Saturday, November 9, 2019

Victoria, BC ~ Royal Roads University ~ November Sights

An early November visit to Victoria, BC may offer a variety of weather and sights but we were able to enjoy some sunshine that offers the best of great fall colors among the many tree lined streets.  We did see some clouds but they didn’t stay long and views were spectacular.

Cedar Hill Links
The morning mist covers the nearby golf course giving a peaceful view.  The heron stands at the edge of the pond which allows a reflection of him on the rippled water.  Ducks and geese visit the course regularly, too.  Unobstructed morning sunrises are amazing.

My-Chosen Cafe
Our grandson chose a great place to enjoy lunch at.  My-Chosen CafĂ© has originality, an outdoor Critter Corner for the big and little ones to enjoy, a pizza place, a Sugar Shack for desserts and the best lunches we’d had in awhile.  It was very busy with great service, definitely a very popular spot for great reasons.

Hatley Castle
This is the Hatley Park National Historic Site.  It sits on the waterfront and is home to Royal Roads University, with this being their main campus in Colwood.   Previous to it becoming a public degree-granting university in 1995, it was the Royal Roads Military College since 1940 when it was commissioned to train reserve officers for WW2.  There is now a small Canadian Military Museum in the lower level of the Hatley Castle.

Royal Roads University
The Hatley Castle was originally built in 1908 for the wealthy James Dunsmuir who was the Premier of BC at that time.  Once he and his wife had passed away, the family sold this to the federal government in 1940 who planned it to be the home of the Royal Family when the war broke out.  The royal family didn’t make that move so it then became the Military College which Queen Elizabeth did visit in 1983.

Victoria wildlife
We did see quite a variety of wildlife while in Victoria.  The giant Mammoth with a young one is a driftwood sculpture by Alex Witcombe and sits on the Royal Beach Park.  The peacock was one of five who live at Royal Roads University.  This deer was one of many that we saw on our drives around the city.  They have a large population of deer here.  Deer can be seen near our home, too, but we sure don’t have any peacocks or mammoths.

Gonzales Observatory
The weather station was built in 1914 and was known as the Gonzales Observatory.  It recorded weather and took seismic and astronomical readings.  Environment Canada abandoned the building in 1989.  It was then purchased in 1992 and turned into a wilderness park that covers 1.75 hectares.  The views are great from up here.

Victoria International Marina
 A nice walk around the waterfront is a definite must when in Victoria.  Waterfront offers several large apartment buildings for residents to enjoy the unobstructed views from.   This marina is the first luxury built marina in Canada.  It offers “world class moorage, concierge service and superior amenities” for the wealthy to enjoy.  This is a quiet time of the year for boat trips but apparently they’re very busy in the summertime.

Seagull serenity
Victoria offers so many opportunities to sit by the water and enjoy the serenity it can offer.  There are miles of beaches, several rocky viewpoints, grassy parks and also paths that follow some of the bay’s waterfront to be walked, run or cycled.  

Ross Bay Graveyard

Victoria is rich in history, it is the second oldest city in Western Canada and became incorporated as a city in 1862.  Ross Bay Cemetery was opened in 1872 and is the oldest surviving formal landscape design in BC. This cemetery became the final resting place for many famous people, including Emily Carr, Billy Barker, Sir James Douglas who was the first governor in BC, as well as many premiers who followed him.

With only two days to spend in Victoria visiting wonderful friends and our incredible grandson, we were lucky to be able to see so many great sights that Victoria offers.  Not enough time to do it all but we sure enjoyed what we did see.  Until next time……..


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