The Inner Harbour

Victoria’s Inner Harbour is really the birthplace of Victoria City and probably one of the most beautiful harbours in the world! It`s situated in the heart of Downtown Victoria running along the waterfront parallel to Wharf street between Laurel Point and Songhees Point in Victoria West.

Abundant and magnificent in nature with blooming flowers, palms, trees and other greeneries alongside gorgeous boats and yachts makes the walk on the harbor an unforgettable experience.

Attractions around the Inner Harbour
Just a few blocks from the Inner Harbour, passersby will find many destinations and attractions such as:

  • Empress Hotel – where one can visit for an afternoon tea;
  • BC Museum – will allow you to plunge yourself into local history;
  • The Bay Shopping Centre – will bring you back to modern day with a full suite of shops to explore;
  • BC Parliament Building – steeped in all its history and beautiful architecture is a must see.

Inner Harbour Attractions
Simply walking along the Inner Harbour, time passes by with loads of places to explore:

  • Hotels,
  • Cafes,
  • Restaurants,
  • Shops,
  • Card Ride with knowledgeable and experienced driver you will be enjoying the tour in a gorgeous horse-drawn carriage,
  • Watch the Whales with local certified naturalists you will get immersed into the marine world of whales, sea lions, porpoises, seals and other adorable marine animals and birds.
  • Street Musicians and Local Artists.

During the summer season, the Inner Harbour is the focus for special activities:

  • Buskers,
  • Festivals,
  • Variety of shows,
  • Live music performances.

Water Tours from Inner Harbour
Being home to the local seaplane airport provides a unique opportunity to take an air tour to explore Greater Victoria – from Sidney to the strait of Juan de Fuca.  Then you can land back in the Inner Harbour or decide to take a flight straight to the famous Butchart Gardens. Whether you’re looking to fly up island to see Nanaimo or Comox or you’re just in a hurry to get to Whistler or Vancouver for a business trip, the Victoria seaplane airport is a great departure point.

These pretty little taxi boats with their knowledgeable guides will offer visitors a quick introduction to:

  • Gorge Waterway
  • Upper, Inner, Middle and Outer Harbour
  • Shore of the James Bay
  • Esquimalt
  • Victoria West

The Harbour also serves as an international ferry terminal with connections to Port Angeles, Bellingham and Seattle and has a border agency office.

Brief History of Victoria’s Inner Harbour
Unbelievable as it may sound, it wasn’t that many years ago when no dock actually existed in this area. The Harbor was originally the area of the Lekwungen First Nations who plied its protected waters and fished using their own handmade canoes. James Douglas arrived in 1843 and decided to choose this site for a new Hudson’s Bay Company, eventually calling it Fort Tectoria. Its wooden walls stood along the rocky shore overlooking the beautiful site.

Travelling to Inner Harbour

If you want to explore Inner Harbour, the closest parking is the City of Victoria parking lot just near the harbour waterfront off Wharf Street – $3 an hour maximum 90 minutes (1.5 hour)

The most convenient long term parking is in the City of Victoria located in the parkade at 820 Courtney (under the library):

  • First hour is free
  • Parking is $2 an hour thereafter (billed in 15 minute increments)
  • Evening parking is free Monday to Saturday, from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m.
  • Parking is free all day on Sundays and holidays.

Taking a bus to Inner Harbour

  • Langford – #50
  • Colwood – #52 & #59 then transfer to #50 at Western Exchange Bay 1
  • Sooke – #61
  • Oak Bay – #2 or #7
  • Saanich – # 30, 31
  • Sidney/Schwartz Bay/Airport – #72 or 70

Make sure you’ve got some cash with you to pay for the bus:

  • $2.50 / fare
  • $5.00 / day pass
  • Kids under 5 years old – free,
  • Multiple tickets and monthly passes available through BC Transit vendors.