downtown Victoria skyline
Country Canada
Province British Columbia
 • Total696.15 km2 (268.79 sq mi)
 • CMA
 • CMA density528.3/km2 (1,368/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)


There are 13 cities, towns, and district municipalities in Greater Victoria.

"Core" municipalities
West Shore
Saanich Peninsula

This breakdown is roughly mirrored by the three school districts in Greater Victoria.

Greater Victoria is the southernmost urban area in Western Canada; it is located south of the 49th parallel.


This list is similar to, but not identical with, that used by the Greater Victoria real estate sales industry. Neighbourhoods with official status are italicized. Others may have no official definition, hence other lists of neighbourhoods in the Victoria area may differ. Other sources may give different boundaries as well.


The Greater Victoria region has a combined population of 367,770 according to the 2016 Canadian census.[4] The region comprises two of the fifteen most populous municipalities in British Columbia (Saanich, at number seven, and Victoria at number thirteen). The Canadian Census ranks Greater Victoria as the 15th largest metropolitan area in Canada, by population. The combined population of the cities, municipalities, unincorporated areas and Indian Reserves in the region are as follows:

  1. Saanich 114,148
  2. Victoria 85,792
  3. Langford 35,342
  4. Oak Bay 18,094
  5. Esquimalt 17,655
  6. Colwood 16,859
  7. Central Saanich 16,814
  8. Sooke 13,001
  9. Sidney 11,672
  10. North Saanich 11,249
  11. View Royal 10,408
  12. Indian Reserves 6,150
  13. Metchosin 4,708
  14. Juan de Fuca Electoral Area 4,860 (Part of CRD Electoral Area: E. Sooke to Jordan R. 4670, Jordan R. to Port Renfrew 190)
  15. Highlands 2,225


In comparison to the Lower Mainland (Vancouver and environs), the region does not have a great deal of racial diversity. Most of the population is of European descent. A substantial community of those of Chinese descent has existed in Greater Victoria since the Fraser Gold Rush of 1858-60, which saw the first significant influx, arriving first via San Francisco then directly from China. There is also a substantial First Nations (indigenous) population whose ancestors have lived in the area for thousands of years. Numerous First Nations reserves, forming distinct communities, exist in the region — primarily on the Saanich Peninsula, in Esquimalt, and in the Western Communities — although the majority of the First Nations population live off-reserve.

The largest ethnic groups in Greater Victoria, according to the 2016 census,[5] are:

  1. English - 140,510
  2. Scottish - 98,475
  3. Canadian - 86,000
  4. Irish - 73,170
  5. German - 50,440
  6. French - 38,775
  7. Ukrainian - 19,410
  8. Chinese - 17,825
  9. Dutch - 17,790
  10. First Nations - 15,430
  11. Welsh - 14,140
  12. Polish - 13,610
  13. Norwegian - 12,130
  14. Italian - 11,665
  15. Swedish - 9,380
  16. East Indian - 9,180
  17. Russian - 8,565
  18. American - 8,485
  19. Metis - 7,135
  20. Filipino - 6,650

The same information, although grouped more geographically, is below. The largest sub-grouping is included.

European origins 279,965 (includes 215,945 with British Isles origins)
Other North American origins 92,140 (includes 86,000 Canadian)
Asian origins 46,940 (includes 17,825 Chinese)
North American Aboriginal origins 21,925 (includes 15,430 First Nations)
African origins 5,070 (includes 1,140 South African)
Latin, Central and South American origins 4,965 (includes 1,880 Mexican)
Oceania origins 2,560 (includes 1,330 Australian)
Caribbean origins 2,245 (includes 980 Jamaican)


Many Victoria Region municipalities have their own fairs: Oak Bay's Tea Party, Esquimalt's Buccaneer Days, Sidney's Sidney Days, Sooke's Sooke Days, Western Communities' Luxton Rodeo, and Central Saanich's Saanich Fair. The Saanich Fair is the oldest and largest of all the Greater Victoria local fair venues; it is considered a de facto regional fair because of its greater size, content, and famous reputation. The Saanich Fair has the largest number of attendees of all the Victoria area fairs.

There is a wide variety of entertainment and recreational facilities and activities. The mild coastal climate ensures less extreme weather changes. Outdoor and indoor recreational areas are abundant throughout the region. The Rifflandia Music Festival takes place downtown in mid to late September. The Luminara Lantern Festival is a regionally popular cultural/artistic outdoor activity that draws thousands of visitors to Beacon Hill Park. The Victoria Tall Ships Festival showcase sailing vessels and the sailing life.[1] The Victoria Symphony performs over 100 concerts a year, including the renowned Symphony Splash, an annual free concert in the Inner Harbour on the August Sunday preceding B.C Day. The orchestra is on a barge playing to an audience of over 40,000. The Electronic Music Festival also takes place at Centennial Square, where DJs can show off their music mixing skills.

These regional positive qualities, along with new transportation links, international high-profile events (2007 NATO meeting, 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, 1994 Commonwealth Games), could have helped produce a socio-economic effect in terms of: attractiveness as a place of residency, low unemployment, high real estate development potential for profit, increasing immigration of new people(s), and expanding opportunities for business or economic development. High-profile international attention performs its duty as a marketing, public relations, and sales catalyst for further activity. Boaters from around the world gather annually in the waters off of Vancouver Island for the Swiftsure International Yacht Race.

An example of this economic opportunity also lies in Victoria's geography. The April 19, 2008 "Victoria Times Colonist" newspaper printed a section, sponsored by the Downtown Victoria Business Association/DVBA, focusing on the area's downtown selection of goods and service providers. As it was in the early days with merchants supplying and outfitting gold rush prospectors, today's modern merchants supply outdoor recreation seekers before they head to other parts of Vancouver Island for surfing, kayaking, hiking, camping, swimming, cycling or whatever activities they seek.

In June 2010, the Canadian Navy celebrated its 100th anniversary with a Fleet Review in the waters off of Greater Victoria, by Canada's former Governor General Michaëlle Jean. The review was attended by warships from Canada, France, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, the United States along with US and Canadian Coast Guard vessels. These celebration activities coincided with the Esquimalt Buccaneer Days Fair and the 2010 FIFA World Cup activities in local bars.

The 2010 Olympic Torch Relay started in Greater Victoria and proceeded to other communities across Canada. The conclusion of the torch relay began the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver BC.

Sunken Garden
Victoria's world-famous Butchart Gardens are actually located in Central Saanich

Notable places

Educational institutions


Military installations

(Department of National Defence)

Parks and natural features

Scientific facilities

Sites of interest




Sports facilities


  • Bear Mountain Golf and Country Club (Langford)
  • Cedar Hill Golf Course (Saanich)
  • Gorge Vale Golf Club (Esquimalt)
  • Olympic View Golf Club (Langford and Colwood)
  • Royal Colwood Golf and Country Club (Colwood)
  • Royal Oak Golf Club (Saanich)
  • Uplands Golf Club (Oak Bay)
  • Victoria Golf Club (Oak Bay)
  • Highland Pacific Golf (Saanich)
  • Prospect Lake Golf Course (Saanich)
  • Cordova Bay Golf Course (Saanich)


Transportation and ports

Media outlets


Social Media Communities

AM Radio

FM Radio


Regional organisations

Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
Greater Victoria Film Commission
Greater Victoria Art Gallery
Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition
Greater Victoria Public Library

See also


  1. ^ a b "Census Profile, 2016 Census, Victoria [Census metropolitan area], British Columbia and British Columbia [Province]". Statistics Canada. January 23, 2017. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  2. ^ Neighbourhoods | Victoria Archived January 1, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. (2012-10-04). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  3. ^ "Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000". Government of Canada. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  4. ^ Census Profile. Retrieved on 2017-02-20.
  5. ^ Census Profile, 2016 Census: Victoria (Census metropolitan area), British Columbia and British Columbia (Province). Statistics Canada. Retrieved on 2017-12-30.

Coordinates: 48°30′40″N 123°24′47″W / 48.511°N 123.413°W

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is an art gallery located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Opened in 1951, the gallery possesses notable works by artists such as Emily Carr, and has one of Canada's most significant collections of Asian art. An Asian garden located on the gallery grounds includes the only authentic Japanese Shinto shrine in North America.

When it first opened in 1951, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria exhibited art in a historic mansion dating to 1889. The historic building still used by the art gallery, and is adjacent to the institutions seven modern galleries. With almost 17,000 works of art, the Art Gallery has the largest public collection in BC and is a vibrant and active part of Victoria's artist community.

Capital Regional District

This article is for the regional district government encompassing the agglomeration of municipalities and rural areas around Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. For the region itself, see Greater Victoria, British Columbia.The Capital Regional District (CRD) is a local government administrative district encompassing the southern tip of Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The CRD is one of several regional districts in British Columbia and had an official population of 383,360 as of the Canada 2016 Census.The CRD encompasses the thirteen municipalities of Greater Victoria and three unincorporated areas: Juan de Fuca Electoral Area on Vancouver Island, Salt Spring Island Electoral Area, and Southern Gulf Islands Electoral Area. The CRD also acts as the local government for most purposes in the Electoral Areas. CRD headquarters is in the City of Victoria, although there are many office and operational facilities throughout the region. The total land area is 2,341.11 km2 (903.91 sq mi).

The CRD was formed in 1966 as a federation of seven municipalities and five electoral areas to provide coordination of regional issues and local government in rural areas in the Greater Victoria region.

Central Saanich

Central Saanich is a district municipality in Greater Victoria and a member municipality of the Capital Regional District. It is located on the Saanich Peninsula. The district began as a farming community, and many hobby farms, along with a handful of small working farms and vineyards, still exist. In recent decades, the area has seen increasing residential, commercial, and industrial development, especially around the neighbourhoods of Brentwood Bay and Saanichton, which are occasionally referred to as separate communities.

The area's best-known tourist attractions are the Butchart Gardens, located in the Brentwood Bay area, and Island View Beach.

The mayor of Central Saanich is former district councillor Ryan Windsor. Municipal councillors last elected in 2014 include Niall Paltiel, Carl Jensen, Alicia Cormier, Bob Thompson, Christopher Graham, and Zeb King.

Discovery Island Light

Discovery Island Lighthouse is an active lighthouse built in 1886 on Pandora Hill which is the highest point on Discovery Island in the province of British Columbia, Canada.

Districts of Seychelles

Seychelles is divided into 26 districts. All but one are located on the Inner Islands; the Outer Islands (Zil Elwannyen Sesel) make up the most recent district. Eight of the districts make up Greater Victoria, 14 are located in the rural part of the main island of Mahé, two on Praslin, and one on La Digue (which includes small surrounding islands and some distant islands like Silhouette, North Island, Denis, Bird).

The capital city of Victoria consists of the districts English River, Saint Louis and Mont Fleuri.

Between 1991 and 1993, the originally 23 districts were local government units with elected councils. Since then, they have been governed by government-appointed administrators.In 1998, two new districts, Roche Caiman and Les Mamelles were created mostly from reclaimed land and from parts of Plaisance.

In 2012, another new land reclamation took place, and Eve Island and Rev Island were created near the capital Victoria and Bay St. Anne in Praslin, making the area 459 km2. Also, the Outer Islands were given a status of a district by the ministry of tourism.


The Township of Esquimalt is a municipality at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. It is bordered to the east by the provincial capital, Victoria, to the south by the Strait of Juan de Fuca, to the west by Esquimalt Harbour and Royal Roads, to the northwest by the New Songhees 1A Indian reserve and the town of View Royal, and to the north by a narrow inlet of water called the Gorge, across which is the district municipality of Saanich. It is almost tangential to Esquimalt 1 Indian Reserve near Admirals Road. It is one of the 13 municipalities of Greater Victoria and part of the Capital Regional District.

Esquimalt had a population of 17,655 in 2016. It covers 7.08 km2 (2.73 sq mi). It is home to the Pacific fleet of the Royal Canadian Navy.

Highlands, British Columbia

The District of Highlands (locally known as "The Highlands") is a district municipality near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. As one of the Western Communities or West Shore municipalities outside Victoria, Highlands has a population of 1,903 as of 2006. The region stretches along the Saanich Inlet shoreline from north of Goldstream to Mackenzie Bight. One of the more undeveloped areas of the Greater Victoria region, it is one of the newest Greater Victoria municipalities created within the Capital Regional District.

Although the area is seen as a target for residential expansion of the Greater Victoria region, it remains best known for lakes, hills, and wilderness. It is home to many parks, notably large portions of Gowlland Tod Provincial Park, Mount Work Regional Park, and Lone Tree Hill Regional Park.

The nearest commercial shopping areas are in the adjacent municipality of Langford. Public education is provided by the Sooke School District's elementary, middle, and secondary schools in Langford.

Langford, British Columbia

Langford is a city on southern Vancouver Island in the province of British Columbia, Canada. Langford is one of the 13 component municipalities of Greater Victoria and is within the Capital Regional District. Langford was incorporated in 1992 and has a population of over 35,000 people. Its municipal neighbours are Colwood to the southeast, Highlands to the north, Metchosin to the southwest, and View Royal to the northeast.

List of airports on Vancouver Island

This is a list of airports on Vancouver Island.


The District of Metchosin is a municipality and community in Greater Victoria on the southern tip of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It is a coastal community adjacent to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Metchosin is part of the Western Communities and one of the 13 regional municipalities.

North Saanich

North Saanich is located on the Saanich Peninsula, approximately 25 km (16 mi) north of Victoria, British Columbia on southern Vancouver Island. It is one of the 13 Greater Victoria municipalities. The District is surrounded on three sides by 20 km (12 mi) of ocean shoreline, and consists of rural/residential areas and a large agricultural base and is home to the Victoria International Airport and the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal.

Oak Bay, British Columbia

Oak Bay is a municipality incorporated in 1906 that is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, in the Canadian province of British Columbia, Canada. A member municipality of the Capital Regional District, it is a community east of and adjacent to the city of Victoria. It is one of the 13 municipalities of Greater Victoria.

Paul Rowe (Canadian football)

Paul "Pappy" Rowe (January 25, 1917 – August 28, 1990) was a Canadian professional football fullback.

Born in Victoria, British Columbia, he played for the Calgary Bronks (1938 to 1940) and Calgary Stampeders (1945 to 1950). He was captain of the team when Calgary won the Grey Cup in 1948 and played in the finals in 1949. In 1948, he was awarded the Dave Dryburgh Memorial Trophy.

He is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, BC Sports Hall of Fame, Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, and Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame.

Saanich, British Columbia

The District of Saanich () is a district municipality on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, within the Greater Victoria area. The population was 114,148 at the 2016 census, making it the most populous municipality in the Capital Regional District and Vancouver Island, and the eighth-most populous in the province. The district adopted its name after the Saanich First Nation, meaning "emerging land" or "emerging people". The District acts as a bedroom community immediately to the north of Victoria, British Columbia.

With an area of 103.44 square kilometres (39.94 sq mi), it is the largest municipality in Greater Victoria. The municipality contains a wide variety of rural and urban landscapes and neighbourhoods stretching north to the Saanich Peninsula. Saanich is home to part of the University of Victoria which is bisected by the neighbouring district municipality of Oak Bay. The municipality's topography is undulating with many glacially scoured rock outcroppings. Elevations range from sea level to 229 metres (751 ft). The physical setting is greatly influenced by water. There are 8.1749 square kilometres (3.1563 sq mi) of fresh water lakes and 29.61 kilometres (18.40 mi) of marine shoreline.

School District 61 Greater Victoria

School District 61 Greater Victoria is a school district in the Canadian province of British Columbia. This includes the municipalities of Victoria, Esquimalt, Oak Bay, View Royal, and parts of Saanich.


Sooke is a district municipality situated on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Canada. About 38 kilometres by road from the city of Victoria (the capital of British Columbia), Sooke is considered the westernmost of the Greater Victoria region's "Western Communities." It is situated to the north and west of the Sooke Basin.

Trial Islands Ecological Reserve

The Trial Islands Ecological Reserve is a nature reserve on the Trial Islands in the British Columbia province of Canada just off the southern tip of Oak Bay in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The twenty-three-hectare ecological reserve was established in 1990 to protect two elongated rocky islands and associated islets. It protects the greatest number of endangered and vulnerable species in a single ecological reserve in British Columbia.

Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria is the capital city of the Canadian province of British Columbia, located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off Canada's Pacific coast. The city has a population of 85,792, while the metropolitan area of Greater Victoria has a population of 367,770, making it the 15th most populous Canadian metropolitan area. Victoria is the 7th most densely populated city in Canada with 4,405.8 people per square kilometre, which is a greater population density than Toronto.Victoria is the southernmost major city in Western Canada, and is about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from British Columbia's largest city of Vancouver on the mainland. The city is about 100 km (60 mi) from Seattle by airplane, ferry, or the Victoria Clipper passenger-only ferry which operates daily, year round between Seattle and Victoria, and 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Port Angeles, Washington, by ferry Coho across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and, at the time, British North America, Victoria is one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest, with British settlement beginning in 1843. The city has retained a large number of its historic buildings, in particular its two most famous landmarks, 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. 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.

Known as "The Garden City", Victoria is an attractive city and a popular tourism destination with a thriving technology sector that has risen to be its largest revenue-generating private industry. Victoria is in the top twenty of world cities for quality-of-life, according to Numbeo. The city has a large non-local student population, who come to attend the University of Victoria, Camosun College, Royal Roads University, the Victoria College of Art, the Canadian College of Performing Arts, and high school programs run by the region's three school districts. Victoria is popular with boaters with its rugged shorelines and beaches. Victoria is also popular with retirees, who come to enjoy the temperate and usually snow-free climate of the area as well as the usually relaxed pace of the city.

Climate data for Victoria Phyllis Street, British Columbia (1971-2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14.5
Average high °C (°F) 7.2
Daily mean °C (°F) 5.5
Average low °C (°F) 3.7
Record low °C (°F) −8.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 102.2
Average rainfall mm (inches) 99.4
Average snowfall cm (inches) 2.8
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 17.0 15.2 15.0 12.2 10.9 8.9 6.1 5.9 7.3 13.6 19.0 18.3 149.4
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 16.7 14.9 15.0 12.2 10.9 8.9 6.1 5.9 7.3 13.6 18.8 17.7 148
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 0.88 1.0 0.11 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.07 0.39 0.96 3.41
Source: Environment Canada[3]
Communities on Vancouver Island
Electoral areas
Neighbourhoods in Greater Victoria, British Columbia
West Shore
Other areas

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