Category: Victoria

John’s Place on Pandora

About three years ago I compiled a list of breakfast spots in Victoria that I wanted to try. (See This year I lucked out and we got a seat at the popular John’s Place at 723 Pandora Ave in downtown Victoria. It’s a funky place that opening in 1984. The walls are covered with memorabilia of all sorts with a focus on sports. You could look at the walls all day. Our server was a feisty lady who quite wisely recommended a lavender latte to my wife and daughter, which they thoroughly enjoyed. My son is a smoothie snob […]

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The Empress Hotel Renovations

What do you think of the renovations to the Empress Hotel in Victoria? On our recent trip to Victoria, we wanted to walk through the Empress Hotel to see what’s changed after it’s 60 million dollar renovation. (See It’s a significant change but the stately and grand nature of the place is still there. You now enter through a different entrance with high ceilings and a crazy chandelier. Where you have tea seems unchanged but it’s the front that really strikes you. Here’s the current new exterior. The main feature in the old exterior was the endless ivy. Of […]

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Chateau Victoria

We stayed at the Chateau Victoria this past New Year’s and it was a functional choice in a fantastic location. It’s on Burdett Ave with an interesting topography due to it being on the side of a hill. When I was using’s link for Victoria, it showed me square footage for the various choices. This was important for me and Chateau Victoria was consistently showing more space than others. We had a suite with a queen bed and another room with another queen and a pull out. This served our family of four well. We did not have time […]

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The Blue Fox Cafe in Victoria

At while ago I complied a list of Victoria breakfast places and I’ve been meaning to actually try them all. Eventually. We lucked out on a Wednesday morning and squeaked into the Blue Fox Café on Fort Street in downtown Victoria. It’s a smallish place and rather popular. A couple of years ago, when we were compiling the list, the line-up was too big and we did not try. It was worth the wait, even though it was a three-year wait. The staff is attentive and they managed to squeeze us into a table. We had arrived around 10:30 AM […]

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BC Ferries is funny peculiar

BC Ferries is a funny entity. My view has been if you offer reservations, it should be for most of the boat. I was travelling on a July Saturday and knew it was busy because I could not reserve from their online system. I wanted the 9 AM sailing and so I planned to be out the door by 7 AM, assuming a 45-minute drive to Tsawwassen where the ferry terminal to Victoria is. Traffic was light so I made in in 40 minutes and I subsequently was loading onto the 8 AM sailing. This was a surprise considering a […]

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Shopping in Oak Bay, near Victoria

You might be forgiven if you thought Oak Bay were in Victoria BC. On a bad day it’s 10 minutes from downtown Victoria, but despite its modest size, it has its own police department. Given that Oak Bay is 10.5 sq km and Victoria is 19.5 to sq km, it seems odd. I suspect that this jurisdictional isolation has allowed Oak Bay to retain its character and not be subsumed into the larger municipalities. Oak Bay is also home to The Uplands, a very swishy neighbourhood to the north-east. If you walk high street (i.e Oak Bay Ave) there are […]

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Bon Sushi in Oak Bay, Victoria

In Victoria, in the Oak Bay neighbhourhood, there is a sushi restaurant called “Bon Sushi” on 1467 Hampshire Rd. I went for dinner with a few people and I have to say I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was one of those really hot summer days where nobody wants to cook so the restaurant was very full. However, we managed to get a table outside in a small amount of time which was very nice. The service was friendly and relatively quick. Since it was so hot outside, I was most definitely not in the mood for any hot […]

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Queen’s Park Victoria

Oak Bay in Victoria is a beautiful place with lots of lovely water views. There are many small parks along the vista, one of them being Queens Park. It is a small viewpoint with a piece of public artwork, a series of wolves and a deer made out of metal. And, although that was fun to look at, my favorite part of the park is it’s old swing. Now, I am not referring to some ordinary swing, this swing is built for four people and you push its floor with your feet for momentum. It’s quite calming and a lovely […]

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Origin’s Bakery in Victoria

Recently, I have been experimenting with a Gluten-Free diet, mainly out of curiosity, just to see how I feel. However, the does mean that I can’t visit all my favorite bakeries as much as I’d love to. As I am currently staying in Victoria I was pointed in the direction of Origin’s Bakery, 1525 Pandora Ave. “Specializing in Gluten Free.” Apparently it is rather popular on the island. I went in around 4:00 in the afternoon and right away I could tell they’d had a good day of sales. There were obvious gaps on shelves where baked goods had been […]

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Miniature World in Victoria BC

Victoria has plenty to see for all members of the family, museums, art galleries, gardens, churches… Miniature World is a category all on its own. Located at 649 Humboldt St., Miniature World is just around the corner from Victoria’s most famous Fairmont Empress Hotel. A Victoria attraction for over 40 years, it has over 80 displays depicting various events in history, doll houses, scenes from old story books and even a peek into Space 2201. Some displays have buttons that highlight a section, or make characters or objects move. The attention to detail in facial expressions, costumes, ground cover, cobble […]

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