Harbour people, places, and stories…

Victoria's Greatest Story

Harbour people, places, and stories…
Harbour people, places, and stories… 2018-04-21T10:23:01+00:00
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The Victoria Harbour History Project is grateful for the generous support of the City of Victoria, Black Ball Ferry Line, Clipper Vacations, Harbour Air, Point Hope Shipyards, The International Marina and Victoria Harbour Ferries.

William Moore


Meet Victoria's Builders

Meet the brave, the talented, the colourful, and the creative who’s unique personalities had such a powerful hand in building Victoria.


Front Image: Was there a greater swashbuckler than Victoria’s Captain William Moore?
Whale carcass in the harbour

Harvesting Nature

Sawmills, Seals, & Whales

Victoria harvested great wealth from her harbour’s sawmills, whaling and fishing fleets, and a sealing fleet that brought back 100,000 seal pelts in a single season.


Front Image: A Continental Whaling Corporation whaler brings a whale corpse into the harbour for processing.

Fort Victoria

Foothold of Empire

The Hudson’s Bay Company ruled its Pacific domain from Hawaii to Alaska from Victoria’s Harbour headquarters.


Front Image: The bell tower and open gates of Fort Victoria

First Nations

The Re-awakening

It is a tribute to the strength of character, determination, and cultural vibrancy of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations that since those dark days of 1914 they are flourishing once again…


Front Image: Songhees woman selling clams. Mary Evans Picture Library
An early Albion Foundry boiler

Early Industry

A Pacific Powerhouse

Victoria’s highly productive manufacturing economy of the last century was forged from the single fire of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s blacksmith’s shop.


Front Image: A Albion Iron Foundry boiler destined for one of the many steamships built in Victoria’s Harbour.

Nominate a Hero

Click below to nominate a relative or a friend.

Do you know someone who deserves recognition?


Rock bay bridge


Locations Lost and Found

Discover the locations, both lost and found to be discovered all along the harbour’s shoreline.


Front Image: The Rock Bay Bridge decorated  for the Governor General’s 1876 visit. Photo courtesy of the Hallmark Society.
License line at the Malahat Building

Gold Fever!


During a few wild months in 1856 30,000 gold-hungry prospectors hit the sleepy little village and Victoria was reinvented.


Front Image: Potential Fraser River prospectors lined up to purchase licenses at Wharf Street’s Malahat Building
The sidewheeler Wilson_G_Hunt

Early Transportation

Canada's Pacific Port

Victoria’s voyage from dugout canoes to turboprops and helicopters changed the history of British Columbia.


Front Image: Captain John Irving’s sidewheeler Wilson J Hunt that ran competition to the Hudson’s Bay steamers to the Fraser River