Visiting Victoria & UVic

About UVic

UVic is a mid-sized university with a student population of approximately 25,000 during the academic year. UVic grounds cover some 400 acres and include gardens and protected green space.

We acknowledge with respect the Lekwungen peoples on whose traditional territory the University of Victoria stands, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day. See more.

 

Weather

Victoria enjoys some of the most pleasant weather in Canada. June usually sees a high of 19° C (66° F) and a low of 9° C (48° F). Days tend to be sunny and warm, cooling off considerably in the evening and when windy. It will also be cooler by the water. We recommend bringing layers, as well as sunscreen and a hat. Breezes off the ocean can make you forget how strong the sun is…!

Getting around Victoria

BC Transit provides affordable and convenient bus transportation throughout Victoria. It’s $2.50 one-way or $5.00 for a Day Pass with unlimited rides. Note the bus drivers do not give change. From campus, routes #4, 7, 11, 14, and 15 go downtown. There is no central bus terminal; the main downtown stops are at the corner of Yates and Douglas for #11 and 14; Douglas and View for #4 and 7; and Yates just west of Douglas for #15. Please note that the buses stop running around midnight.

For more information, including transit maps and directions to popular destinations, please visit BC Transit. Remember to do as the locals do and thank your driver when you get off the bus!

Child Care

UVic does not provide childcare for short-term guests. There are local options available for those with children requiring care during DHSI, which require advance planning. Victoria Child Care Resource & Referral provides referrals to childcare providers based on individual needs: http://www.childcarevictoria.org/

Victoria Harbour. Photo by Armon Arani.

Beacon Hill. Photo by Marie-Michèle Bouchard.

Eat & Drink

Below are a few places that people have enjoyed when they’ve come to DHSI in the past, and many of our team enjoy now. Victoria has a pretty good restaurant scene for a city our size. A good entry point into this, beyond what’s below, is via travel guide apps / pages like Tripadvisor (https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restaurants-g154945-Victoria_Victoria_Capital_Regional_District_Vancouver_Island_British_Columbia.html)

On Campus

On-campus food venues are available, although many are closed on the weekends during the summer months. Please  click the links below and see Hours and Locations for details about opening hours.

  • BiblioCafé, McPherson Library: a variety of coffee and specialty drinks, pastries, and light lunch options.
  • The Cove: with a variety of kiosks featuring different cuisines and options.
  • Mystic Market, Jamie Cassels Centre: a diverse range of in-house prepared meals and to-go items.
  • Bean There, Student Union Building: coffee, sandwiches, light lunches, pizza, and baked goods.
  • Mac’s, MacLaurin Building: made to order sandwiches, wraps and salads, daily soups, pastries and other sweets, a wide selection of beverages.
  • Arts Place, Fine Arts Building: speciality coffees and teas, cold beverages, salads, sandwiches, wraps, daily soup, pastries, cakes, and other sweets.
  • SciCafé, Bob Wright Centre, ground floor: pizza, daily soups, sandwiches, wraps, salads, breakfast sandwiches, pastries, other sweets, and assorted beverages including coffee and tea.
  • Nibbles & Bytes Café, Engineering Laboratory Wing, ground floor: light food and drinks
  • Munchie Bar, Student Union Building: Kicking Horse coffee (organic and fair trade) and local baked goods.
  • Starbucks, Bookstore, lower level: coffee, teas, specialty drinks, and baked goods.
  • Felicita’s, Student Union Building: UVic’s campus pub with traditional pub-style food.

The Empress Hotel. Photo by Jasper Garratt.

Jam Café. Photo by Amy Tran.

Off Campus

Pubs & Casual Dining

Vegetarian & Vegan

Late Night (open for dinner until late)

  • Little Jumbo (506 Fort Street): Craft cocktails and small plate dining
  • The Mint (1414 Douglas Street): West Coast fusion and Himalayan cuisine, craft beer, and custom cocktails
  • Irish Times Pub (1200 Government St): the Irish culture with variety of great food, drink and music
  • Clive’s Classic Lounge (740 Burdett Ave): International and European food and cocktails

A Bit More Upscale

  • Il Terrazzo (555 Johnson St): Intimate, candlelit Italian nook with brick fireplaces, patio seating and a notable wine list
  • Zambri’s (820 Yates St): Pasta, pizza, and wine in an eco-conscious building
  • Cafe Brio (944 Fort St): Unpretentious choice for salumi, wine & Italian-leaning meals, made from local ingredients
  • Q at the Empress (721 Government St): Classic, fine dining with a modern twist
  • Wind Cries Mary, (45 Bastion Square): Share plates, west coast fusion, focus on Vancouver Island sources
  • Rudi, (710 Pandora): West coast fusion, experimentation, with solid cocktails
  • Vista 18 at Chateau Victoria (18th Floor, 740 Burdett Ave): Rooftop views in all directions, regional dining experience, fresh seasonal (and usually organic) cuisine – ask for a window seat

High Tea and Coffee

Pendray Tea House (309 Belleville Street, Victoria): A Victorian-style afternoon tea house, offering an array of different flavours from popular Traditional Afternoon Tea and West Coast Tea to Vegan Tea (pre-order only).

The Teahouse (1964 Fairfield Rd. Victoria): exceptional food in a beautiful setting, great Afternoon Tea and Elevenses 

Murchie’s fine tea and coffee (1110 Government Street, Victoria): the Canada’s oldest tea company: retail teas, coffees, hot chocolate, and gourmet food and beverages made on premises to eat in or take out.

See & Do

On Campus (& Nearby)

Needing a bit of quiet time? Try Finnerty Gardens for some relaxing time outdoors. If you’re looking to work, check the Library for its quiet floors with desks, private study rooms, and bookable respite room. 

Johnson St. Photo by Tiplada M.

Fan Tan Alley. Photo by Jasper Garratt.

The Butchart Gardens. Photo by Yuta Koike.

Off Campus

There are a number of heritage and art features “hidden in plain sight” in downtown Victoria. Read about our sidewalk prisms, mechanical clocks, and mosaics, then see how many you can spot when you visit downtown.

Museums, Galleries & Heritage Sites

  • Royal BC Museum (675 Belleville Street): Located right beside the inner harbour, the Royal British Columbia Museum has permanent exhibits on natural and modern history as well as First Nations History.
  • Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (1040 Moss Street): Home to an extensive Emily Carr collection and large Asian art collection, including the only authentic Japanese Shinto shrine in North America.
  • Maritime Museum of British Columbia (634 Humboldt St)
  • Miniature World (649 Humboldt Street)
  • BC Parliament Buildings (501 Belleville Street): The Parliament building is located right by the inner harbour and is impossible to miss. Tours can be booked to see the inside, but one can also easily admire the architecture by exploring the parliament grounds.
  • Victoria’s Chinatown is the oldest in Canada and is home to Fan Tan Alley, the narrowest street in Canada. It’s surrounded by many great alleys and squares.
  • Craigdarroch Castle (1050 Joan Crescent): While it might not be a castle in the European sense, Craigdarroch castle is a Victorian-era Scottish Baronial mansion. Inside and out, it has remained accurate to the era.
  • Inner Harbour: Located downtown right on the water, the Inner Harbour often features buskers, vendors, and food trucks, and provides an amazing view of the fully lit Parliament Building at night.

Gardens, Parks & Natural Sites

  • Butchart Gardens (800 Benvenuto Avenue): Contains several gardens, most notably the sunken garden, rose garden and Japanese garden, and located 23 km north of Victoria.
  • Beacon Hill Park: Just outside the downtown core and contains several walking paths, ponds and statues, and a Children’s Farm. Beacon Hill Park connects to Dallas Road, which has a popular walking path that runs along the water, providing views of the Olympic Mountains.
  • Beaches and Lakes: There are countless stunning spots that people can plan a day for picnicking, swimming, water sports, canoeing, boating or kayaking.
  • Sooke Potholes: Located on the Sooke River approximately 30 minutes outside of Victoria (by car) and home to 50km of trails and many popular swimming spots.
  • Government House (1401 Rockland Avenue): Official residence of the lieutenant governor of British Columbia. The grounds and gardens of the house are open daily to the public.

Shopping — Books & Music

Shopping — Gifts

Entertainment

Fitness

On Campus

 

Off Campus

  • Moksana Yoga: offers Hatha, Flow, Kundalini, Ashtanga, and Yin
  • Galloping Goose Trail: ~60k rails to trails conversion; passes through urban, rural, and semi-wilderness landscapes
  • Mt. Doug Park 
  • Crossfit Zone