Have you been thinking of moving to Victoria, BC but unsure if you’re ready to make the leap just yet? This blog post will highlight some wonderful reasons to move to Victoria, BC!
Victoria has the warmest and mildest climates in all of Canada. Victoria is the capital city of British Columbia and is located on the Southern tip of Vancouver Island. The summers in Victoria are still warm enough to take advantage of all the beaches but not too hot, where you need to be attached to an AC unit. Similarly, it does rain a lot in the winter (less than Vancouver), but the temperature rarely drops below 0 degrees celsius. Some years, it does snow, and when it does, Victoria is even more beautiful! (spoiler alert: a white Christmas is still super rare!)
During the summer months, the average high temperature is around 20 degrees celsius, with a low of approximately 13 degrees celsius. During the winter months, the average high temperature is around 9 degrees celsius with a low of 4 degrees celsius.
When living in Victoria, BC, you will experience all four seasons: fall, winter, spring, and summer. Spring in Victoria is probably my favourite season (tied with fall for all of those wondering) with all the fresh flowers, cherry blossom trees, and daffodils blooming while the rest of Canada is still under snow.
On the odd chance it snows in Victoria, the city tends to move slowly during those snow days. If you’re moving from Canadian provinces that see months of snow each year, it may come as a surprise to you!
Victoria used to be known for the newlywed and nearly dead, but I believe a lot has changed since that phrase was coined! Definitely, many people do retire in Victoria, but there is also a shift towards younger professionals and young families moving to Victoria, BC. People who have retired in Victoria from other parts of the world have had fascinating lives and careers.
The city also draws its energy from a large young population due to the students attending the University of Victoria, Camosun College and Royal Roads University.
Victoria is home to many restaurants! We are truly spoiled in Victoria when it comes to where to eat. While it is true that people will wait 45 minutes (or longer) outside just for brunch, in my opinion, there are enough great brunch spots in Victoria that you don’t need to. Although, depending on the day, Jam’s cinnamon bun pancakes may be worth the wait!
Brunch places aside, we are fortunate to have a wide variety of delicious restaurants specializing in various ethnicities like Thai, Italian, Greek, Korean, Japanese, Indian and plenty more. Regardless of what you’re in the mood for, there are many dining options from expensive fine dining to casual grab and go food trucks. But all options are delicious!
Victoria was established in the early 1840s by Sir James Douglas and was named in honour of Queen Victoria. The population growth of Victoria quickly exploded with the discovery of gold on the Fraser River as gold miners travelled to the Fraser Valley through Victoria. Within a few years, thousands and thousands of gold miners arrived in Victoria to try their luck for gold on the Fraser River and Barkerville, BC.
Victoria has a rich and interesting history, and the combination of modern buildings with preserved heritage homes and commercial buildings makes this city a desirable place to call home.
The preservation of heritage residential properties is through the Victoria Heritage Foundation. Notable historic buildings in Victoria include the Parliament buildings, Craigdarroch Castle, the Empress Hotel, and Emily Carr House.
The Victoria Parliament Buildings are home to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. Designed by architect Francis Rattenbury and located in downtown Victoria on the land facing the Inner Harbour.
If you’re moving to Victoria and have school-aged kids, there are many quality elementary, middle and secondary schools in School District 61 (SD 61). School District 61 encompasses Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Victoria, View Royal, and areas of Saanich and the Highlands. You can get further information about school catchment boundaries, the student registration process, and the student transfer process on their website.
If you’re moving to Victoria and looking to live in Central Saanich, North Saanich or Sidney, you will be more interested in School District 63.
There are also many great options for independent schools.
If you’re looking for continuing education or thinking of moving to Victoria for post-secondary education, then The University of Victoria, Camosun College, and Royal Roads University will likely have programs that appeal to your interests.
The benefits of living in one of the mildest climates and Vancouver Island’s southern tip are the year-round access to the ocean, mountains, beaches, and parks.
There are many beautiful selections of wineries in the spring and summer months, including Church and State Wineries, Unsworth Vineyards, and Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse.
Year-round golfing can be a reality for those living in Victoria too! There really are limitless opportunities for those living in Victoria interested in sports activities, hiking, and outdoor adventures.
While Victoria is on Vancouver Island, it is still fairly easy to travel up the island, the mainland, and the United States. If you’re looking to travel to Vancouver or the nearby Gulf Islands, you can take the BC Ferries, which is about 1 hour and 40 minutes from Swartz Bay, Victoria, to Tsawassen, Vancouver. You can choose to walk on as a foot passenger, take the bus or take your car.
Another option to travel quickly to downtown Vancouver is the Harbour Air seaplanes. Connecting downtown Victoria to downtown Vancouver in just a short 35-minute flight!
The Victoria Clipper is docked in the Victoria Inner Harbour, and it allows visitors to travel from downtown Victoria to downtown Seattle in approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes. The Victoria Clipper is solely for foot passengers. Another option is The Coho ferry, which you can drive on, and it allows you to travel from the Victoria Inner Harbour to Port Angeles, Washington, USA.
Finally, the Victoria International Airport is located in North Saanich, and it offers daily direct flights to the United States and Canadian cities.
There are plenty of career possibilities for those moving to Victoria, BC. Some great options in leading industries include hospitality, tourism, government, and technology! As of the last few years, the technology sector in Victoria has increased dramatically. Also, the construction industry has seen a big increase in demand.
In Greater Victoria, there are so many neighbourhoods that appeal to residents at different life stages and lifestyles. For instance, downtown Victoria and Vic West appeal more to young professionals who enjoy the luxury of being within walking distance to downtown businesses, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Vic West is a forward-thinking neighbourhood growing quickly, especially with new condo developments.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to live in a tree-lined neighbourhood full of heritage homes tucked just behind the Parliament Buildings yet still close to downtown, then James Bay might be for you. Family-focused, serene and peaceful waterfront communities like Oak Bay, Sidney, Cadboro Bay and Cordova Bay are popular options for those moving to Victoria, BC!
Thanks for reading along this week, and I hope this post provided you with some insight into moving to Victoria, BC!
*Disclaimer: The topics of discussion, content and resources on this website are general information that may not be the right solution or advice for you specifically. Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract with a brokerage.
*Stock images from Social Squares