Almost all stores and shops will accept US dollars. One Canadian dollar equals about $0.65USD. When you pay with USD, they will give you CDN in change. Do your best to spend all your Canadian cash before you leave the country. No shops in the US will take it. I didn't try to take my Canadian cash to a bank because I didn't have enough to bother with that.
Tour the buildings where it "All Happens"
B.C. Parliament Buildings, officially opened in 1898, and the aristocratic ivy-covered Fairmont Empress, designed by renowned architect Francis Mawson Rattenbury, opened in 1908 as one of the grand and elegant Canadian Pacific Railway hotels.
It was March 1892 that Rattenbury; then just 25 years old, was chosen after a year-long Competition to design BC's new Parliament Buildings.
Construction began in 1893 using mostly local materials and resources. Granite foundations came from Nelson Island, facades were faced in Haddington Island stone and brick, lime and Douglas fir all came from Vancouver Island.
The total cost when the project was completed in 1897 was $923,882 - well above the $600,000 budget.
In 1915, additions were completed to the East and West Annexes as well as the south wing, housing the magnificent Legislative Library, with its elegant marble-panelled rotunda.
These days, free guided tours provide a fascinating look at the craftmanship and architectural detail inside. There are many things to get up-too in this city. Even during the winter, when other places have shut down, you can usually find something to occupy your mind (and wallet). Most things are within walking distance of the Inner harbour, so easy to locate.
drop by and see why we live...
drop by and see why we live on Vancouver Island. The picture is but a small part of our yard, showing the side of our house, to the left of the front yard. It takes my wife and me a couple of hours to mow all of the lawns, and we have two rider mowers.
Just below are the three little bears who have been visiting us recently, accompanied by their camera shy Mom. Slide the bar over in the expanded picture and you will see Mama Bear, walking away from the young ones who are playing on a tree in the same side yard which is on this page.
PLEASE EXPAND BEAR PICTURES
i live here so....
tipping: the service you receive in any restaurant/bar/pub whatever, should NOT be rewarded based on the cost of the food. for example: you could get good service at a steakhouse where the meal was $50 and you want to give the standard 15% thats $7.50. now if you eat at a pub and your meal is only $25, the same good service and consequent 15% tip would be $3.75. not cool. so basically, knowing that range of percentages, you know that between $4 and $8 dollars is perfect for good service anywhere REGARDLESS OF THE COST OF THE FOOD!!
Tipping - Not Required, But Earned
In my view good service earns a tip, bad service earns a lesser tip or non at all. Generally 15% is acceptable. For exceptional service 20% is my norm. In general, I have found wait staff service lacking in Victoria, whether at a nice restaurant or a pub. I've left several restaurants and pubs thinking that tourists are treated as second class citizens. Victoria is a tourist city and there are several businesses and locales that thrive off of tourists, but that doesn't seem to resonate will with those providing service. Not sure why. We spend our money and are taxed like crazy. We support your community. If you want to earn a few extra dollars, treat the tourists better.