About Downtown Victoria
Downtown Victoria is a thriving urban centre that retains its historical charm. Its 80,000 residents take advantage of the city’s rare combination of a cosmopolitan lifestyle, multiple housing options, walkability, and ready access to the outdoors. Affordability is a big draw for people wishing to live in the city centre. All municipal services, including the stunning BC Legislature buildings, are conveniently located, and cultural activities, restaurants, and shopping are, too. Situated along the southern tip of beautiful Vancouver Island, Victoria boasts the mildest weather in Canada, which helps residents maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. Downtown Victoria is an excellent jumping off point for exploring the magnificent BC outdoors, with well-maintained highways, nearby ferry terminals and an airport, and a bustling port that hosts seaplanes, high-speed boats, water taxis, and private vessels.
Heritage homes on leafy streets mingle with contemporary multi-unit housing, here. Many homeowners take advantage of Victoria’s Secondary Suite zoning laws, which provides additional income to the owners, and an affordable and convenient residential option for renters. Victoria is renowned for its high number of original and beautiful character homes in the urban centre, but house hunters will also find newer single-family houses, along with condominiums, townhomes, and traditional apartment buildings. New developments and established neighbourhoods in the outlying areas have seen an increase in popularity, as well.
As the capital of BC, Victoria has a proud history. Located on the traditional lands of the Lekwungen People, this region has been inhabited for thousands of years. The Coast Salish First Nations still call the area home, and their cultural heritage can be found throughout the city. The Songhees First Nation are a driving economic force across Southern Vancouver Island today. The first Europeans arrived in the area in the 1780’s, and the British established an outpost of the Hudson Bay Company (Fort Victoria) in 1843. The Gold Rush of the 1850’s established Victoria as an important port, and the arrival of the railroad in the 1880’s secured the city’s status as an important urban centre. A very large Chinatown developed, and people from all across the globe flocked to the city to earn their fortunes. Many of the city’s landmark buildings are from that era.
Today, Victoria is experiencing another population boom, as people discover just how much this dynamic, historic, and beautiful city has to offer.