Length: 2 miles
Time to Walk: 50 minutes
Type of Walk: Waterfront, Shopping, Historic
Location: Victoria BC
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Our walk starts from the Coast Harbourside Hotel & Marina at 146 Kingston Street at Montreal Street (see the star symbol on the map for the starting point). We chose this starting point because it is in one of the main hotel areas. From the waterfront walkway at the back of the hotel, we walk north, back to the main Inner Harbour area.
Following the waterfront, we pass by wonderful views over the water on the left, and hotels on the right, including the Laurel Point Inn, a luxury resort and convention hotel. We cross the roadway back to Belleville Street, past Quadra Park at Oswego and Belleville (see the map). Walking east, we pass by the luxurious Hotel Grand Pacific at 463 Belleville Street. The Admiral Inn offers quality harbourside rooms - their website has many useful links.
Just a bit further and we come to Government Street, in the heart of Victoria's famous Inner Harbour. On the right is the historic Legislature building, the home of the provincial government. During the summer, tours of the legislature are available 7 days a week, Monday to Friday at other times. After we cross Government Street, we are at the Royal BC Museum - we recommend you ensure your visit to Victoria includes the museum, which includes a showcase of First Peoples' culture amongst its permanent galleries. To the east of the museum at Douglas Street is Thunderbird Park - 15 colourful totems are on display in the "totem forest".
We turn left, going north up Douglas Street. We pass behind The Fairmont Empress hotel, which we will visit later on the return leg of our walk. Walking north up Douglas Street, we pass by many shops that are based on British themes - with double decker buses and English-style shops, you will see why Victoria is considered to be a little bit of Britain in North America! The Admiral Inn Victoria Tours page has links to plane, helicopter, bus, and horse-carriage tours.
Further north up Government Street, we cross Fort Street and find ourselves at Bastion Square. We walk west through Bastion Square, back to the waterfront. On the north side of the elegant Bedford Regency Hotel is Garrick's Head Pub, with a wide variety of import and local micro-brew draught beers and English fare. We stopped in for a cold beer, and David posed for his photo.
The Maritime Museum of British Columbia is a few steps further on. It is housed in the historic 1889 Provincial Law Courts building. As we exit Bastion Square, and turn south on Wharf Street by the water, we see a sweeping view across the Inner Harbour.
Walking south on Wharf Street, we see the spire of the Visitor Info Centre at the corner of Government and Wharf Streets - it is reputed to be the busiest visitor information centre in Canada!
Walking south on Government Street, we see a wide panorama with the Inner Harbour on the right, the historic Fairmont Empress hotel on the left, and the Legislature Building straight ahead. The Fairmont Empress is an essential part of Victoria - only with taking afternoon tea in the British tradition there is your visit complete!
Our walk could finish at this point. David and Bill walked back to their starting point, past the well-known tourist attraction Pacific Undersea Gardens, a floating vessel moored in Victoria's Inner Harbour across from the Parliament Buildings. Next door is the Royal London Wax Museum, featuring over 300 wax figures of the famous and infamous.
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