These gardens are beautiful, free and not crowded with tourists. The 36 acre gardens are open every day from dawn to dusk. The Victorian homes on Rockland Avenue are well worth seeing too. Government House is the home of the Lieutentant Governor of the Province. He is the Queen's representative. Government House located at 1401 Rockland Ave.
You will find lots of cute bunnies running around the place and they are not afraid of humans. Even though Uvic is not a turistic place, I found it very convenient for its bookstore as they have very interesting books. If you like going to the movies at a reasonable price, go to Cincenta (www.cinecenta.com). Some events are held during the year and are free, specially on weekends.
If your kids like bunny rabbits, UVic is the place to go. There is a major rabbit control problem, and the campus has hundreds of bunnies that aren't afraid of students (although they should be- one UVic student is heading to court this June for beating a rabbit to death). Honestly I don't think there is much else to see here... Finnerty Gardens are nice but small (most plants are labelled). Clearihue Building is consistently voted one of Victoria's ugliest buildings. I don't like seeing movies at Cinecenta because there is hardly any slope to the floor and it's hard to see over the person above you. If you have kids though, it could be nice to take the bus to UVic and then walk down Sinclair Hill towards the ocean, where a giant replica of the Cadborosaurus (local "mythic" sea creature) and other large play structures await on the beach. There are some nice places to grab lunch right by the beach- try Olive Olios.
3800 Finnerty Avenue is the main address for the university. It is accessible via bus #4, #7, #26, #51, #14, # 11 and #39.
bacon_girl's tip is right on I just wanted to add that if you'd like to see what's playing at Cincenta check out www.cinecenta.com - they really do get very interesting movies and they have kids matinees on weekends during the school year (September through April).
You also should check out the UVIC webpage as some amazing things happen at UVIC and they're usually free and open to the public. Last week I went up and listened as Jeff Mallett (local boy made good, former COO at Yahoo!) answered questions put to him by students for an hour and a half. Check out http://events.uvic.ca/ for more details.
If you're not quite so young (like me) you may enjoy the Grad Lounge (just to the left of the Student Union Building when you stand with your back to the Bookstore - the SUB is the big building across the road) which has decent snacks and really cheap locally brewed beer.
The Finnerty Gardens are wonderful as is the chip trail that wanders its way around the campus. If you are a bird watcher take your binoculars - you're sure to be pleased you did. I often go birdwatching there and see pileated woodpeckers, Anna's hummingbirds, warblers, chickadees, Coopers Hawks and - if lucky - great horned owls.
Mystic Vale is another gorgeous walk - find the entrance to it off of parking Lot 1 which is across Ring Road from the Elliott Building (the building with the observatory on top of it).
The University of Victoria is almost 40 years-old.
Yes, yes, I know, in Europe there are 700 years-old universities ... but in North America, this is a lot.
You may see the totem pole in the image. They are very common in the North West.
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