Happy In Victoria

posted on Jan 28

A recent poll has determined that 97 percent of Victoria residents feel that their quality of life is good, or very good.  The results of a 2010 survey, conducted by polling company Ipsos Reid, revealed that Victoria residents are almost as satisfied with their city services as they are with life in general.

Unofficially I can personally verify that Victoria is, indeed, a wonderful place in which to live.  Trish and I travel frequently, and while we are often awed at the beauty of the places that we visit, when we return home to Victoria, step off the plane and smell that cool, fresh ocean air, we look at each other, smile and say "isn't it great to be back home?"

Victoria really does "have it all"!  Our city may not boast the highest mountain, the most beautiful beach, the best health-care system in the world, the cleanest downtown environment or the most beautiful flowers and gardens, but we can honestly say that when you package all of these items together, along with the many other attributes of living here, we absolutely shine compared to other places on this planet.

I think about that first warm day in Spring, when the sun shines down on us and I walk along the Dallas Road waterfront gazing across at the snow-capped Olympic Mountains standing-out against the blue sky. Feeling the warm wind on my face, listening to the waves wash over the gravel beach below I realize that this is the place I want to be for the rest of my life.

I think, too, about those warm days of summer, when flowers bloom everywhere, the smell of fresh cut lawns fills the air and robins sing at sunset. And I reflect on spending warm summer evenings in town, mingling with the thousands of visitors who come here from all over the world, listening to the languages of every nation being spoken by the jostling throngs.  I think about watching the jugglers on the Inner Harbour Causeway; eating an ice cream from Rogers Chocolates Soda Shoppe, sipping a cool drink on the patio of Milestones Restaurant while watching the world walk by, or staring into the star-filled sky and watching the moon sparkle on the waters of the harbour. I say to myself  "why would anyone want to live anywhere else?"

Even on a cold, grey and rainy winters day, when the winds blow the looming, dark clouds across the sky, I'm happy. I bundle up warmly, put on my hat and head for the Cornerstone Cafe in the Fernwood Village to sip on the best Africano coffee in town. Listening to the young folks who frequent the coffee shop talk passionately about their lives while laughter and music fill the air as the warmth of the coffee-sipping patrons cause the windows to steam-over, adding a new sense of privacy to our little "cafe community". Outside the rain falls into the Fernwood Square and colourful umbrellas unfold to keep the neighbourhood strollers dry. Where else can one find this sense of warmth, fun and absolute community?

Did I forget to mention fall? The season of many colours, when red, brown, yellow leaves rustle on the trees and stand vividly against the blue sky. There's a special quality to the light in the Autumn  season and everywhere I look seems vivid as a Rembrandt painting.  Seagulls cry as they circle the sky above the Inner Harbour, the city becomes quiet as tourists return from whence they came, the late afternoon sun beats its east-west path along Fort, View, Johnson and Pandora Streets, warming the buildings and painting the streetscape with a marvelous palette of colours. This is Victoria, my home and, like 97% of other Victoria residents, I'm very happy to live here.

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