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Living in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada - 1 Winter Weather

posted on Sep 17
A rainy night in Victoria, British Columbia

We have the pleasure of meeting many of our guests who visit Victoria, BC with the intention of "experiencing life in our city", prior to making a decision about whether, or not, they would like to relocate and live here.  There are so many questions to be answered about life in Victoria and we'll try to answer a few of them over the coming weeks.

1. How cold does Victoria become in the winter months?

Well, one answer to that (somewhat trite:-) is "it never gets as cold as any other place in Canada might get during the winter".  Most of the time the temps, in the coldest months of December and January, will hover around the 5-10C mark.  However, there have been times when we've been struck by sudden blizzards, and Arctic outflows that have forced our temperatures down to below zero.  These events are rare though.

On the other side of the equation, I've spent a few December days walking along the Dallas Road beach, wearing only a tee shirt and feeling warmed by the sun.  Again, this is somewhat rare, but it does happen.

The biggest adjustments that new residents of Victoria will have to face are the long periods of cloudy and rainy weather.  It's true that, as many people say,  "you do't have to shovel rain," but if you're not prepared to adust your mental attitude so that those grey, rainy days don't overwhelm you and cause you to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) you may find it difficult to live here.  I'm sure that many of us Victorians struggle with this feeling every once in a while, but the important thing I've found is to embrace the weather and learn how to make the most of it.

For example, wet, rainy days are great for sitting in a coffee shop and watching the world pass by outside, visiting the library or, if you love the outdoors, putting on your raincoat and walking through the park enjoying the fragrance of the wet grass and leaves.  One of my favourite things to do is to put on my raingear and walk around the Inner Harbour, or along the Dallas Road waterfront, feeling the rain and the wind (when there is one....which is often) on my face. The smell of the ocean and the sound of the sea gulls circling overhead, is truly enjoyable.

At nights, when a winter rainstorm is raging outside, I love to make a bowl of popcorn, grab a cup of cocoa or tea and listen to some music while the rain pounds against the windows of our home. Sometimes the shutters will rattle and then I'll turn on the fireplace and get cozy with a book or a movie on TV. 

Another winter weather factor is fog! When the cool upper air meets the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean and creates a huge bank of fog, which rolls in over the city, there's an eerie "dampening of sound", save for the offshore fog horns sounding-out their warnings to the marine traffic sailing through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, inbound to Seattle or Vancouver and outbound to far away places like Japan, Korea and China.

Winter is, for me, equally as enjoyable as the middle of summer. When the rain pelts against the windows, the winds howl and the fog horns sound, it's a time to hibernate and enjoy this wet and wonderful season of the year.