Downtown Victoria

Here are some highlights of Downtown Victoria.

The Empress Hotel:WP_20140527_19_01_53_Pro

On my way to the conference I pass by Thunderbird Park, which is adjacent to the Royal B.C. Museum. In the distance with the Canadian flag is the Empress Hotel.WP_20140527_18_48_10_Pro

On a bus tour of the City of Victoria and surrounding area I took this picture of Victoria City Hall. The style is “Second Empire,” an eclectic mix very flexible for scaling to large sizes, and named after the Second French Empire of Napoleon III.WP_20140528_14_16_26_Pro

On a walk through downtown I took this shot of Munro’s Books – founded by Alice Munro’s husband Jim Munro. The building, carefully restored to its original glory, is a neo-classical design with a 24-ft ceiling designed to resemble the ceiling of the great library in Ephesus built by the Romans.WP_20140528_15_31_21_Pro

The two books I bought at Munro’s Books…

vanished Vanished Kingdoms, by Norman Davies

black sea Black Sea, by Neal Ascherson

Nearby is the historic Bastion Square and the Maritime Museum of BC:WP_20140528_15_40_46_Pro

Whenever possible I catch unique opportunities to learn about topics completely new to me. I caught a lecture by a diver to the wreck of the Empress of Ireland (sank 1914)– Canada’s worst maritime disaster, and on the same level as the sinking of the Titanic.WP_20140530_13_52_55_Pro

This the 100th anniversary of the sinking. The disaster made headlines in 1914 but was quickly forgotten in the shadow of World War I.WP_20140530_16_16_29_Pro

At sunset the 3300 lights of the BC Legislative Assembly turn on:WP_20140531_21_23_58_Pro


While visiting Canadian cities I often partake of the Ghost Walk. Here the tour guide stops beside one of the twelve Hands of Time — public sculpture spread throughout Victoria in celebration of its 150th anniversary:WP_20140531_21_59_36_Pro

The tour guide pauses to tell a ghastly story in a narrow street in Chinatown. This is a very old part of downtown, with small alleys covered with unusual wooden bricks.WP_20140531_22_39_44_Pro

Weekends in downtown Victoria are full of activities. Here I catch a bike race through the streets of downtown:WP_20140601_13_05_15_Pro

Another wonderful public sculpture, this one called The Homecoming which commemorates the Canadian Navy’s 100th anniversary:WP_20140601_13_09_21_Pro

A bagpiper across the street from the BC Legislative Assembly:WP_20140527_18_58_48_Pro

On a tour of the BC Legislative Assembly I learn about the crest. The original crest had the setting sun above the British flag, but since the “sun will never set on the British Empire” it was moved below the British flag:WP_20140601_16_40_56_Pro

Inside the BC Legislative Assembly:WP_20140601_16_47_31_Pro

The BC Legislative Chamber:WP_20140601_16_52_09_Pro

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