Tour Description: This picture-postcard provincial capital was long-touted as North America’s most English city. This was a surprise to anyone who actually came from Britain, since Victoria promulgated a dreamy version of England that never really was: every garden (complete with the occasional palm tree) was immaculate; every flag pole was adorned with a Union Jack; and every afternoon was spent quaffing tea from bone-china cups.Stops on This Tour: 1) Visitor Info Center, 2) Old Customs House, 3) HBC Wharf, 4) Fort Victoria Location, 5) 1117 Wharf Street, 6) Bastion Square, 7) Maritime Museum/Provincial Courthouse, 8) Lighthouse, 9) Garrick’s Head Pub, 10) Bastion at Government Street, 11) Morris Tobacco Shop, 12) Marchese, 13) Royal Bank of Canada Building, 14) Bank of BC, 15) Fort Southern End, 16) Rogers’ Chocolate Shoppe, 17) Old Windsor Hotel.
Thankfully this tired theme-park version of Ye Olde England has been gradually superseded in recent years. Fuelled by an increasingly younger demographic, a quiet revolution has seen unflattering tourist pubs, eateries and stores transformed into the kind of bright-painted bohemian shops, wood-floored coffee bars and surprisingly innovative restaurants that would make any city proud. It’s worth seeking out these enclaves on foot but activity fans should also hop on their bikes: Victoria has more cycle routes than any other Canadian city.
Danda Humphreys is passionate about Victoria – you can hear it in her voice! Danda is a skilled researcher and author who has written and published four award-winning books on the history of Victoria. This tour is an enlightening and entertaining step back in time through Victoria's most historic area. Danda will take you on a circular route that includes the Inner Harbor waterfront, historic Bastion Square and the perimeters of old Fort Victoria. Along the way, she’ll show you grand old buildings such as the British Columbia Legislature, the Empress Hotel and the Old Court House. You’ll hear entertaining - sometimes shocking! - tales about the colorful characters who helped create the city that we see today. This tour contains none of the annoying advertising or bias found on free downloads.