Throughout its history, the city of Victoria has been important not only to the immediate area, but to all of British Columbia and West Canada. Here are our favorite three educational attractions in this livable, friendly city.
The Royal British Columbia Museum located in Victoria is one of the world’s best museums, showcasing exhibits dating from ancient times until today. The museum has three permanent galleries: natural history, modern history and the First Nations exhibit. Each relates to the BC area, but shows a different side to its history.
The modern history museum features a life size replica of what Victoria would have been like in the 1800s and early 1900s – a fun way to step back in time and learn about life up to 200 years ago. The First Nations museum is also an intriguing look into the life of the First Nations people of BC. It boasts an impressive display of artifacts, many from the Haida people, including totem poles and a long house that once belonged to Chief Kwakwabalasami, a Kwakwaka'wakw chief.
The museum also hosts visiting exhibitions, previously playing host to impressive collections relating to the Titanic, Leonardo da Vinci and Genghis Khan.
For a relatively small city of 80,000 people, Victoria well and truly punches above its weight politically. The city is home to British Columbia’s parliament, with the grand and imposing Legislative Assembly located in downtown Victoria within easy walking distance of the Royal BC Museum.
From the outside, the building is incredibly impressive, which is not surprising since it cost nearly double its budget by the time it was finally finished in 1897. Inside, the Parliament is similarly impressive, and is still in use today. Free tours are offered year round, with both guided (in French and English) and non-guided (in 13 different languages) available. These tours not only give you a chance to see the interior architecture of the building, but you are also welcome to observe Parliament in action!
One of the oldest lighthouses in Western Canada actually offers far more than just the Fisgard lighthouse itself (although it is very beautiful). At Ford Rodd Hill, you can find an array of buildings that were in active duty from 1895 to 1956 in order to protect Victoria. Go back in time as you explore the area, viewing some of the weaponry and maritime artifacts that still remains from these days. Audio tours are available online to help add context to what you are seeing!
Once you are finished exploring the area and inspecting the lighthouse, the grounds offer beautiful views to relax and reflect on all you have learnt during your time in Victoria, Canada.