The British Columbia Parliament Buildings greet visitors to Victoria’s picturesque Inner Harbour, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Across the Strait of Georgia from modern Vancouver, charming Victoria is the capital of British Columbia, Canada. Unlike its larger mainland sister city of Vancouver, Victoria has preserved nearly all of its historic architecture. The landmark Parliament Buildings near the harbor are even more striking at night, outlined with twinkling lights. The venerable Empress Hotel has been serving afternoon tea in its elegant lobby for nearly a century. It would be difficult to overlook Victoria’s bounty of blooms. Baskets hanging from Victorian lampposts overflow with brilliant flora, English gardens flourish at every turn, roses scent the air as you walk the quiet side streets…but nowhere are the blooms more magnificent than those found at the famed Butchart Gardens. Once the site of a depleted limestone quarry owned by the Butchart family, the grounds were landscaped by matriarch Jennie Butchart and opened to the public in 1904.
The Empress Hotel dates back to the steamship and railroad days of the early 1900s when it was built (1904 – 1908) by the Canadian Pacific Railroad Company as the terminus for the Canadian Pacific steamship; today it is part of the San Francisco-based Fairmont Hotel group and remains well known for its afternoon British-style Victorian tea service; Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Many of the older buildings in downtown Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, have been beautifully restored and are now the home of numerous stores, cafes, restaurants and bars
Our visit coincided with the celebration of the 150th Canada Day (the country’s national day), marking the anniversary when Britain gave Canada Dominion status (it achieved independence as a country in 1982); Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Our intrepid explorer near the British Columbia Parliament Building celebrating Canada Day, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Several small tour boats “danced” a water ballet to the melodies of wonderful classical music piped into speakers around the Inner Harbour, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Belleville Street, in front of the British Columbia Parliament Building, during the Canada Day celebrations was lined with food trucks offering local specialties, including poutine (a Canadian dish of Quebecois origin, made with French fries and cheese curds topped with a light brown gravy), Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Many of the homes we passed on our walk back to the pier were decorated for Canada Day; Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
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