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‘Arguably the best neighborhood in Canada’: Victorians highlight their pride

Debate sparked online regarding what makes residents so proud to call Victoria home
Debate online regarding residents’ pride in Victoria started on Reddit when a user posed the question of what their favourite part of living in the region is. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)

The conversation has sparked online over why residents are proud to call Victoria home.

The question was raised on the website Reddit, as one user asked for people’s insight after considering relocating to the city.

A Reddit user who responded to the thread mentioned that the turnout from the thousands who showed up to rallies in September to protest and support the inclusion of lessons about gender and sexual diversity in B.C. classrooms makes him proud.

“Yes, I agree with this example. There’s so much hate everywhere that I’m sad to say I was surprised at the turnout — surprised but proud,” they wrote.

The 2023 Vital Signs Survey asks residents in Greater Victoria to share their thoughts surrounding the quality of life in the Vancouver Island region and what Greater Victorians like about the area.

The oceanfront, the forests, and friendliness are just a few descriptors that come to mind for some Victorians when they describe why they prefer life on the Island.

Former Victoria resident and filmmaker Riley Eberts says that she adored her time on the Island and misses it more each day as time passes.

“I lived on the Island for a year, and I loved it,” said Eberts. “I understand the difficulty for some people, but the nature, the people, and the atmosphere aren’t comparable to anywhere else in B.C.”

Before leaving the Island to attend classes at UBCO in Kelowna, she says she plans to return to live on “island time” again.

“Victoria is known for its strong sense of community; people often say it’s close-knit and welcoming where all the neighbours know each other, which is different in cities like Vancouver,” said Eberts.

The history of Victoria is also a source of pride for its residents. As the capital of B.C., it is steeped in a rich cultural heritage with historic architecture, museums, and landmarks that harken back to its colonial past.

Chair of Victoria Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary Jaques Sirois says that Victoria also has a unique relationship with nature in that it blends seamlessly with the city.

“But here in Greater Victoria, we have arguably the best neighborhood in Canada. We’ve got killer whales, and we’ve got marbled murrelets, we’ve got Pacific octopus. It’s pretty shocking when you look at all the things that are happening at one time,” said Sirois.

He said people often respond that they recognize the natural environment as the city’s number one asset.

Longtime resident Renee Maner says that the emphasis on eco-friendly lifestyles makes her most proud of being a Victorian.

“Sustainability is embraced here,” said Maner. “The city is always working towards some initiative to make the community more green, and I can say I’m truly proud of that.”

For some, Victoria is more than a picturesque, close-knit community; instead, it is a place that encapsulates some of the most positive aspects of Canada. The sense of community, rich history and cultural vibrancy, and eco-friendly lifestyle all contribute to the pride that former and current Victorians hold for the city.

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