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Many people who visit Victoria for the first time describe an instant connection — a feeling that they just belong here. It’s our X-factor, a magnetic pull that’s hard to define, but something you feel.

Diana Budiachenko, Victoria | James McDonald

Maybe you’ve already felt Victoria’s X-factor standing on the wind-sculpted cliffs above the sea, or watching a supermoon rise over Cattle Point’s volcanic rock formations, or strolling beneath the Dragon Alley sign at 532 ½ Fisgard Steet, thinking how fabulous it is to live in a city with fractional addresses that pre-date Harry Potter novels

Cattlepoint, Oak Bay | James MacDonald

Market Square | James MacDonald

Victoria is ranked Canada’s Best Small City by Resonance, a global consultancy known for its annual “best cities” ranking. There’s plenty to love here: fresh air, clean water, low crime rates, great schools, a mild climate, highly bikeable and walkable, and the perfect combination of urban, suburban and rural.

The most innovative cities tend to be the most open-minded and inclusive. Victoria is no exception. We are proudly one of the most gender-diverse, LGBTQ+-friendly cities in Canada (Pride events are hugely popular!) and one of the best cities in Canada to be a woman.

Victoria Pride Parade | James MacDonald

Phillips Brewing Backyard Weekend Concert Series | Courtesy Phillips Brewing

Victoria is infused with galleries, live theatre, an international film festival, the citywide Rifflandia music festival and an annual Paint-In where artists take their studios to the street. Pacific Opera Victoria is here. So is Victoria Symphony, whose Symphony Splash concert, performed each summer in the Inner Harbour, attracts thousands.

With more eateries per capita than any other city in Canada, Victoria’s foodie scene is on fire with West Coast farm-to-table dining, fusion and world cuisine, and artisan distilleries and craft breweries. (We’re not known as the Cradle of the Craft Beer Revolution for nothing!).

Chef Castrol Boateng, House of Boteng | Luke Liable

Caption: University of Victoria | Courtesy of UVic

As the second-most educated small city in the country, Victoria values quality education, with more than 45 public schools, 6 private schools and several alternative schools to choose from. Our three universities and colleges are nationally ranked and leading the region forward in sustainability and innovation.

Explore universities and colleges
University of VictoriaRoyal Roads UniversityCamosun College

Even with our grand architecture reminiscent of Europe’s great cities,” nature steals the show in Victoria. Who doesn’t want to live in a region where orcas make guest appearances in the city’s Inner Harbour, great blue herons swoop over Beacon Hill Park and you can easily spot bald eagles soaring over the Saanich Peninsula on your daily commute?

Paddleboarding. Salish Sea | James MacDonald

Luke Liable Photography

Victoria is a great place to raise a family. Sometimes it seems there’s a beach at the end of every road and playgrounds are plentiful. Young people have many opportunities to find their paths, whether that takes them scampering up one of the region’s indoor climbing walls or playing their hearts out at Victoria Conservatory of Music. Inclusivity and authenticity are among our core values. It doesn’t extend to our kids — it starts with them.

You can walk Victoria’s downtown in 15 minutes, but you might not want to, especially if you are a boutique browser, photographer, book seeker, coffee hound or history buff. That’s also true of Sidney and Oak Bay with their vibrant main streets. What you can’t walk to in 15 minutes, you can reach by bus or bike. This is Canada’s Cycling Capital, after all, with hundreds of kilometres of bike lanes at your doorstep.

Johnston St. Bridge | James MacDonald

Victoria has the most temperate weather in Canada (just a few days of snow to keep it interesting).  Ocean air moves weather patterns quickly across the Island. Summer is warm with the beaches to enjoy, fall is golden, winter is short and spring comes early to the City of Gardens. As early as February, cherry and plum trees burst into bloom.

Victoria is Waiting  

Victoria is Waiting  

Victoria is Waiting