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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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 on Vancouver Island of the Capital Regional District (CRD) but also included adjoining areas and islands adjacent.

The 2010 Olympic Torch Relay starting point is in Greater Victoria and will then proceed to other communities across Canada. The torch relay conclusion begins the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver BC.

Many places, buildings, and institutions associated with Victoria (the University of Victoria, Victoria International Airport, or the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal, for example), actually exist outside the City of Victoria. The confusion is enhanced by the fact that Victoria is the locality indicated in the mailing addresses of places in several CRD municipalities and localities outside Victoria. This is probably reflective of many people's changing views of the whole region being Victoria, not just the central city, and indeed there have been recurrent debates on amalgamating at least some of the municipalities.

Contents

Municipalities

"Core" municipalities
Western Communities or WestShore
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.

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Neighbourhoods

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.

  • Esquimalt
    • Craigflower
    • Gorge Vale
    • Rockheights
    • Songhees
    • Work Point
  • Colwood
    • Belmont Park
    • Colwood Corners
    • Hatley Park
    • Mill Hill
    • Royal Roads
    • Triangle Mountain
  • Langford
    • Bear Mountain
    • Florence Lake
    • Glen Lake
    • Goldstream
    • Luxton
    • Millstream
    • Ravenwood
    • Thetis Heights
  • Highlands
    • Durrance Lake
    • Thetis Lake
    • Willis Point
  • Metchosin
    • Happy Valley
    • Matheson Lake
    • Rocky Point
    • William Head

Demographics

The Greater Victoria region has a combined population of 330,088, according to the 2006 Canadian census [1]. 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 municipalities, unincorporated areas and Indian Reserves in the region are as follows:

  1. Saanich 108,265
  2. Victoria 78,057
  3. Langford 22,489
  4. Oak Bay 17,908
  5. Esquimalt 16,840
  6. Central Saanich 15,745
  7. Colwood 14,687
  8. Sidney 11,315
  9. North Saanich 10,823
  10. Sooke 9,704
  11. View Royal 8,768
  12. Metchosin 4,795
  13. Indian Reserves (part) 4,562
  14. Juan de Fuca Electoral Area (part) of the CRD 3,801
  15. Highlands 1,674

Ethnicity

In comparison to the Lower Mainland (Vancouver and environs), the region does not have a great deal of ethnic 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 2001 census, are:

  1. English - 131,670
  2. Scottish - 79,275
  3. Irish - 56,655
  4. German - 34,345
  5. French - 29,440
  6. Dutch - 13,805
  7. Ukrainian - 12,770
  8. Chinese - 11,720
  9. Aboriginal - 10,230

Culture

Many Victoria Region municipalities have their own fairs: Western Communities' Luxton Rodeo, Oak Bay's Tea Party, Esquimalt's Buccaneer Days, Sidney's Sidney Days, Sooke's Sooke Days, 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 Luminara Lantern Festival is a regionally popular cultural/artistic outdoor activity that draws thousands of visitors to Beacon Hill Park. The Victoria Tall Ships Festival showcase sailing vessels and the sailing life.[2]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.

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/DVBA, 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.

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

Notable places

Educational institutions

Hospitals

Military installations

(Department of National Defence)

Parks and natural features

Scientific facilities

Sites of interest

(http://www.victoriabc.ca/victoria/top10.htm)

Historical

Political

Cultural

Other

Sports facilities

Golf (18 holes)

  • Bear Mountain Golf and Country Club (Langford)
  • Cedar Hill Golf Course (Saanich)
  • Gorge Vale Golf Club (Esquimalt)
  • Olympic View Golf Club (Langford and Colwood)
  • Royal Colwood Golf and Country Club (Colwood)
  • Royal Oak Golf Club (Saanich)
  • Uplands Golf Club (Oak Bay)
  • Victoria Golf Club (Oak Bay)

Other

Transportation and ports

Media outlets

Print

AM Radio

FM Radio

Television



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