Victoria history, at least the history of the city itself, essentially starts back in the late 1700s with the arrival of Juan Perez and Captain James Cook. Perez, who hailed from Spain, arrived in the region in 1774, while Cook and his British crew visited in 1778. Neither explorer actually sailed into the Victoria harbor that is now known as the Inner Harbour, though great interest in the area was generated.
When it comes to important historical facts about Victoria BC, mention must be made of the city's founding in 1843. The Hudson Bay Company, which was a British royal charter company that focused on fur trading in the early years, was the founding party. At first, the settlement was to serve as a trading post, and Fort Victoria was the first real construction project. This fort's name honored Queen Victoria, and it also inspired the city's name.
In 1849, Vancouver Island became a Crown Colony of the British Empire, and by 1852, the site of the town of Victoria was laid out. Ten years later in 1862, the city was incorporated, and it got its first mayor that same year. The Gold Rush of 1858 was responsible for attracting many of the city's early residents, some of whom came from California and as far away as Australia. Not long after Victoria was incorporated as a city, it became the commercial center and capital of British Columbia, though Vancouver eventually took over as the region's commercial center. Victoria did retain its role the regional capital when British Columbia joined the Canadian Confederation in 1871, however.
Victoria history saw the city growing up around the lovely Inner Harbour. As such, this area is a great place to start when taking historical walking tours. In the Old Town district especially, lovely homes from the Victoria era can be admired, and the same can be said about the historically rich neighborhood of James Bay. While spending time in the downtown area, those who are interested in Victoria history can also visit museums that provide insight into the city's past. The Emily Carr House was built in the 1800s and is one museum that history buffs won't want to miss. Also worth visiting if you have an interest in Victoria History is the Royal BC Museum. It provides insight into both the natural and social histories of the region.
When the 1900s began, Victoria was well on its way to becoming a popular travel destination. In 1908, the renowned Empress Hotel was built, and four years earlier, the major tourist attraction that is Butchart Gardens had already helped usher in the new tourism era. Adding to the appeal of a Vancouver visit throughout the years is the spectacular natural scenery of the British Columbian region, and today, local industries pride themselves on things such as marine and forestry research.