2017Jun05 • Monday
Vancouver, BC, Canada • Day 10
09:42 Good morning from Auntie Judy’s room. Woke up bright and early, because the bed was just too comfortable, yeah, way TOO comfy. Almost felt i was sinking in and couldn’t climb outta bed, not a good feeling when you’re actually looking forward to the day! Auntie Judy was awake even earlier and made breakfast pancakes with maple syrup, almost wished i had some, but brekkie today was something i really REALLY looked forward to!
10:07 Set off!
10:41 – 11:16 Blue Fox. There was quite a line up, which had totally slipped our mind, but a server came out every once in awhile to update progress, and give us a peace of mind that things were moving and that we were appreciated guests for patiently waiting.
Blue Fox hours: 07:30-16:00
Eggs Delmonico $14.95 (Wild smoked salmon, fresh arugula, red onion, capers, lemon basil aioli) and a Butter chicken benny $14.95 (housemade butter chicken, fresh cilantro, crispy batter fried onion garnish) a Maple mocha and a Hot chocolate(?).
13:13 Mayfair mall.
Address: 3147 Douglas St, Victoria, BC V8Z 6E3, Canada
Opened since 1963, and one of the largest fashion mall located in Victoria BC and offers over 120 retailers and restaurants. It’s one of my favourite malls to hang out in because of it’s massive amount of parking space. This time however, as we drove by on Douglas Street, I almost thought they were closing down with the entire facade covered in renovation, luckily it was still open and although they were also doing minor floor repairs and all the Douglas side exits were boarded up. Had a quick look around at some of my favourite stores but didn’t do many because a lot were also available at Metrotown, Vancouver BC.
14:15 Sprott Shaw
Address: 2621 Douglas St, Victoria, BC V8T 4M2, Canada
A private education institute for over a 100 years. It was not initially on my list of must-see until as we drove along Douglas Street and saw a familiar face…
14:31 Phil Nealy, one of the best co-ordinators I’ve ever had, he was so helpful when i was still contemplating studying nursing. Through all the difficulties at school and placement, as I was job hunting, and even to this very day he’s still giving me tips and assistance and a kind words of encouragement! (Almost breaks my heart to think that I’ll be on a very different career path soon…)
14:43 Downtown Victoria. One of my must go places in Victoria, just wanted to wander around the Inner Harbour and area, so we parked further up along Blanshard (?) where parking was free for one to two hours and less crowded.14:55 British Columbia Parliament Building. Address 501 Bellville Street, Victoria, BC V8V 2L8, Canada
Unknown to many people, the capital of British Columbia is Victoria and not Vancouver despite it’s population, hence British Columbia Parliament buildings are located in Victoria BC, sitting on Bellville Street and facing the Inner Harbour and diagonally across from the Empress Hotel. It’s building is in Neo-baroque style with a statue of Queen Victoria on its front lawn and a statue of a soldier to commemorate those lost in WWI, WWII and Korean War. Atop the central dome is a gold covered statue of Captain George Vancouver.
From 1856 to 1860, the Legislature of Colony of Vancouver Island met at Bachelor’s Hall at Fort Vancouver
From 1860 to 1898, the first permanent building at Legislative Hall of Legislative Council Court was a two-storey wooden building notoriously drafty and leaky during wet weather, along with four other buildings, Land Office, Colonial Office, Supreme Court, and Treasury, were known colloquially as “The Birdcages” because of their shape and burnt down in 1957.
From 1893, the Parliament Buildings Construction Act authorised by the provincial legislature for construction of a new Parliament building. The province was anxious to commemorate its growing economic, social and political status, held an architectural competition. Francis Rattenbury, a recent English immigrant 25 years old, entered the contest and signed his drawings with the pseudonym “A B.C. Architect” in the first round and “For Queen and Province” for the second round, eventually winning the contest.
From 1989, began the operation of British Columbia Parliament buildings, despite many problems including an exceeding budget of $923,000 from the original $500,000. It’s great success of being an innovative and impressive monument for the young province was contributed by it’s grand scale of 152 metre long andesite facade, central dome and two end pavilions, the richness of it’s white marble and communication of Baroque rigorous symmetry, use of domes and sculptural massing with the rusticated surfaces of the currently popular Romanesque Revival style. It’s success also garnered Rattenbury more commissions in Victoria and other parts of the province, such as the Legislative Library (constructed between 1913-1915), Empress Hotel, Crystal Gardens indoor swimming pool nearby, Vancouver Court House (now Vancouver Art Gallery).
There are free guided tours of the facility offered all year round.
15:09 Royal BC museum
Address: 675 Belleville Street, Victoria, BC V8W 9W2, Canada
The Royal British Columbia Museum was founded in 1886 and by BC government in response to prominent citizens’ petition concerned about the loss of British Columbian natural products and native artifacts, including Judge Matthew Bailkie Begbie, Charles Semlin, William Fraser Tolmie, and former Premier, George A. Walkem wanted European and American museums from exporting BC artefacts, particularly First Nations artifacts as “their loss (was) frequently irreparable”. The Royal BC museum consist of natural and human museums, as well as the British Columbia Provincials Archives. The “Royal” title was approved by Queen Elizabeth II and bestowed by HRH Prince Philip in 1987 to coincide with the royal tour of that year. The museum merged with BC Provincial Archives in 20013.
15:12 Victoria Inner harbour, one of the most beautiful harbours in the world, in the centre of this heritage city within walking distance of its historic buildings, recreational vessels and cruise ships dock here, there’s whale watching and ecotourism business, it’s the focus of summer events such as festivals and music shows.
The Peace Tulip Garden. A lasting commemoration in honour of the Canadian troops who liberated the netherlands, individually, each flower represents a memory; collectively, they represent the effort of all Canadians and the resulting friendship with the Dutch. October 14, 1995.
15:38 The Fairmont Empress Hotel
Address: 721 Government St, Victoria BC V8W 1W5, Canada
The Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria BC is one of the oldest and most famous hotels in Victoria, opened in January 20th, 1908, and designated a National Historic Site of Canada since 1981.
The Edwardian, château style hotel was designed by Francis Rattenbury for Canadian Pacific Hotels as a terminus hotel for Canadian Pacific steamship line then remarketed as a tourist resort as Victoria emerged as a tourist destination beginning in the mid-to-late 1920s. The hotel was built between 1904 and 1908 and opening for service that year, additional wings were added between 1909 and 1914 and in 1928. The Empress hosted kings, queens, movie stars and many famous people; Edward, Price of Wales, waltzed till dawn in its Crystal Ballroom; Shirley Temple arrived accompanied by her parents amid rumours that she fled from California because of kidnapping threats; King George VI and Queen Elizabeth attended a luncheon on May 30th 1939. For many years, the hotel did not have a sign above the front entrance,
The hotel has 477 rooms, with most rooms either overlooking the Inner Harbour or the rear courtyard gardens. It has four restaurants, Q at the Empress, Q bar with breathtaking view of the inner harbour, Lobby Lounge which serves the world renowned Tea at the Empress, and The Veranda a seasonal restaurant located under the famous The Empress sign. The hotel has gym facilities, a whirlpool bath, indoor swimming pool, Willow Stream Spa added in 2002 is renowned as world’s best spa. The Victoria Conference Centre added during the 1989 renovation, built on the parking lot behind the hotel, and the hotel provides catering for the conference centre.
15:42 Victoria Downtown
Downtown Victoria is rated as an extremely popular place for tourists and locals for its vibrant urban neighbourhood, walkable shopping area, and thriving entertainment district for the city and surrounding region. There are many tourist attractions such as The Bay Centre shopping mall located in the middle of downtown; Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, located on the site of the former Victoria Memorial Arena, is the largest sports entertainment multiplex on Vancouver Island and is the second largest in British Columbia outside of the Greater Vancouver area; Bastion Square, heart of the 19th century city’s professional district; Centennial Square next to Victoria City Hall, used for small venue events such as the Electronic Music Festival which takes place during the same time as BC Day statutory holiday and Symphony Splash; Market Square, towards the northwest end of downtown, used for small venue concerts and festivals, containing shopping establishments and eateries is part of the city’s “Old Town”; and just beyond that is the cultural and historic Chinatown which forms part of the northern end of downtown Victoria and has a colorful Chinese historical past from the early days of Victoria. Downtown contains most of Greater Victoria and Capital Regional District’s urban high rise office tower, including multinational banks, government agencies, private agencies, and recently many expensive large condominium complexes.Like in Toronto, Chicago and New York, many previous heritage and commercial buildings are being converted to residential “for sale” condominiums to attract more residents to downtown and increase permanent resident base and support downtown economy, such as The Janion by Reliance Properties and 595 Pandora by Cielo Properties.
16:04 Royal London Wax Museum
Address: 470 Belleville Street, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8V 1W9
17:14 Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal. Thought we’d missed the 17:00 one and could take the 18:00 one? Hah~ this is Victoria we’re talking about, and there is no 18:00 sailing, so the next available one was 19:00, and we had almost two hours to kill at the terminal, with only a simple (but expensive) Triple O’s / White Spot food court. Thankfully, outside had two hotdog stands and some trinket and homemade clothing store.
18:54 on ferry
21:37 home for dinner