Are you in British Columbia’s capital city this weekend and looking for something to do? To celebrate the nation-wide Culture Days initiative, On This Spot is featuring our Victoria self-guided walking tour. It’s a perfect opportunity to get out and explore the city before the wet winter weather truly arrives. The ten-stop tour winds through Victoria’s historic downtown and is available free online and through the On This Spot app.
People have been drawn to the natural beauty and bountiful resources around Victoria for thousands of years. The Lekwungen people fished, hunted, and gathered here, setting up a complex society and shaping the landscape in ways that continue to have a profound impact today. After the establishment of the trading post of Fort Victoria in 1843, the settlement quickly became a melting pot of different cultures as British, German, Japanese, Chinese, American, and Jewish immigrants—to name a few—set down roots. Multiculturalism was a defining feature of the city from its earliest days. Yet relations between these groups were far from harmonious, and it would be many decades before British Columbians would seek to address the racism and marginalization that was inflicted on many of these groups.
In this tour you will discover Victoria’s rich history of multiculturalism, learning about some of the different peoples that called Victoria home and what their lives were like. You will also learn about some of the challenges many of these groups faced—and continue to face—in achieving equality and acceptance in Victoria’s society. The tour begins at the Wharf Street Marina and travels north on Wharf Street to Fisgard Street. From there, the route takes participants to Government Street and back south all the way to the area of the Empress Hotel.