Victoria is a world-class city with stunning gardens and parks, elegant hotels, and historic landmarks. Many of which were constructed in the early nineteenth century. It has the right combination of old-world charm and contemporary amenities. The following list highlights a handful of Victoria’s must-see historical sites. Given the abundance of options, these are some of our favorites.
Ross Bay Cemetary
St. Ann's Academy
Pass through the wrought-iron gate, stroll along the driveway, ascend the grand staircase, and enter the former school’s formal entrance. Explore the parlors from the 1920s before stepping into the chapel. Originally Victoria’s first Roman Catholic Cathedral, it was constructed in 1858, relocated, and incorporated into the school in 1886. Resembling numerous rural French Canadian churches, it features an intricate altar and ceiling carvings. You will also notice gilded detailing, original oil paintings, stained glass windows, and a 1913 Casavant pipe organ. Adjacent to the chapel’s side entrance lies the magnificent Novitiate garden. It boasts a geometric herb bed, perennial plants, and a meticulously recreated 1925 summerhouse. Additionally, the formal garden established in 1910 at the property’s northwest corner hosts rare trees and remnants of a distinctive fountain.
Winter Hours (September to Mid-May): St. Ann’s Academy welcomes visitors from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm every Saturday and Sunday.
Summer Hours (May Long Weekend to Labour Day): We are open Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm (additional hours to be determined). Please refer to the note below regarding access.
Important Note on Public Access: If your visit requires the use of an elevator, please contact the office at 240-883-1824 to arrange a suitable viewing time.
Please be aware that full access may be restricted at times due to rental functions, especially during holiday seasons and summer.
Dynamic Programming and Rental Functions: St. Ann’s Academy is a vibrant site with a diverse range of interpretation programs and rental events. Each year, we host over 120 wedding rentals and numerous festivals and events, attracting more than 30,000 visitors who engage in formal programs, attend theater, music, and dance performances, or celebrate weddings and public festivals.
Call Ahead: To ensure we are fully open and to address any inquiries, we recommend calling ahead, especially if you plan to visit on a weekend or summer afternoon. Our outdoor grounds are accessible from dawn to dusk, with occasional exceptions for summer festivals.
Contact Information: Phone: 250-953-8829 Office Cell: 250-883-1824
Helmcken House One of the Oldest Homes in Victoria
The Ornate Provincial Legislative Buildings
Step inside the Legislative Buildings, the esteemed residence of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. Here is where elected representatives—known as Members of the Legislative Assembly or MLAs—convene to sculpt the province’s future through discourse and legislation. The building features extensive corridors, lavishly adorned chambers, and majestic ceilings. The building is open for public tours.
This is the most ornate of the 6 Must See Historical Landmarks in Victoria. This location is for the whole family and if you are histroy buff don’t miss it.
You can tour the grounds at any time.
The building is open for visits Monday – Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Discover Bastion Square
The final area of the 6 Must See Historical Landmarks in Victoria is Bastion Square. It is a pedestrian thoroughfare, stretches between the 1100 and 1200 blocks of Wharf Street to the west and the 1100 and 1200 blocks of Government Street to the east.
Once integral to Victoria’s bustling commercial hub in the 19th century, Bastion Square is adorned with numerous historic buildings from that era.