Victoria is the capital city in the province of British Columbia and is the oldest city within Western Canada. The area was home to some communities of Coast Salish peoples, including the Songhees prior to being settled during the 1700's. Its name was selected in honor of Queen Victoria, and when Vancouver Island's crown Colony was created during the year 1849, the town was planned on the site and became the capital of the colony. Songhee's village was then transferred to Esquimalt. For the majority of the 19th century, Victoria became one of the largest city in British Columbia, and became among the leading commerce and trade players in the nation. Nevertheless, with the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway terminus on Burrard Inlet, the City of Vancouver became the commercial hub of British Columbia. In the 20th century, Victoria transformed into a city of retirement, tourism and government. It has a projected four hundred thousand residents, with a moderate climate and beautiful surroundings which makes a relaxing life for its residents.
The main urban green space of the city is Beacon Hill Park, situated near the southern shore of Victoria. This area consists of a petting zoo, playing fields, manicured gardens, exotic species of plants and animals such as wild peacocks, and fantastic sceneries of the Olympic Mountain Range and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Victoria even has Garry Oak Meadow habitat, an ecosystem which once dominated the region. Downtown, Victoria consists of National Geographic Theatre, Royal British Columbia Museum/MAX, Victoria Police Department, Christ Church Cathedral, the British Columbia Legislative Buildings and the Empress Hotel. There is even Craigdarroch Castle, Butchart Gardens, and Vancouver island's golf courses.
There are a lot of major shopping malls, shops and local markets found in Victoria for those residents and visitors who love shopping. The layout of the city helps to encourage exploration in several side streets at a leisurely pace. Government Street shows the cities apparent British heritage, displaying numerous trinkets, gifts and souvenirs. From bone china from England to Irish lace, to tartans from Scotland, to handmade chocolates or cups of coffee, individuals would definitely find something precious to give to someone. One more best-kept secret for shoppers is the Trounce Alley, where European fashions and gift shops await the individuals who shop. Across the street is the Bastion Square, that consists of many restaurants and shops to pick from. It's likewise good to visit the Market Square. It has forty merchants that provide the very best selections of specialty shops. For antique lovers, they could visit Antique Row to find furniture, rare china, toys, and other trinkets.
Victoria's main businesses are technology, education, federal, provincial government administration/services, and tourism. Sectors of the Greater Victoria area consist of: online book publishing, technology products, light aircraft manufacturing, food products manufacturing, banking and investment, various public and private schools, several high tech firms in engineering, pharmaceuticals, computer, telecommunications and architecture. The Victoria Advanced Technology Council is a partnership between industry and education that promotes high tech trade growth in the region of Victoria.