Union Club Of British Columbia

805 Gordon Street, Victoria, British Columbia, V8W 1Z6, Canada
Union Club British Columbia
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Forum Posts

Will I see whales if I ferry from Victoria to Vancouver + Buchard question

by annlbecker41

I will be in Victoria from mid day Oct 4 till some time on Oct 4. I must meet a group in Vancouver in the evening on the 4th. I would love to keep costs down if possible (tea at a smaller place than the Empress and hopefully seeing whale(s) while on a ferry from Victoria to Vancouver). Would anyone know if this is possible or do I need to try a whale watchng tour??? Suggestions for tea??
I am also going to Buchard Gardens during one of the days. The tours seem to be only 2 - 2 and 1/2 hours. For such a huge garden and at my slow pace will that really be enough time to take it all in without tryng to race??? I'm a senior and racing is out of the question :) I will need a tour or public transportation as I will not have a car.
Thanks so much for your time and thoughts.

Re: Will I see whales if I ferry from Victoria to Vancouver + Buchard question

by rmdw

Whales from the ferry: Sometimes yes but most often, no.

I wouldn't take a formal tour of Butchart Gardens. I'd find transportation up there (many options), go at your own pace, and then take transportation away.

Note: Unless there was a typo with your first date, you seem to indicate that you only have about 4 - 6 hours of time. Are you aware of how long it takes to get from Vancouver across to Vancouver Island? It's about 2.5 to 3 hours each way.

Frankly, I don't see how you can see both downtown Victoria and tour the Butchart Gardens.

Re: Will I see whales if I ferry from Victoria to Vancouver + Buchard question

by annlbecker41

Oh my goodness...1st date was supposed to say arrive mid day Oct 1st. I'm sorry for the confusion!!
Thank you for the information about whales and Buchard. I will definitely take your advice and won't take a tour to see Buchard Gardens. It seems the kind of place I'd want to spend lots of time wandering through at my own pace.
After a little research on google I found a scarab whale boat that will still be operating after the end of September. For the moment it seems like my best bet.
No luck yet with recommendations for tea (Empress is definitely out though perhaps I can at least sip a coffee there). Thanks for taking the time to respond. I wish you wonderful travels. Ann

Re: Will I see whales if I ferry from Victoria to Vancouver + Buchard question

by rmdw

For tea, my mom always goes here: http://jamesbaytearoomandrestaurant.com It's just a few blocks from The Empress.

Re: Will I see whales if I ferry from Victoria to Vancouver + Buchard question

by annlbecker41

Wishing I could fly to Victoria today instead of on the 1st. I will be very pleased to make at least 1 stop at The James Bay Tea Room - it looks like a "me kind of place". Please thank your Mom too. Ann

Re: Will I see whales if I ferry from Victoria to Vancouver + Buchard question

by Jetgirly

The best time to spot whales is between July and September. Most whale watching companies stop running tours in October because the chances of seeing whales is so low. I lived on the island for about fifteen years and only saw whales on the ferry once. In the off season, your chances of seeing whales are almost zero. I believe that Grey Line tours sells bus tickets for the Gardens that are sort of open-ended. This summer it was $41 for the return bus trip and Garden entrance. As far as I know, you can choose which bus to return on from their schedule. They usually have a kiosk at the corner of Government and Humbolt, right beside the Empress hotel, and they can probably help you there.

Travel Tips for Victoria

Victoria Area Beaches

by sunnywong

Beaches in Victoria fall into two categories: for wildlife and for people. Not all the beaches are on the ocean! There are some very nice freshwater lakes in the area, including Elk, Beaver (to the north) and Thetis (to the west). For a clean sandy beach, you might try Cadboro Bay (near the University of Victoria) or Willows Beach in Oak Bay. For a more rugged beach, look beside Dallas Road (south of downtown), or by Mount Douglas or a bit further north opn Cordova Bay. Website:

Graceful icon of Victoria.

by worldkiwi

For me, the icon of Victoria was not the imposing Empress Hotel, but rather the more graceful Parliament Building. This building didn't crowd the harbour, being set back behind a pleasant grassy lawn. Tourists and locals alike could relax on the lawn in front of the building and enjoy the summer sun, watched over by a rather young looking Queen Victoria.
The government buildings are a picturesque sight at night when the building is set alight by thousands of light bulbs festooned around it like Christmas decorations.

Victoria's Famous Empress Hotel

by meteorologist1

Victoria's famous Empress Hotel is a highlight for visitors. This hotel's architecture is impressive. It was designed by Francis Rattenbury who also designed the Parliament Buildings in Victoria. At the Empress you can enjoy a tradition Afternoon Tea which you shouldn't miss.

Bag it!

by spitball

You may notice when you are here in Victoria, just how clean the streets appear. You might not really think about it, but once you start noticing the horses pulling buggies and wagons, it may strike you as interesting that there is no poop on the roads. Well, someone's come up with a very smart idea here, hang a bag beneath the butt and catch whatever may be produced. Easy clean-up, no mess. Now someone needs to come up with a similar thing for dogs.

Emily Carr: 1871-1945

by glabah

An artist and writer concerned with the culture of the First Nations of British Columbia, and thoroughly appreciative of the natural beauty of the place, Emily Carr is probably helped develop the culture of Victoria into what it is today. At the time she was quite progressive in her thinking and her art work, and indeed when her artwork was refused entry to the national gallery of Canada, her response was "If the works of a little old lady on the edge of nowhere is too progressive for the National Art Gallery of Canada, then I guess it can't be too progressive an institution."

Her most well known companion was a pet monkey, but she had a progression of animal companions.

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria has a large collection of her works, and as of this writing has an exhibition of her works, though that will end on June 30, 2013.

This monument to her sits on the corner of Government Street and Belleville Street, on the edge of the grounds of the Victoria Empress Hotel (which is ironic in a way, as Emily Carr and her eccentric tiny travel home in which she camped in the far north of the province would probably NOT be welcome in that most wealthy of Victoria's institutions).


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 Union Club Of British Columbia

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Union Hotel Victoria
Union Hotel British Columbia
Union Club British Columbia Hotel Victoria

Address: 805 Gordon Street, Victoria, British Columbia, V8W 1Z6, Canada