Victoria City, formerly Fort Victoria, is located on the south end of Vancouver Island. Now British Columbia's capital, this city sprouted from meager means as the HBC fur-trade post of Fort Victoria, christened as such in honour of Queen Victoria in 1843—a change from its shared name, to that point, as Fort Albert, and the originally intended Fort Adelaide.1 By the mid-1800s, and following the Oregon Territory boundary dispute, Fort Victoria would become the HBC's Pacific headquarters.2
The Songhees Nation, now located in Esquimalt, had villages on the land where much of present-day Victoria stands, including the British Columbia Legislature building, and had contributed labour to the Fort Victoria's construction.3 As with today, the areas surveyed and reported on by Douglas in 1842, as shown in this document, were home to a variety of indigenous groups.4
During the Fraser River Gold Rush, which started in earnest in the late 1850s, Victoria's population boomed under the governorship of Douglas, who had replaced his successor, and the first Crown-appointed Governor, Blanshard. Victoria City incorporated in 1862, and two years afterward, what remained of the old fort was torn down.5 In 1868, Victoria became the capital of the British Columbia colony, and then the provincial capital following British Columbia's confederation in 1871.6
  • 1. Denis F. K. Madill, Fort Victoria, The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Current History,
  • 4. Ibid.
  • 5. Andrew Scott, The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names (Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 2009), 623.
  • 6. Ibid.
Mentions of this place in the documents