Real estate in Victoria is a hot commodity and the market offers a variety of housing options to choose from. Our downtown core and communities surrounding the downtown have a growing number of condominium developments. Single family homes, many with secondary suites, are available throughout the established neighbourhoods, with new single family home developments springing up in the western communities of Langford, Colwood and Sooke as well as along the Saanich Peninsula.
The best way to access the rental market in Victoria is to regularly check the real estate rental section local newspapers.
Begin looking for employment in Victoria with the employment section in the Times Colonist
Victoria also has a number of executive search firms, employment agencies, and to assist you in your quest for employment.
^ back to top
Getting to Vancouver Island involves flying over or sailing past some of the most spectacular landscape the world has to offer. Whether traveling for business or pleasure, the “puddle hop” from the Mainland to the Island is always a pleasurable part of the journey. Travel to the Island is served by an excellent transportation network comprised of ferries, aircraft and bus service.
Once in Victoria, you can utilize a full range of transportation services, including a public transit system that runs from 6 AM to midnight seven days a week, or enjoy the growing network of bike trails and lanes.
BC Ferries carries up to 470 vehicles, including buses, (link to bus service below) and 2,100 passengers per sailing on its larger vessels. The ferry terminal at Swartz Bay on the mainland offers a direct route to Sidney, just 32 kilometres north of Victoria. In total, the BC ferry fleet makes more 100 daily crossings, to and from the mainland, linking Island motorists to Vancouver and mainland British Columbia to the east, Seattle and Washington State to the south and Prince Rupert and Alaska to the north.
- Blackball Ferries takes vehicle and foot passengers from Victoria’s inner harbour to Port Angeles, Washington.
- The Victoria Clipper is a high speed passenger ferry Victoria’s inner harbour to Seattle’s inner harbour.
- Washington State Ferries takes vehicle and foot passenger between Anacortes, Washington and the US San Juan Islands and Sidney on the Saanich Peninsula.
Victoria International Airport, located at the north end of the Saanich Peninsula, offers services that link passengers to anywhere in the world including daily flights to many Canadian and US destinations.
One of the world’s largest concentrations of float planes and helicopter service have regularly scheduled flights that transport tens of thousands of people annually from Victoria’s Harbour to the city centre harbours of Vancouver and Seattle, to the Richmond airport, and to and from remote lakes and inlets. In addition to these regular flights, the region also offers a number of flight charter services.
BC Transit provides local bus service from 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. Many buses are bike rack equipped and offer accessible low floor design to carry two wheelchairs or scooters. BC Transit also offers handyDART, a door-to-door service for persons with disabilities.
Public elementary, middle, and high schools are available throughout the region. All public schools are governed by three English school districts and one Francophone district.
- The Greater Victoria School Board (District #61) is the largest district and it covers schools in the municipalities of the region, including Victoria, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, Oak Bay, View Royal, Highlands and most of Saanich.
- Sooke School Board (District #62) covers schools in the western communities of Sooke, Metchosin, Langford, and Colwood.
- Saanich School Board (District #63) covers schools in the Saanich Peninsula including Sidney, North Saanich, Central Saanich, and parts of Saanich.
- Conseil Scolaire Francophone (District #93) is the region’s francophone district offering one school that includes Kindergarten to Grade 12. Ecole Brodeur is for Francophone students or French speaking students with Francophone parents.
Victoria has a number of independent and religiously affiliated schools that operate alongside the public school system. These fee-based institutions attract students from around the world, and offer high academic standards, discipline, individual tutoring and sports activities.
- St. Margaret’s School is an all girls' day and boarding school with classes from Early Childhood Education (ECE) to Grade 12.
- Glenlyon-Norfolk School begins at Junior Kindergarten for 3 and four year olds with half day classes and continues through to Grade 12, as well as offering the two year International Baccalaureate Program. Glenlyon-Norfolk has three campuses.
- St. Michael’s University School is an e co-educational, independent day and boarding school for Kindergarten to Grade 12.
- Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific is a unique two year pre-university school for two hundred students selected from around the world based solely on their personal merit, potential and demonstrated commitment to engage actively in creating a better world.
- Island Catholic Schools is a Christ-centered learning community in which there are seven schools serving approximately 1,800 students from Kindergarten through Grade 12.
Post Secondary Schools
- The University of Victoria is one of Canada’s leading comprehensive universities with more than 19,000 students from around the world.
- Royal Roads University is an innovative public university offering applied and professional programs for people who wish to advance in the workplace.
- Camosun College specializes in business, trades, health and technical career training with 70 diploma and certificate programs with more than 17,000 full and part time students.
- University Canada West is Canada’s first private sector university and offers programs designed to be focused and practical, and based on a quarter-term system. Student complete an undergraduate degree in just three years.
^ back to top
Health services in Victoria and the rest of the Island are managed by the 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 well represented by complementary and holistic health care providers including naturopathy, herbalists, Eastern medicine practitioners, acupuncturists, chiropractors, and massage therapists.
In addition, Victoria is home to theVancouver Island Cancer Centre
, which provides oncology consultations and chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments for people who live on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.
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.
Most insurance providers offer a wide variety of insurance services including property, vehicle and contents insurance. Click here
for a list of agents and brokers.
Property taxes vary from municipality to municipality. It is best to inquire of your real estate agent when relocating.
Residents of British Columbia pay both provincial and federal income tax on wages earned. Taxes are deducted at the source from your employer based on your personal exemption categories. A number of items will lower your “taxable income” including whether you have dependents, have education deductions, and other factors. That means that your gross income will be higher than your taxable income.
You will also be taxed at the source for the Canada Pension Plan, which is a government pension for all Canadian workers. And finally, you will pay into Employment Insurance, which is government income insurance for those who become unemployed.
Information on all these taxes and the rates you can expect to pay in British Columbia or any other province can be found on the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
There’s lots to do when setting up business in Greater Victoria. Start with asking the right questions, call the South Island Prosperity Project. for advice.
^ back to top