Student life Life in Canada Life in Victoria
Landscape view of University of Victoria's surrounding area

Life in Victoria

Victoria, the capital of British Columbia (BC), has a thriving economy, vibrant arts scene and unparalleled access to nature. The city’s architecture, food, culture, and mountain and ocean vistas are just a few treasures that makes this city one of Canada’s most special places. 

“Victoria is a really nice first city to be in – it’s not too overwhelming, it’s not that fast, and it gives you time to understand the Canadian culture, understand where you fit in, how your daily life could look like.”

Chehak from India,
Earning a MSc in Computer Science

You can study in Victoria at:

Victoria: things to know

Victoria culture 

Victoria’s vibrant city life means there’s always something new to see and do 

Tall wood carved Totem pole on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

In Victoria, you’ll enjoy a never-ending list of fun things to experience!

Discover Indigenous culture

Prior to European arrival in the late 18th century, a Songhees village existed in Victoria at Beacon Hill Park. After the establishment of Fort Victoria in 1854, the village was moved across the harbour. Currently the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations reserves lie at the Southwestern edge of Victoria.

A home for outdoor enthusiasts 

Victoria combines the best of land and sea to create a perfect island playground for adventurous outdoor enthusiasts. A year-round temperate climate, rugged west coast shores and mountains, lush rainforest canopy and Pacific breezes offer a natural environment made for everything from hiking, and cycling to kayaking, zip-lining and much more! 

Taste the island

With mild winters, fresh water and rays of west-coast sunshine, Victoria is ideal for growing organic ingredients. Some of the country’s finest ingredients and dishes come from local farmers and growers. This has gifted Victoria a thriving foodie scene, and the city has even been called the ‘brunch capital of Canada’.

Victoria British Columbia travel guide
Victoria, Canada, city guide

Rifflandia Music Festival

Since 2008, Victoria’s Rifflandia Festival has welcomed thousands of artists to its many stages, including some of the biggest musical acts in the world, alongside new, developing and local talent.

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Visit the largest public art gallery in Victoria. This Gallery has an outstanding collection of historical and contemporary art, including one of the only authentic Shinto shrines outside of Japan. 

Flavour Trail 

The Flavour Trail is an official, self-guided food expedition around Vancouver Island’s countryside. Along the way you can buy fresh-cut basil, taste fireweed honey, take a winery tour, pick berries, sip cider or taste local delicacies grown from the island’s rich soil. 

Victoria Film Festival

150 films screening at four downtown venues — don’t miss Vancouver Island’s biggest and longest running film festival. Here you’ll see excellent entertainment from across Canada and around the world.

Matheson Lake Regional Park 

Matheson Lake is a perfect place to enjoy a refreshing swim at the sandy beach, walk the trail around the lake, or explore the picturesque Galloping Goose Regional Trail. 

Ocean River Adventures

Don’t miss seeing the heart of historic Victoria from the seat of a kayak! Victoria Harbour’s popular kayak tours run daily with help from experienced and knowledgeable guides.