The VREB separates the City of Victoria into Victoria and Victoria West, but they are really both part of the City of Victoria and only differ by the fact that Vic West in on the west side of the Upper Victoria Harbour and one must cross either the Johnson Street Bridge or the Bay Street Bridge to reach Vic West.
Victoria is Western Canada's oldest city and the capital of British Columbia. As such, it is home to the provincial legislature. It boasts a setting of ocean and mountain vistas and offers numerous economic, cultural and recreational opportunities. The Inner Harbour is the heart of Victoria and for many boaters is the gateway to the City of Gardens. The Coho Ferry to Port Angeles is just one of the ferries operating out of the harbour and Harbour Air has a commercial float plane service in the harbour as well. The new Victoria International Marina is just one of several marinas in the harbour area. Bordering the harbour are the Fairmont Empress Hotel, the world-renowned Royal British Columbia Museum and the BC Parliament Buildings.
A main employer of the city is the provincial government but tourism certainly contributes as well to the generous diversity of other businesses. There is a concentration of Victoria professional businesses housed in the central area of the city with a number of commercial businesses often limited to the main floor of these office buildings. The centrally located Bay Centre is a large mall which draws customers from the entire city and helps sustain the surrounding commercial businesses. Good bus service is used by many to shop downtown. There are a number of high-tech businesses in Victoria but they are not just in this central area. They are spread throughout Greater Victoria.
The centre of the city is also filling with a number of substantial condo developments, many still to be completed. All of the neighbourhoods in Victoria are desirable because of their proximity to the city centre. Older homes close-in needing refurbishment are getting harder to find each year. There is an abundance of retirees from across Canada filling both classic older homes and newer condos but many young families and working folk also enjoy the area. On a smaller scale, Victoria has several "villages" which are a tiny concentration of stores and services. Cook Street Village, James Bay Village and Fairfield Centre are examples of this concept which helps city folks get together on a more personal level.
On the northern-most edge of the Victoria municipality sits Mayfair Centre, one of the largest malls in the area. The presence of the mall has assisted in the significant upgrading of the war-times homes in that area. In the northeast corner of the municipality is another major mall Hillside Centre, again surrounded by homes sometimes slightly older but often well renovated. Not far from there to the south and east is the Royal Jubilee Hospital that is one of the main health-care facilities in Greater Victoria. It is also neatly surrounded by a number of well-kept war-time houses.These 3 facilities are examples that contribute to the diverse economic structure of the area.
Victoria has an active Arts community. Places such as the Art Gallery and the Royal Theatre are just two of the top notch facilities used by organizations such as the symphony, opera and the ballet. These are just a sampling of what is active in the city. Most performances are in the down-town area in various locales
There is good proximity to the waterfront and to parks such Beacon Hill Park. The parks include natural areas as well as cultivated areas and sports fields. The close-in Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre has not just a high calibre skating arena but the capacity to hold large-scale international events. Nearby are the Victoria Curling Club, the Crystal Pool and the Royal Athletic Park sports stadium.
The VREB district of Victoria, part of the Core region, is sub-divided into 13 neighbourhoods and the Victoria West district, also part of the Core region, has 2 neighbourhoods. Look at the VREB website to see more details on the neighbourhoods.
For more information on Victoria, visit the web site of the City of Victoria.