Visiting Victoria & UVic

  • About UVic
  • Weather
  • Getting Around Victoria
  • Child Care
  • Eat & Drink
  • See & Do
  • Fitness

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, 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 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

On Campus

On-campus food venues are available, although many are closed on the weekends during the summer months. Most on-campus cafés offer a discount on coffee if you bring your own mug, and will accept credit card, Canadian cash, or debit card for payment. Please click the links for current hours.

  • BiblioCafé, McPherson Library: a variety of coffee and specialty drinks, pastries, and light lunch options.
  • Commons Kitchen, Cadboro Commons Building: made to order grill, salad bar, wraps & sandwiches, fruit, pastries and other sweets, hot coffee, tea & cold drinks. 
  • The Grad House: healthy food, pub fare, gluten-free and vegan-friendly options, as well as local craft beer on tap.
  • 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 and baked goods.
  • 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

  • Rebar (50 Bastion Square): Vegetarian food, local baked goods, and fresh juices
  • Lotus Pond (617 Johnson St): Buddhist restaurant with a variety of vegetarian and vegan options
  • Café Bliss (556 Pandora Ave): “100% organic, 100% raw, 100% vegetarian and vegan, 100% wheat and gluten free, 100% fresh and local ingredients, 100% made with love.”

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
  • Vista 18 at Chateau Victoria (18th Floor, 740 Burdett Ave): Seasonal, organic cuisine at a chic harbourview rooftop eatery

Fine Dining

  • 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
  • Eva (509 Fisgard St): Modern schnitelhaus
  • 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

Pubs & Casual Dining

Blue Fox Cafe (101-919 Fort Street): Famous for their eggs benny, beef burgers, and hand cut fries

Floyd’s Diner (332 Menzies Street): Great breakfasts in a retro greasy-spoon atmosphere

Jam Café (542 Herald Street): Sweet or savoury all-day breakfast in Old Town Victoria

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.
  • 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.
  • Thetis Lake: Located about 15-20 minutes outside of Victoria, Thetis Lake holds a number of different walking trails that provide scenic views of the lake, which is also swimmable.
  • 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): Alyssa’s favourite gardens in the city.

Shopping — Books & Music

Shopping — Gifts

Entertainment

Fitness

On Campus

CARSA Complex: large gym/weight room, drop-in court space, climbing wall, spin classes and aerobics

On 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