Ever since taking a class on Canadian geography when I wanted to be a high school social studies teacher (yes, my school totally had a Canadian geography class) I’ve wanted to visit ANYWHERE in Canada. And so I was pretty excited when Erin submitted her interview for WILW. After reading all that Erin had to say, I must admit I want to come visit her! Enjoy!
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
How long have you lived there? Since I was born! My mom is from here and my dad is Newfoundland, on the East coast of Canada. They were living in NF when my mom got pregnant with me, and they moved back to BC soon after.
If you moved from somewhere else, where did you move from? Why? n/a
What’s the climate like? Very mild. We don’t often get snow. When we do, it is a major news story. Everyone freaks out and rushes off to buy snow shovels and big bags of salt! We’re right by the ocean (it is an island, after all!) so we get lovely breezes throughout the summer and love to spend days at the beach. We have a fantastically long growing season. Victoria is known as The Garden City, thanks to all our blooms.
What are some of your favorite things to do during a typical weekend where you live? We live in a suburb of Victoria, about 25 minutes from downtown. It’s a really up-and-coming part of town, with lots to do. My hubby and I like to take the kids to Starbucks, and for long walks or bike rides on one of many nearby trails (in the summer we stop for buckets full of blackberries). We like to go out for lunch somtimes on a Saturday or to rec centre for a swim. The one thing we do pretty much every weekend is work in our garden. There’s always something new to be planted, and weeds to keep on top of! (we have a big vegetable garden, and this year we’re hoping for lots of fruit too).
What are some of your favorite restaurants in your town/city? Favorite shops? I love Pagliacci’s, a tiny Italian place right downtown. They make the most amazing foccaccia bread ever. I’m also rather fond of having afternoon tea at The White Heather Tea Room in Oak Bay. The scones with preserves and cream are divine (and I love how everyone gets a unique- and beautiful- teacup).
As far as shops go, I am a real lover of books and stationery. We have an old bookstore not far from the harbour, called Munros Books (owned by the family of Canadian author Alice Munro) that I could while away the hours in. I love The Papery for writing paper, cards, ribbons… Lazy Susan’s has fun vintage postcards, clothing and handmade jewelery.
Suggest some must see places for an out of town visitor. Victoria is a great place for tourists, and a popular destination year-round. The Butchart Gardens are beautiful, and their summer fireworks shows are fantastic. I love the inner harbour and the causeway for wandering along with a cold drink. You can browse the fancy shops in the Empress Hotel, then walk across the street to check out the Parliament Buildings, then walk up Government Street to look in all the little shops (be sure to stop at Rogers Chocolates!) Definitely drive along Dallas Road to see the ocean and the Olympic Mountains. I’d also recommend driving up-island to see Cathedral Grove and some of the biggest and oldest trees in the world.
Tell us why you love your town/city. It’s clean, the people are friendly, we have great parks and beaches, fabulous bookstores, good weather… I like the old heritage buildings and the fabulous green spaces. It’s a very family-friendly city. I’m glad my kids are growing up here. I love living near the sea. Nothing smells better than the salt in the air when you come home from a long trip away…
Anything else we should know about where you live? We have some pretty great festivals and fun events here throughout the year. There’s never a shortage of fun things to see and do. You should definitely come visit. We’re only about 90 minutes from Vancouver by ferry.
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