Victoria City Guide

by Jose Marc Castro on August 12, 2007

Victoria is the capital city of the Canadian province of British Columbia, which in 2006 registered a population of almost 80,000 people. The city has attracted–and in fact continues to attract–many thousands of people from all over the world every year, many of whom find the area’s natural beauty, mild climate, and excellent economic opportunities enough reason to stay for good. While known for its high senior citizen population, the city is currently also experiencing a healthy influx of younger immigrants who further contribute to the city’s already substantial professional and entrepreneurial capability.

Residential Places in Victoria

If you are looking for a place to live in Victoria for the medium to long term, you are in luck, for the low property interest rates that the city is currently experiencing. This makes this an ideal time to buy. With a little bit of effort you may be able to find a single detached house in the city, but apartments and multi housing units are far more common. You will also likely find a fairly large number of condominiums, duplexes and townhouses on offer. Some of the prices that you can typically expect to pay in Victoria are $350,000 to $400,000 for a single detached family house, $300,000 upwards for a townhouse, and $200,000 for a condominium or single apartment unit. Average rental rates for a two-bedroom apartment would run to around $750 a month, while an executive style house, measuring about 3000 square feet would cost you about $1500 per month. If you do a bit of research and comparison-shopping, you will see that these prices are a good deal lower than what you would expect to pay in other cities such as Vancouver, for example. Prices tend to be higher in the Gonzales, Rockland and Victoria West areas, with lower rates being the norm in the North Park, Harris Green and Downtown areas.

Hospitals and Universities of Victoria

Health care in Victoria is generally excellent, as it is in most any major Canadian city. You will have no trouble finding medical care anywhere in the city with its many hospitals, private clinics and smaller, more specialized health care establishments. Some of the larger hospitals in the city are the Victoria General Hospital at 1 Hospital Way Victoria, BC, with telephone number (250) 727-4212; Royal Jubilee Hospital at 1900 Fort Victoria, BC with telephone number (250) 370-8000 and Gorge Road Hospital at 63 Gorge E Victoria, BC with telephone number (250) 995-4700.

 

Victoria has always been one of the most well regarded Canadian cities in terms of educational achievement. In a census conducted in 2001, the city registered the highest number of residents who have had some post secondary education. As you can imagine, the city is home to numerous private and public schools and it can even lay claim to one of Canada’s leading universities: The University of Victoria or UVic as it is known by the residents of the city. UVic has built its stellar reputation on its excellence in research, work-integrated learning and scholarship, as well as its strong focus on interdisciplinary studies and educational efforts in the international arena. With more than 18,000 students at last count, UVic offers students excellent opportunities in the fields of social sciences, culture, arts, environmental studies and athletics.  Some of the other universities in Victoria are the Royal Roads University, Camosun College, Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific and University Canada West.

Commercial Places in Victoria

The many lush green landscapes of the city combined with its vibrant urban character will probably be enough to keep most anyone enthralled. If you need a little more distraction however, the more than 60 parks scattered all over the city–plus the many pools, zoos, playgrounds, beaches, museums, galleries, shopping centers and restaurants–should be sufficient. The best thing about all of them is that they are all easily accessible from anywhere in the city. Some of the restaurants worth checking out are: Barkley’s Steakhouse, which as you may have guessed specializes in huge, excellent quality steaks as well as seafood, Paprika for an extensive International menu served up in a charming European-style setting, and the amusingly-named Play With Your Food Dinner Theatre where you can enjoy musical comedy performances along with a sumptuous dinner.

Service Establishments of Victoria

Electricity supply services in Victoria are handled by BC Hydro. To get your power connected, you can either call them toll-free at 1 877 520-1355 during business hours, which is 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, or you can log on to their website at www.bchydro.com and get it connected online. You can even get it connected before you arrive in the country by calling 1 877 520-1355. Gas supply services are provided by Terasen Gas, whom you can call toll free at 1-888-224-2710. You can also call them from outside the country at 1-250-979-4900. During office hours, which are Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, you will be able to speak to an operator. During all other times, there is an automated assistance service available. You can also fax them at 1-877-413-1152, email them at [email protected], or if you prefer, drop by the offices at 16705 Fraser Highway, Surrey, BC, V4N 0E8. Water services are provided by the Capital Regional District, and you can contact them at CRD Water Services, 479 Island Highway, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V9B 1H7 or call them at 250.474.9600. You can also email them through their website at www.crd.bc.ca.

Embassies in Victoria

For consular assistance while you are in Victoria, you can contact the office of the British Consulate-General in Vancouver. You can find them at Suite 800, 1111 Melville Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6E 3V6. You can also call them at (1) 604 683 4421 and fax them at (1) 604 681 0693. They will not be able to help you with Visa and passport related concerns however, so for that you will have to contact the office of the British High Commission in Ottawa at 80 Elgin Street, Ottawa K1P 5K7. Their telephone number is (1) (613) 237 1530, fax is (1) (613) 237 7980 and you can email them at [email protected] 

Residential Places in Victoria

If you are looking for a place to live in Victoria for the medium to long term, you are in luck, for the low property interest rates that the city is currently experiencing. This makes this an ideal time to buy. With a little bit of effort you may be able to find a single detached house in the city, but apartments and multi housing units are far more common. You will also likely find a fairly large number of condominiums, duplexes and townhouses on offer. Some of the prices that you can typically expect to pay in Victoria are $350,000 to $400,000 for a single detached family house, $300,000 upwards for a townhouse, and $200,000 for a condominium or single apartment unit. Average rental rates for a two-bedroom apartment would run to around $750 a month, while an executive style house, measuring about 3000 square feet would cost you about $1500 per month. If you do a bit of research and comparison-shopping, you will see that these prices are a good deal lower than what you would expect to pay in other cities such as Vancouver, for example. Prices tend to be higher in the Gonzales, Rockland and Victoria West areas, with lower rates being the norm in the North Park, Harris Green and Downtown areas.

Hospitals and Universities of Victoria

Health care in Victoria is generally excellent, as it is in most any major Canadian city. You will have no trouble finding medical care anywhere in the city with its many hospitals, private clinics and smaller, more specialized health care establishments. Some of the larger hospitals in the city are the Victoria General Hospital at 1 Hospital Way Victoria, BC, with telephone number (250) 727-4212; Royal Jubilee Hospital at 1900 Fort Victoria, BC with telephone number (250) 370-8000 and Gorge Road Hospital at 63 Gorge E Victoria, BC with telephone number (250) 995-4700.

 

Victoria has always been one of the most well regarded Canadian cities in terms of educational achievement. In a census conducted in 2001, the city registered the highest number of residents who have had some post secondary education. As you can imagine, the city is home to numerous private and public schools and it can even lay claim to one of Canada’s leading universities: The University of Victoria or UVic as it is known by the residents of the city. UVic has built its stellar reputation on its excellence in research, work-integrated learning and scholarship, as well as its strong focus on interdisciplinary studies and educational efforts in the international arena. With more than 18,000 students at last count, UVic offers students excellent opportunities in the fields of social sciences, culture, arts, environmental studies and athletics.  Some of the other universities in Victoria are the Royal Roads University, Camosun College, Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific and University Canada West.

Commercial Places in Victoria

The many lush green landscapes of the city combined with its vibrant urban character will probably be enough to keep most anyone enthralled. If you need a little more distraction however, the more than 60 parks scattered all over the city–plus the many pools, zoos, playgrounds, beaches, museums, galleries, shopping centers and restaurants–should be sufficient. The best thing about all of them is that they are all easily accessible from anywhere in the city. Some of the restaurants worth checking out are: Barkley’s Steakhouse, which as you may have guessed specializes in huge, excellent quality steaks as well as seafood, Paprika for an extensive International menu served up in a charming European-style setting, and the amusingly-named Play With Your Food Dinner Theatre where you can enjoy musical comedy performances along with a sumptuous dinner.

Service Establishments of Victoria

Electricity supply services in Victoria are handled by BC Hydro. To get your power connected, you can either call them toll-free at 1 877 520-1355 during business hours, which is 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, or you can log on to their website at www.bchydro.com and get it connected online. You can even get it connected before you arrive in the country by calling 1 877 520-1355. Gas supply services are provided by Terasen Gas, whom you can call toll free at 1-888-224-2710. You can also call them from outside the country at 1-250-979-4900. During office hours, which are Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, you will be able to speak to an operator. During all other times, there is an automated assistance service available. You can also fax them at 1-877-413-1152, email them at [email protected], or if you prefer, drop by the offices at 16705 Fraser Highway, Surrey, BC, V4N 0E8. Water services are provided by the Capital Regional District, and you can contact them at CRD Water Services, 479 Island Highway, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V9B 1H7 or call them at 250.474.9600. You can also email them through their website at www.crd.bc.ca.

Embassies in Victoria

For consular assistance while you are in Victoria, you can contact the office of the British Consulate-General in Vancouver. You can find them at Suite 800, 1111 Melville Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6E 3V6. You can also call them at (1) 604 683 4421 and fax them at (1) 604 681 0693. They will not be able to help you with Visa and passport related concerns however, so for that you will have to contact the office of the British High Commission in Ottawa at 80 Elgin Street, Ottawa K1P 5K7. Their telephone number is (1) (613) 237 1530, fax is (1) (613) 237 7980 and you can email them at [email protected]

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