30 Apr, 2009

The Gentle City of Victoria


On the southernmost tip of Vancouver Island, the capital of British Columbia, Victoria is a popular tourist destination. With over 360 million visitors each year, the tourist industry accounts for more than a billion dollars of the cities economy. With several cruise ship lines porting at Ogden Point and many cultural exhibits, the cities tourist industry is vital for its survival. Also home to the Canadian Force Base Esquimalt, it reaps in the benefits of its nearby presence.

While originally home to several groups of local people, notably the Songhees, Victoria really came into is own during the Fraser Canyon Gold rush in the 1850’s. Becoming a major center for supplies as well as a base for shipping, the population of the area sky rocketed. The island officially joined Canada in 1866 and the city was named the capital of British Columbia. The city suffered a lose after the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway which terminated near Vancouver, however with a singular goal, the city strove to become a much gentler place and focused on the arts and culture.

It topography was primarily formed by glaciers. Its climate is considered Marine West Coast and it has the typical damp but mild winders and mild and dry summers. It is a fairly temperate coastal town.

Victoria’s economy is primarily based on tourism, but technology, education and governmental administration is also important. Unfortunately, because it s climate is relatively warm, considering the clime of the rest of Canada, it is home to well over 2000 homeless people. The city has developed a program to assist the homeless. Built on a farm, homeless people are given 2 – 5 years to recover and learn skills to keep them off the streets.

With a climate and topography based on the glaciers that formed it, the city is known for its scenic views of the Pacific. Tourism, focused primary around the cruise lines porting in the city is a major contributor to Victoria’s economy.

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