Greater Victoria

Greater Victoria (also known as the Greater Victoria Region) is located in British Columbia, Canada, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. It is a cultural rather than political entity, usually defined as the thirteen easternmost municipalities of the Capital Regional District (CRD) on Vancouver Island as well as some adjacent areas and nearby islands. The Capital Regional District administers some aspects of public administration for the whole metro region; other aspects are administered by the individual member municipalities of Greater Victoria. Roughly, Greater Victoria consists of all land and nearby islands east of a line drawn from the southern end of Finlayson Arm to the eastern shore of Sooke Harbour, along with some lands on the northern shore of Sooke Harbour.

Greater Victoria
Downtown Victoria skyline
Greater Victoria is located in British Columbia
Greater Victoria
Greater Victoria
Coordinates: 48°30′40″N 123°24′47″W / 48.511°N 123.413°W / 48.511; -123.413Coordinates: 48°30′40″N 123°24′47″W / 48.511°N 123.413°W / 48.511; -123.413
Country Canada
Province British Columbia
 • Total696.15 km2 (268.79 sq mi)
 • CMA
 • CMA density528.3/km2 (1,368/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)

Many places, buildings, and institutions associated with Victoria such as the University of Victoria, Victoria International Airport, and the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal, are outside the City of Victoria itself, which has an area of just 19.5 square kilometres (7.5 sq mi) on the southern tip of Greater Victoria. Victoria is the locality indicated in the mailing addresses of several CRD municipalities and localities adjacent to Victoria. The central city of Victoria lends its name and cultural influence to many places and organizations in the metro region.


There are 13 cities, towns, and district municipalities in Greater Victoria.

"Core" municipalities
West Shore
Saanich Peninsula

This breakdown is roughly mirrored by the three school districts in Greater Victoria.

Greater Victoria is the southernmost urban area in Western Canada; it is located south of the 49th parallel.


This list is similar to, but not identical with, that used by the Greater Victoria real estate sales industry. Neighbourhoods with official status are italicized. Others may have no official definition, hence other lists of neighbourhoods in the Victoria area may differ. Other sources may give different boundaries as well.



The Greater Victoria region has a combined population of 367,770 according to the 2016 Canadian census.[4] The region comprises two of the fifteen most populous municipalities in British Columbia (Saanich, at number seven, and Victoria at number thirteen). The Canadian Census ranks Greater Victoria as the 15th largest metropolitan area in Canada, by population. The combined population of the cities, municipalities, unincorporated areas and Indian Reserves in the region are as follows:

  1. Saanich 114,148
  2. Victoria 85,792
  3. Langford 35,342
  4. Oak Bay 18,094
  5. Esquimalt 17,655
  6. Colwood 16,859
  7. Central Saanich 16,814
  8. Sooke 13,001
  9. Sidney 11,672
  10. North Saanich 11,249
  11. View Royal 10,408
  12. Indian Reserves 6,150
  13. Metchosin 4,708
  14. Juan de Fuca Electoral Area 4,860 (Part of CRD Electoral Area: E. Sooke to Jordan R. 4670, Jordan R. to Port Renfrew 190)
  15. Highlands 2,225


In comparison to the Lower Mainland (Vancouver and environs), the region does not have a great deal of racial diversity. Most of the population is of European descent. A substantial community of those of Chinese descent has existed in Greater Victoria since the Fraser Gold Rush of 1858-60, which saw the first significant influx, arriving first via San Francisco then directly from China. There is also a substantial First Nations (indigenous) population whose ancestors have lived in the area for thousands of years. Numerous First Nations reserves, forming distinct communities, exist in the region — primarily on the Saanich Peninsula, in Esquimalt, and in the Western Communities — although the majority of the First Nations population live off-reserve.

The largest ethnic groups in Greater Victoria, according to the 2016 census,[5] are:

  1. English - 140,510
  2. Scottish - 98,475
  3. Canadian - 86,000
  4. Irish - 73,170
  5. German - 50,440
  6. French - 38,775
  7. Ukrainian - 19,410
  8. Chinese - 17,825
  9. Dutch - 17,790
  10. First Nations - 15,430
  11. Welsh - 14,140
  12. Polish - 13,610
  13. Norwegian - 12,130
  14. Italian - 11,665
  15. Swedish - 9,380
  16. Indian - 9,180
  17. Russian - 8,565
  18. American - 8,485
  19. Metis - 7,135
  20. Filipino - 6,650

The same information, although grouped more geographically, is below. The largest sub-grouping is included.

European origins 279,965 (includes 215,945 with British Isles origins)
Other North American origins 92,140 (includes 86,000 Canadian)
Asian origins 46,940 (includes 17,825 Chinese)
North American Aboriginal origins 21,925 (includes 15,430 First Nations)
African origins 5,070 (includes 1,140 South African)
Latin, Central and South American origins 4,965 (includes 1,880 Mexican)
Oceania origins 2,560 (includes 1,330 Australian)
Caribbean origins 2,245 (includes 980 Jamaican)


Many Victoria Region municipalities have their own fairs: Oak Bay's Tea Party, Esquimalt's Buccaneer Days, Sidney's Sidney Days, Sooke's Sooke Days, Western Communities' Luxton Rodeo, and Central Saanich's Saanich Fair. The Saanich Fair is the oldest and largest of all the Greater Victoria local fair venues; it is considered a de facto regional fair because of its greater size, content, and famous reputation. The Saanich Fair has the largest number of attendees of all the Victoria area fairs.

There is a wide variety of entertainment and recreational facilities and activities. The mild coastal climate ensures less extreme weather changes. Outdoor and indoor recreational areas are abundant throughout the region. The Rifflandia Music Festival takes place downtown in mid to late September. The Victoria Tall Ships Festival showcase sailing vessels and the sailing life.[1] The Victoria Symphony performs over 100 concerts a year, including the renowned Symphony Splash, an annual free concert in the Inner Harbour on the August Sunday preceding B.C Day. The orchestra is on a barge playing to an audience of over 40,000. The Electronic Music Festival also takes place at Centennial Square, where DJs can show off their music mixing skills.

These regional positive qualities, along with new transportation links, international high-profile events (2007 NATO meeting, 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, 1994 Commonwealth Games), could have helped produce a socio-economic effect in terms of: attractiveness as a place of residency, low unemployment, high real estate development potential for profit, increasing immigration of new people(s), and expanding opportunities for business or economic development. High-profile international attention performs its duty as a marketing, public relations, and sales catalyst for further activity. Boaters from around the world gather annually in the waters off of Vancouver Island for the Swiftsure International Yacht Race.

An example of this economic opportunity also lies in Victoria's geography. The April 19, 2008 Victoria Times Colonist newspaper printed a section, sponsored by the Downtown Victoria Business Association, focusing on the area's downtown selection of goods and service providers. As it was in the early days with merchants supplying and outfitting gold rush prospectors, today's modern merchants supply outdoor recreation seekers before they head to other parts of Vancouver Island for surfing, kayaking, hiking, camping, swimming, cycling or whatever activities they seek.

In June 2010, the Canadian Navy celebrated its 100th anniversary with a Fleet Review in the waters off of Greater Victoria, by Canada's former Governor General Michaëlle Jean. The review was attended by warships from Canada, France, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, the United States along with US and Canadian Coast Guard vessels. These celebration activities coincided with the Esquimalt Buccaneer Days Fair and the 2010 FIFA World Cup activities in local bars.

The 2010 Olympic Torch Relay started in Greater Victoria and proceeded to other communities across Canada. The conclusion of the torch relay began the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver BC.

Victoria's world-famous Butchart Gardens are actually located in Central Saanich

Notable placesEdit

Educational institutionsEdit


Military installationsEdit

(Department of National Defence)

Parks and natural featuresEdit

Scientific facilitiesEdit

Sites of interestEdit




Sports facilitiesEdit



Transportation and portsEdit

Media outletsEdit


Social Media CommunitiesEdit

AM RadioEdit

FM RadioEdit


Regional organisationsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Census Profile, 2016 Census, Victoria [Census metropolitan area], British Columbia and British Columbia [Province]". Statistics Canada. January 23, 2017. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  2. ^ Neighbourhoods | Victoria Archived January 1, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. (2012-10-04). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  3. ^ "Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000". Government of Canada. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  4. ^ Census Profile. Retrieved on 2017-02-20.
  5. ^ Census Profile, 2016 Census: Victoria (Census metropolitan area), British Columbia and British Columbia (Province). Statistics Canada. Retrieved on 2017-12-30.