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The Inner Harbor of Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada

Victoria: Meet the locals

What are the people like in Victoria? Who lives here, and who will you meet when you come?

 

Victoria is a city of only 92,000 people – pretty small compared to other major cities in Canada. But despite the small population, there are lots of interesting people to meet!

 

So what are the locals like?

 

Victoria has people of many different interests and backgrounds. Some grew up here but many come from other places. In this post, you’ll meet some of Victoria’s locals. You’ll learn about who they are, what they do, and what they love about life in Victoria. Let’s jump in!


Shoshana


 

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Shoshana lives in Victoria with her husband, Todd, who grew up in the United States. She is a mother of two, a professional storyteller, and an active member of the community. She has spent most of her life in Canada but lived in the United States as a young adult. Here’s some more about her!

 

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Vancouver.

 

How long have you lived in Victoria?

We moved here when our youngest son was a baby, so that’s 27 years.

 

What’s your favourite restaurant?

I really like “Be Love”! They’ve got options that are gluten free, dairy free, meat free, so everyone in my family can go. It’s also got a great atmosphere and the location is easy to walk to.

 

What are your hobbies?

I like to learn languages, play piano… birding, singing, gardening.

 

How do you normally travel around town?

By bicycle.

 

What’s the most beautiful spot in town?

I love the ocean views, especially along Dallas Road. Beacon Hill Park is nice too, and I really like the Government House gardens.

 

What’s the best part of living in Victoria?

The city is walkable, it’s really easy to get around. It’s also a friendly place and I know lots of people. The size of the city is great, it’s not too big. And we’re close to the ocean and it has a great climate.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I’m really glad for the synagogue here. It’s the oldest one in Canada.

 

Thanks Shoshana!



Dave

 

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Born and raised in Victoria, Dave is a true local! Dave, his wife, Katie, and their dog, Charlie, split their time between Victoria and Vancouver these days. Here’s more about Dave!

 

Where did you grow up?

 In Victoria. James Bay, to be exact.

 

How long have you lived in Victoria?

All of my life, except for 13 years when I lived in Vancouver.

 

What do you do for work or study?

I teach English at UVic and Camosun. I'm also studying at UVic, in their adult education certificate program.

 

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Pagliacci's! “The Bicycle Thief” is the best pasta there!

 

What are your hobbies?

Reading, music, cooking and eating, swing dancing, bicycling.

 

What do you often do on the weekend?

Dog walks, movies, visiting with friends and family.

 

What’s the most beautiful spot in town?

Beacon Hill Park, and also Ogden Point Breakwater.

 

What’s the best part of living here?

Victoria is small enough to be comfortable, and big enough to be convenient.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Explore Victoria! Find places that most visitors don't know about and enjoy your time here.

 

Thanks Dave!


 


Emily

 

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Emily is another friendly face that you might find in Victoria. After moving here in 2016, Emily quickly established herself within the community and enjoys seeing her friends and family whenever she can. Emily is a very conscientious person and does everything she can to reduce her impact on the environment. Learn more about Emily!

 

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Prince George, BC.

 

How long have you lived in Victoria?

For almost three years.

 

Have you lived anywhere else?

Vancouver, Port Moody, Colorado for about a year, Saskatoon, Burnaby… and Victoria!

 

What do you do for work or study?

I’m an RMT (Registered Massage Therapist) and a college instructor.

 

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Sizzling Tandoor, Le Petit Saigon (which is Vietnamese food), and Rebar. I’m not a vegetarian but I often eat like one, and these restaurants all have great options.

 

What are your hobbies?

Playing musical instruments, going to the pool and exercising at the local rec centre (recreation centre)... I walk a lot too.

 

How do you get around town?

I travel by bus or I walk. I have a driver’s license but I’ve never owned a car in my life.

 

What do you do on the weekends?

Exerciiiiise! I also have dinner with my family every Sunday night and we play music together. I like to host potlucks (where every guest brings some small portion of food to share with the group), and I cook a lot.

 

What’s the most beautiful spot in Victoria?

In Victoria, the Songhees sea wall is the best, across the water in Vic West and Esquimalt. But I love to go snorkelling in the Saanich Inlet to the north of Victoria.

 

What’s the best part of living here?

Not commuting (I live 3 blocks from work). I also love the sea breezes and the air quality. Sometimes where I step out my door, I can smell the ocean and it’s wonderful.

 

Is there anything else that you’d like to share about yourself or Victoria?

I love a Sufi saying which goes, “All the world is a narrow, narrow bridge… a narrow, narrow bridge. The most important thing is not to be afraid, never be afraid of anything.”

 

Thanks Emily!

 




Terry
 

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Terry lives in Victoria with his family and works as a GIS Analyst making maps on the computer. He’s been living here for 17 years, raising his kids in the area with his wife, Shelley.

 

Where did you grow up?

I started in Hamilton, but spent most of my younger years in Fernie, B.C., the beautiful Rockies.

 

What’s the best restaurant in town?

Lots of great restaurants around. My recent favourites would be Red Robin (inexpensive, endless fries), the Royal Spice and Mantra (both have an Indian buffet), and Sally Bun is a great little place for fantastic food.

 

What are your hobbies?

Camping, Scouts, and tinkering with computers. (Are house chores considered a hobby? I hope not!)

 

What do you often do on the weekend?

Besides house chores?  I go on walks, visit with friends, go anywhere near the ocean (and that's so easy), watch movies (IMAX is great), and call my mom.

 

What’s the most beautiful spot in the area?

Locally, the Sidney waterfront, Royal Roads University campus, and Beacon Hill Park.  Further out is Parksville, French Beach, Englishman River Falls, Tofino... really, anywhere near the water. The West Coast is great for the ruggedness; the East Coast for the calm.

 

What’s the best thing about living here?

Being close to the ocean, the smell and sounds, as well as the sight. So much in a small area.


Thanks Terry!


 

Kieran
 

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Kieran is in his mid-twenties and lives to the north of Victoria. He’s lived in the area for most of his life and knows it well!

 

Where did you grow up?

In Vernon (in the interior of British Columbia).

 

How long have you lived in Victoria?

18 years 

 

What do you do for work or study?

I work as a courier for FedEx.

 

What’s your favourite restaurant?

10 acres Commons because it has delicious local food.

 

What are your hobbies?

I like listening to music, hiking, and going to the beaches.

 

What do you often do on the weekends?

I usually go out to restaurants around Victoria. I also go for hikes. Mount Finlayson and the Tressel nearby are fantastic.

 

What is the most beautiful spot in Victoria?

Island View Beach is the best spot near the city. China beach is great too but not as close, though it’s still on Vancouver Island.

 

What’s the best thing about living here?

Being close to the ocean regardless of where you go. Also, walks through downtown and the Inner Harbour will never get old.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself or life in Victoria?

It's a long-ish drive, but Tofino is one of the most beautiful places I've been to on this planet. It’s definitely worth the trip and I would suggest visiting Long Beach and Chesterman Beach too.

 

Thanks Kieran!



 

Marie

 

Marie has lived in Victoria for most of her life. It’s where she met her husband, Brian, raised her kids, and started her own business.

 

 

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Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Victoria but I was born in Toronto. My mom moved us here when I was 6 years old. She was from Trinidad though, so I’m a first-generation Canadian on her side. This is also where my mom met my dad, and he adopted me when I was 11. It was probably the happiest day of my life.

 

How long have you lived here?

Ever since I was 6 years old. Besides Victoria and Toronto, I’ve never moved anywhere else.

 

What do you do for work?

I’ve been a hairdresser for over 50 years. And a little-known fact about my work is that I did all of the hair for the sculptures at the wax museum before it closed. I did that for about 30 years. I’m also a landlord, I manage 4 properties. And when I was a teenager, my dad and I used to break and prepare horses for the race track.

 

What are your hobbies?

Curling. I love to curl. I also like knitting, and I really like shopping, especially for other people. My mom used to say that I only came home because the mall closed.

 

What do you do on the weekends?

I like to watch football on TV. I also take myself out for dinner every Friday night. I like to watch curling too, I’m really into sports.

 

What’s the most beautiful spot in Victoria?

I would say it’s the Inner Harbour. I love to see the bridge going up and down, the floatplanes coming in, the Christmas lights around the city… I think we’re really lucky to live in a place like this. It’s clean and friendly. I see why people come back from their holidays and say they’re so happy to come home to Victoria.

 

What’s the best part about living here?

Probably the people. They’re so friendly and helpful. And it’s a great place because we have lakes, mountains, also shopping malls, and only a little traffic. We have everything here.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Victoria has been really good to me. This is where my mom met my dad, and it’s where I met my husband. They’re been instrumental in making me the person I am today.

 

Thanks Marie!           

 


Stesha

 

 

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Stesha grew up in in the interior of British Columbia with her parents and brother. She moved to Victoria in 2017 and has no plans of leaving! Stesha recently graduated as a Registered Massage Therapist and is starting her new career. Read on to learn more about Stesha!

 

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Nelson, BC, but I’ve also lived in Kamloops and Vancouver.

 

How long have you lived in Victoria?

I’ve been here for almost four years.

 

What’s your favourite restaurant?

My favourite restaurant is Green Cuisine.

 

What are your hobbies?

Hiking, playing volleyball, and spending time with my friends. For wellness, I also love jogging and doing yoga.

 

How do you get around town?

Nowadays, I usually drive or bike. I used to walk a lot when I was in school because it was close to home, but now I work farther away.

 

What’s the most beautiful spot in town?

The rocks and cliffs along Dallas Road.

 

What’s the best part of living in Victoria?

The best part is being surrounded by the ocean.

 

Thanks Stesha!

 

 

 

These are some of the friendly faces you might meet when you come to Victoria. Say hello if you see them around town!

 

 

 

If you want to know some interesting cultural points to help you talk with locals such as these, please click here.