2015 PNW trip day 9: Canada Day in Victoria, BC

Today is Canada’s birthday. 148 years ago, on July 1, 1867, the British North America Act turned New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the United Province of Canada into one country called Canada. It technically remained under control of the British parliament until 1982 when Canada received its own constitution, which finally eliminated the last traces of British control over Canadian sovereignty.

Today we’re in Victoria, the capital of the province of British Columbia. Our hotel is located very close to the Inner Harbour and the city center so we’re able to walk to all the main attraction. That’s a major benefit since the waterfront is packed with people celebrating Canada Day. Here are some photos I took in the early afternoon:


Empress Hotel (left), Parliament buildings (rear center), and part of the Inner Harbour


Canada Day snaps


Canada Day crowd in red and white, the colors of the Canadian flag, in front of the British Columbia Parliament


Seen downtown


The Empress Hotel caged their flower beds to protect them from careless feet


I love this living sculpture representing an orca on top of a wave. I wonder how they water it?


I saw quite a few Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’, a testament to Victoria’s climate (zone 9a), considered to be the mildest in all of Canada


But the most frequently seen ornamental plants are annuals. They are everywhere in the city center.

In the early evening we followed the David Foster Harbour Pathway along the waterfront to Fisherman’s Wharf. One of the buildings we walked by was the Harbourside condo complex at 630 Montreal Street. The two buildings are connected by a pond that gives many of the ground-level condos their own water garden. I loved this concept and will do a separate post with additional photos.


I could see myself living there in retirement. All of these condos face the harbor.

The collage below shows some of the other sights we saw on our walk to Fisherman’s Wharf, including the floating homes on the wharf itself.


Harbor walk and Fisherman’s Wharf


Humans of Victoria (I)


Humans of Victoria (II)


We had dinner at Barb’s Place on Fisherman’s Wharf. You order at a window and eat at tables outside (everything wobbles because the buildings are on a floating platform). I’m happy to report that Barb’s lived up to the hype. I had the best fish-and-chips in my life—perfectly cooked inside, light and crispy on the outside.

The most anticipated event of the day, of course, was the firework display over the Inner Harbour. We occupied our chosen spot near the Parliament at sundown but it still took almost an hour before the fireworks began at 10:20am. At 10:05am my camera battery died but fortunately our hotel was nearby so I was able to walk there and back before the display began.

As you can see from the photos below, the fireworks, combined with the waterfront setting, made for pure magic. It was the perfect end to a perfect vacation day. Yes, Victoria turned out to be everything I had hoped for.




2015 Pacific Northwest trip index


  1. So happy for you and your family that Victoria did not disappoint. And, yes, the fireworks and the setting were pure magic. Of course it took your good planning as well. ;-)

    1. I'm so glad the timing worked out--and the fact that our motel is within easy walking distance of everything. Not having to drive is great.

  2. Your timing was perfect, to be there on such an important date for Canada!

    1. At least it gave me a reason to learn a little bit about Canadian history :-).

  3. Fabulous photos--makes me want to take a vacation.

    1. There's a Vancouver Island Garden trail I wish I'd had time for. So much to see.

  4. Love the waterfront condos.... very nice! I also am amazed at how light the sky was at 10:20 in the evening. Latitude: it really makes a difference even just 150 miles!

    1. I agree. The difference between Northern California and British Columbia was even more pronounced.

  5. Oh!!! Makes me want to go back to Victoria, it's been awhile. Great fireworks photos! Glad you're enjoying.


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