Victoria : Canada

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What it's Like to Retire in Victoria

Victoria is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Canada, and for good reason. It has a stunning downtown on the harbor with resplendent government buildings like the one shown above.  Cruise ships arrive in town and when they do the streets and shops hum with activity. The city has 78,000 residents but the metro is over 300,000. The surrounding coast has many lovely communities.

Retirees love the mild climate of Vancouver Island and so do plants of every kind. It is said to be one of the best gardening areas in the world. There is a tremendous amount to do. 


Where to Retire in Victoria and Home Prices

People in retirement can either live in the city of Victoria, or in many of the surrounding charming towns that dot the coastline. 

There are single family homes, condos, and town homes, gated and golf course communities.  Real estate  median sales price in 2012 was at about $576,000 (Canadian). Townhome are less expensive at a median price of about $387,000.  35 minutes north of Victoria is Cowichan Valley. Real Estate is much cheaper and there are great places to live inland and on the coast.  Canada's first gated 50 plus community  (Arbutus Ridge) and many more new retirement communities are cropping up around Vancouver Island to meet the increasing demand of  Baby Boomers who are seeking retirement where they can be active year round.


What is special about Victoria

Victoria, is very British with a real Europeon feel to it.  Classic old buildings, cobble stone alleys, artisans and shops. Fascinating, world class shopping. Butchart Gardens - one of the most visited gardens in the world. Fantastic mild climate. Excellent health care. With more restaurants per capita in Canada and second only to San Fransisco in North America, Victoria, B.C. is home to some very serious "Foodies" and a dynamic culture of the Arts and Theatre.  Wonderful walking and biking trails and year round golfing. Canada's warmest average climate.  

Victoria was rated as the best place to retire in Canada in 2013 by Money Sense Magazine


What is not special about Victoria

Living in a tourist town. 


Who will like retirement in Victoria

People who like the outdoors and year round golfing and especially gardeners and boating enthusiasts. It has a disproportionate share of retirees and students, who come for the mild climate, year round golf, and interesting lifestyle.


Local economy is driven by

Advanced Technology, Tourism, Real estate, Government, Education, Marine & Construction Industries 


Climate and Physical Environment

Victoria BC is British Columbia's capital city. It is  located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Vancouver is a short ferry ride away. Port Angeles in Washington State is just across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Victoria is in a rain shadow - it receives far less rain than other parts of Vancouver Island.  It has the driest summers of any major city in Canada and the warmest average temperatures in Canada. 


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Victoria Symphony. A number of important theatres including the Bastion and the Belfry, along with those at the University of Victoria stage productions throughout the year.

Victoria has the most restaurants per capita than any other city in Canada and second only to San Fransico in the U.S.  Named number one destination to visit in Canada. 

Celebrating 150 Year history in 2012, B.C.'s Capital City of Victoria is rich with history and culture. 



Crime in Victoria is slightly below average.

Medical facilities

Health services in Victoria and the rest of the island are managed by Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA).  The health care needs of Victoria are amply provided by over 500 physicians and surgeons, 14 walk in clinics and 6 hospitals.  Victoria is also home to the Vancouver Island Cancer Centre which provides oncology consultations and chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments.  British Columbia has a comprehensive medical services plan which insures medically required services provided by physicians and supplementary health care practitioners, laboratory services and diagnostic procedures.



In addition to being a popular cruise ship destination, Victoria also has many ferries to the San Juan Islands and the State of Washington. The Victoria International Airport. Railroad service to the rest of Canada. And the regional mass transit system now has double-decker buses.

Valuable Links

Wikipedia entry for Victoria

Real Estate VIctoria ( (health care services)








What people are saying about Victoria

Re: Discuss what its like to live in Victoria
A few years ago my husband and I started searching for the "Ideal place to retire in Canada." We wanted a moderate climate where we could be active year round. We wanted a single family home with a waterfront or water view, on or near a golf course. It had to be conveniently located to shopping, health care services, transportation, arts and culture and homes affordably priced. After driving from the East Coast of Canada to Vancouver Island, we finally found our dream retirement spot and got everything we were looking for in Arbutus Ridge. After 6 years of living in our gated seaside community, we feel like we have died and gone to heaven. We have been able to make tons of new friends easily by getting involved in all the clubs. We hike, play golf, ride bikes and travel a lot. With the gated security we are able to leave home knowing our valuable belongings are safe. And as we age, I know it will be a safe place to live in community with a family of friends around to help out. About 30% of the new people moving into our community are singles, so I know if one of us ends up alone, that it will continue to offer an age in place alternative.
Posted by BrendaH on March 24, 2013

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Facts about VICTORIA
  • State: CANADA
  • Environment: College Town,Coastal,Small-mid Sized City,Outdoor Oriented,Biking Community,
  • City Population: 100,001+
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 21-40
  • Avg July Temperature: 60-80
  • Median HH Income: 0-20,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $500,001+
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: 2000-4000
  • Total Crime Index: 91-100 (slightly below average)
  • Cost of Living Index: 121+ (very high)
  • Culture Index: 121+ (very high)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: boomer1

Can you add to or correct these Facts? Or do you have a photo of this community we could use? If so, please click on Edit these facts

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1. Overall Retirement Ratings Discuss

1. Rating: 4.0/5 ( 2 votes cast)

2. Expense:
Inexpensive to Luxury Discuss

2. Rating: 1.5/5 ( 2 votes cast)

3. Taxes:
Inexpensive to Expensive Discuss

3. Rating: 1.0/5 ( 1 vote cast)

4. Culture:
None to Cosmopolitan Discuss

4. Rating: 4.0/5 ( 1 vote cast)

None to Summer camp Discuss

5. Rating: 4.0/5 ( 2 votes cast)

6. Transportation:
Boondocks to World Hub Discuss

6. Rating: 4.0/5 ( 1 vote cast)

7. Security:
Dangerous to Ft. Knox Discuss

7. Rating: 3.5/5 ( 2 votes cast)

8. Medical Facilities:
None to Excellent Discuss

8. Rating: 4.0/5 ( 1 vote cast)

9. Political Situation:
Conservative to Liberal Discuss

9. Rating: 3.0/5 ( 1 vote cast)

10. Environmental:
Oblivious to Ultra-Green Discuss

10. Rating: 4.0/5 ( 2 votes cast)


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