Blog

Living in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada - 2 Our Population

posted on Sep 20
A view of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

So what's different about Victoria, BC, vs. other Canadian cities?  The most obvious answer is that we are considered to be "the most English" of all Canadian cities.  While that's still very true, to a great extent, the cultural and ethnic mix of Victoria's population has shifted over the past 25 years and has created a city that is, for it's size, an extremely cosmopolitan place in which to live, and to visit.

The first thing that strikes so many people who come here for the first time is how "clean and green" it is here, with our many parks, tree-lined streets, public and private gardens, we have a well-deserved reputation for being known as "Canada's Garden City".  For those visitors who come here from the inland empires of North America, the smell of the sea air and the sound of the sea gulls is something that they always comment on and tend to really enjoy when they go whale watching, fishing, sailing, kayaking, canoeing or simply beachcombing along the shoreline.

In terms of our human population, it is as diverse as anywhere, although the number of English accents to be heard in the shops and streets can sometimes make visitors feel as though they've crossed the Atlantic and landed in the UK. But apart from that, our Asian residents from China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan constitute another large segment of our population. Other ethnicities include Phillipino's, Indian, Pakistani, Sudanese, Kenyan, American and Mexican.  From Europe we have many Greek, German and French residents and last, but not least, the majority of our residents, native-born Canadians from all over our great country, not forgetting of course, our indigenous populations of Northwest Coastal Indian bands.

This mixology of human-kind is not, of course, unique to Victoria, it is to be found in almost any Canadian city these days, but what does make it different here, is the way in which we all respect and enjoy our cultural differences, as witnessed by the myriad of festivals that are held throughout the year, the big favourite being the Victoria Multi-Cultural Festival event held each year in Centennial Square.

Aside from our cultural mix, Victoria receives hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and, during the peak summer season, our downtown area is jam-packed with tourists from every part of the world. This makes for a vibrant and exciting summer and it gets even more so when the many Alaska Cruise ships come to our port. When that happens, especially if 2-3 or sometimes even 4 cruise ships come to town, our downtown population can soar by an additional 10-12,000 people in a matter of a couple of hours. 

Another thing that sets us apart is our moderate climate, where winter snows are rare (although not completely unknown). This makes Victoria an ideal golfing destination and our many beautiful golf courses can be played almost every day of the year.  Outdoor sports, in general, are something that can be enjoyed year-round in Victoria, which is why our city is a popular tourist destination and, as well, a highly desireable city in which to live.

There's so much more that makes us stand apart from other Canadian cities...our proximity to the mountains and lakes of Vancouver Island, the ease in which we can travel from Victoria to Seattle or Vancouver, the pride we have in being the home to Canada's Pacific Naval Fleet, our access to rugged west coast beaches and towering rain forests, all add up to a city that is diverse, cosmopolitan, friendly, exciting and, best of all, boasting the mildest climate in Canada. Who could ask for anything more?