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Beacon Hill Park Carriage Tour
"At your chosen tour time meet at the corner of Belleville Street and Menzies Street where you'll hop into your horse-drawn carriage and begin your relaxing tour through Beacon Hill Park the oldest park in Victoria.Your experienced carriage driver will lead you past recently restored St Anne's Academy and deep into the 200-acre (74-hectare) park established in 1882. Hear stories of Victoria's past present and future as you wind down quaint paths and enjoy views of tranquil ponds dotted with stone bridges and engulfed in lush greenery and vibrant flowers. You may even spot some herons!Ride by the famous Empress hotel and Church Of Our Lo established in 1874. Wind your way back through the historical James Bay neighborhood before returning to the carriage stand to conclude your ride. "
From CAD24.00
The Royal Carriage Tour
"This popular tour begins with a breathtaking view of the majestic Empress Hotel overlooking the Inner Harbor with its classic tall ships and sleek sailing vessels. Feel like royalty as you journey past landmark buildings and historic homes. As you enter Beacon Hill Park you will be dazzled with the array of fragrant flowers and delightful duck ponds. You will continue on out to the Dallas Road waterfront passing Mile 0 of the Trans Canada Highway. Here you'll gaze at the splendor of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The rest of your tour will be through the oldest neighborhood in Victoria with an impressive variety of well-mai"""Travel by horse-drawn carriage through many parts of Victoria including Beacon Hill Park and the Dallas Road waterfront. Visit the Mile 0 of the Trans Canada Highway where you will experience the splendor of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca."
From CAD31.00
Victoria Carriage Tour Including James Bay
"At your selected tour time meet at the corner of Belleville Street and Menzies Street across from the Parliament buildings where you'll hop into your horse-drawn carriage and begin your leisurely ride. Sit back relax and enjoy the views as your experienced driver navigates through historic James Bay one of the oldest residential neighborhoods on the West coast of North America. Here you'll admire magnificent architecture of some of Victoria's oldest homes. Breathe in the fresh ocean air as you turn onto the Dallas Road waterfront and gaze at the captivating Olympic Mountains. Ride past the former house of Emily Carr
From CAD17.00

Legislature Buildings Tips (34)


Build it and they will stay, especially when the building is as lavish as the one you find here on the south banks of the Inner Harbour - or so goes some people’s theory anyway. The building was opened in 1898 and is reportedly of Romanesque Revival style. The architect, Francis Rattenburg - an English emigrant - used his success here to cash in on other building projects - the design of the Empress Hotel, for example - both here in Victoria and elsewhere in the province. Atop the central dome is a gold leafed statue of George Vancouver. Queen Victoria sits out across the front lawn shaded by a large redwood tree - there is an obelisk remembering town founder James Douglas on the other side of the tree. A Veterans Memorial and Native totem pole stand on the northern corners of the lawn. Tours of the interior of the Parliament can be taken during the week. A study of British Columbia political history can be said to reflect the building in which the action has taken place - a bit brash and, at times, royal.

mtncorg's Profile Photo
Jul 26, 2016

Fountain outside Provincial legislature Building

If you visit the Provincial legislature Building in Victoria, make sure you walk all the way around it. I liked the fountain on its right hand side.

This fountain had statues of several local animals and information about local history. I have put photos of the animal statues here. There's a photo of the whole fountain on my Provincial legislature Building tip.

IreneMcKay's Profile Photo
Apr 18, 2015

The Provincial Legislature Buildings

One of the first sights we visited in Victoria was the Provincial Legislature Buildings. These ornate, green domed buildings are located next to Victoria's Inner Harbour. They are spectacular both by day and at night when they are lit up.

The Provincial Legislature Buildings were designed by Francis Rattenbury and were complete in 1897 - Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee year. They were officially opened in February 1898.

Tours of the inside of the buildings are apparently available, but we only viewed them from the outside. On the grounds there is a huge totem pole, a statue of Queen Victoria, other statues and fountains.

Francis Rattenbury designed several buildings in Victoria and Vancouver. He was later tragically murdered by his second wife and her young lover.

IreneMcKay's Profile Photo
Apr 18, 2015

BC Parliament buildings

The Parliament buildings are build for the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. First construction started in 1893 and lasted till 1897.

On February 10, 1898 the building was official openend.

In 1972 a 10 year restoration was started.

The buildings can be visited either with a guided tour or a self-guided tour.

Visiting hours:
Summer: Daily: 9AM - 5PM
Winter: Mo-Fr: 9AM - 5PM

pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo
Oct 03, 2012
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Tours of the Legislative Buildings Best Off-Season

[This tip is still undergoing editing. Please check back again soon for additional information being added.]

Tours are offered inside the main building of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia on many days. During the winter months it is only during the weekdays but this expands to all days of the week during the peak tourist season.

Tours are currently free of charge, which makes them one of the best values in Victoria. It is also possible to take your own self-guided tour. However, I highly recommend the guided tour, as I found the tour guide to be able to pointing out many things about the building and grounds that I would not have noticed otherwise.

The reason this is a much better activity in the off-season include that there are fewer other tourists (I was the only person other than the guide for the first part of the tour, until we were joined by two visitors from Germany). However some of the rooms that are most interesting to see are completely closed if the Parliament is sitting. Thus, you get better value for your free admission if you visit in the off-season.

Facing the parliament building from the harbour, there is a huge set of stairs. To the left of this is a small door with a guard standing outside. This is the main public entrance, and it is through here that you need to go to get to the tour office. If it is going to be a little while before the tour starts (there is a sandwichboard sign telling the time of the next tour) you should explore the building a little on your own.

Explore the grounds as you are able to do, as there are some interesting statues and other monuments scattered about in a few places on the grounds as well. This is best done after everyone has gone home or early in the morning on a weekday, as the building is surrounded by busy streets and it is much more enjoyable to explore when there is less traffic around.

On the web site below, hit "Public Education and Visitor Info" on the menu on the left side, and the rest required to get to the tour schedule and open hours should be fairly obvious.

glabah's Profile Photo
Feb 07, 2011

The old Parliament, now Legislature, Buildings

The Legislature Buildings of British Columbia are a majestic and stunning structure that partially dominate the Inner Harbour of Victoria. Built of rough stone and richly decorated in an eclectic mixture of Victorian Gothic, Italianate, and 19th-century Romanesque styles, the buildings are an early masterpiece of Francis Rattenbury, who went on to design many signature buildings in Victoria and elsewhere in Canada, primarily BC. These include the Empress Hotel and part of the Banff Springs Hotel.

WulfstanTraveller's Profile Photo
Oct 10, 2010

The British Colombia Parliament Buildings

The British Colombia Parliament Buildings were approved for construction in 1893 but the original $500,000 approved funds were about a half million dollars short so the finished product did not open until 1898. The impressive monument heralded the arrival of the province with its grand size, use of domes, and a combination of Romanesque Revival and Baroque styles. Designed by Francis Rattenbury, it brought him many commissions including Victoria's other iconic symbol, The Empress Hotel. The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia convenes here.

richiecdisc's Profile Photo
Nov 22, 2009

The BC Legislature Building

This building is certainly one of the architectural highlights of Victoria. Sitting at the south end of Victoria's Inner Harbour, the BC Legislature Building is where all of BC's elected MP's come to have meetings and debates throughout the year. Each elected MP represents about 50,000 people in the province, and it's their responsibity to make sure the people's concerns are heard by the government. The BC Legislature Building is the forum where this takes place.

As a tourist attraction, this building gives you beautiful architecture and gardens, but you can also take a free guided tour which I highly recommend. The tour provides a short history of Victoria and British Columbia, the Canadian government and how the parliamentary system works here, how the BC Legislature building is used, the stories of the architect who designed the building, and the stories behind the stained glass and architectural elements throughout the building.

If you visit in the day time, be sure to come back at night to see the building's facade entirely lit up with thousands of little lights - a beautiful sight indeed!

Carmanah's Profile Photo
Sep 25, 2008

Top 5 Victoria Writers


"Very Victoria"
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"Facing the Weather and the Mountains"
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"A Canadian city with a British twist!"
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"A Trip Home is ALWAYS GREAT !!"
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Amazing architecture!

Parliament Buildings hosts BC's provinvial legislature. It is as big and priminent landmark as the Empress and was designed by Francis Rattenbury also. There are free guided tours of the interior during summer. Take your time to enjoy the exterior and the gardens.

cinthya_in_victoria's Profile Photo
May 02, 2008

Another free attraction!

Here's another one that won't break the bank! There aren't many in Victoria that come under the category of free. But a place you will definitely enjoy visiting is the British Columbia legislature. Tours are offered in multiple languages and they are absolutely free. You will learn not only a little bit of history of Victoria and British Columbia, but you will also get to see some incredible architecture and learn about the system of government used in Canada and British Columbia.

darryl.wilson's Profile Photo
Apr 27, 2008

Seat of the Capital of British Columbia

The Legislature buildings in Victoria are among the nicest ones in all of Canada. Construction began in 1893, partly to prevent the capital from moving back to New Westminster, near Vancouver, and the first session took place in 1898. The buildings were designed by Francis Rattenbury, the same architect who later designed The Empress Hotel; he was only 25 years old when his design was selected for the Provincial Legislature of British Columbia.

Free tours of the buildings are offered daily but I have to admit that of all the Canadian Legislature buildings I have visited (7 so far), this had to be one of the most boring tours. Visitors can only visit the first and second floor of the rotunda, and take a quick look at the chamber (which was initially built for about 45 Members of Parliament and is therefore surprisingly small) through a grid. Because there is so little to see they have tried to include some animation with historical characters, but it's not very interesting. But hey, it's free entertainment so if you're looking for something to do on a rainy day, it's always a good option :o)

Don't forget to walk by the buildings in the evening to see them all lit up!

Jefie's Profile Photo
Jul 07, 2007

Isolating the Powerbase

It seems strange that a state like Brittish Columbia in all it's size would locate its legislature on Vancouver Island. Nevertheless its there.

It's quite a magnificent building. Visitors are quite welcome although I didn't notice any signs for guided tours but I do hear they are offerred.

It would have been more meaningful with a guided tour. Oh well so be it.

ChadSteve1975's Profile Photo
May 16, 2007

Things to Do Near Victoria

Things to Do


Victoria's Chinatown has the distinction of being the oldest Chinatown in Canada. It is the second oldest in North America after San Francisco. Victoria's Chinatown grew up to house the many Chinese...
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Craigdarroch Castle

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City Hall

Victoria City Hall is located on Douglas Street and Pandora Avenue. It was completed in 1890 and was designed by architect John Teague. Outside there was a statue and a memorial to Victoria's...
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Harbour ferries

Well known for its charming city center the picturesque harbor, is a manageable on walking and explore the charming harbor and main city streets without paying for needless tours. The harbor area...
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Fisherman's Wharf

FIsherman's Wharf is Victoria's hidden treasure waiting for discovery! It's so close to downtown, and has a vibrant atmosphere with funky floathomes, fishing vessels and marine life! You get a front...
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Market Square

Market Square dates from the late 1800s. This was a time when Victoria was enjoying rapid growth and prosperity due to all the gold prospectors passing through on their way to seek their fortunes in...
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Getting to Victoria


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