Located off the Southwestern coast on Vancouver Island's southern tip, Victoria is renowned for its picturesque scenery and mild climate. The city, which is the vacation capital of Canada and known as the country's 'Jewel of the Pacific', is also the provincial capital of the western province of British Columbia.
Victoria has a population of just under 75,000 within a greater metropolitan regional population of 350,000 and due to its peculiar location - guarded on both sides by raised elevation - the city has a mild sub-Mediterranean climate with soft winters and pleasant summers. The city is also the driest in the country, as a result of the 'rain-shadow' effect, caused by the nearby Olympic Mountains in Washington State. A lovely year-round climate, spectacular mountain vistas, wind-swept beaches and an abundance of aquatic and avian wildlife make this charming metropolis an ideal destination for any season.
In 2003, Victoria was rated as the 'Best City in the Americas' and Vancouver Island - with it's hundreds of miles of coastline - as the top North American island. (Conde Nast Traveller Magazine - Readers' choice Award).
A former supply point during the mid-19th century gold rush in the Pacific Northwest, Victoria's exceedingly pleasant and stable climate has helped it earn the nickname, 'City of Gardens.'
Victoria boasts the largest Chinatown of any Canadian city and the Parliament buildings dominate the downtown area near the waterfront - which is actually used as a makeshift airport with heavy seaplane activity in the harbour.