Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria is the capital city of the Canadian province of British Columbia, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off Canada's Pacific coast. The city has a population of 85,792, and the Greater Victoria Area has a population of 367,770. Victoria is the 7th-most densely populated city in Canada with 4,405.8 inhabitants per square kilometre (11,411/sq mi).[9]

The Corporation of the City of Victoria[1]
From top to bottom, left to right: the British Columbia Parliament Buildings, Downtown Victoria, Craigdarroch Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, the Empress Hotel and the Float Home Village at Fisherman's Wharf
Semper Liber (Latin)
"Forever free"
Location of Victoria within the Capital Regional District
Location within British Columbia
Location within Canada
Location within North America
Coordinates: 48°25′42″N 123°21′53″W
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Regional DistrictCapital
Historic coloniesC. of Vancouver Island (1848–66)
C. of British Columbia (1866–71)
Incorporated2 August 1862[4]
Named forQueen Victoria
  TypeElected city council
  MayorLisa Helps
(List of mayors)
  Governing bodyVictoria City Council
  MPLaurel Collins (NDP)
  MLAsGrace Lore (BC NDP), Rob Fleming (BC NDP)
  City19.47 km2 (7.52 sq mi)
215.88 km2 (83.35 sq mi)
696.15 km2 (268.79 sq mi)
23 m (75 ft)
  City85,792 (66th)
  Density4,406.3/km2 (11,412/sq mi)
  Urban density1,555.0/km2 (4,027/sq mi)
367,770 (15th)
  Metro density528.3/km2 (1,368/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−08:00 (PST)
  Summer (DST)UTC−07:00 (PDT)
Forward sortation area
Area codes250, 778, and 236
NTS Map92B6 Victoria
GDP (Victoria CMA)CA$19.7 billion (2016)[8]
GDP per capita (Victoria CMA)CA$53,446 (2016)

Victoria is the southernmost major city in Western Canada and is about 100 km (60 mi) southwest from British Columbia's largest city of Vancouver on the mainland. The city is about 100 km (60 mi) from Seattle by airplane, ferry, or the Victoria Clipper passenger-only ferry, and 40 km (25 mi) from Port Angeles, Washington, by ferry Coho across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Named for Queen Victoria, the city is one of the oldest in the Pacific Northwest, with British settlement beginning in 1843. The city has retained a large number of its historic buildings, in particular its two most famous landmarks, the Parliament Buildings (finished in 1897 and home of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia) and the Empress hotel (opened in 1908). The city's Chinatown is the second oldest in North America after San Francisco's. The region's Coast Salish First Nations peoples established communities in the area long before European settlement, which had large populations at the time of European exploration.

Known as "The Garden City", Victoria is an attractive city and a popular tourism destination with a regional technology sector that has risen to be its largest revenue-generating private industry.[10] Victoria is in the top twenty of world cities for quality-of-life,[11] according to Numbeo. The city has a large non-local student population,[12] who come to attend the University of Victoria, Victoria College of Art, Camosun College, the Canadian College of Performing Arts, and high school programs run by the region's three school districts. Victoria is popular with boaters with its rugged shorelines and beaches. Victoria is also popular with retirees, who come to enjoy the temperate and usually snow-free climate of the area as well as the usually relaxed pace of the city.