Editorial: Greater Victoria – boring but busy

The tongue-in-cheek Boring Awards declared Victoria the fourth most boring city in Canada.

The tongue-in-cheek Boring Awards declared Victoria the fourth most boring city in Canada. Not only is Victoria dull, but its an underachiever in dullness.

Ottawa was ranked the No. 1 most boring city, which is inhabited by even more bureaucrats than this region. With a little work (or not) Victoria could elevate itself to be the most boring place in the country.

And that’s OK – boring is safe and steady. Not boring are near-riots every Saturday night as nightclubs let out, like in Vancouver; gangland shootings like in Surrey; and being ruled over by a chaotic administration like in Toronto (Rob Ford earned the Least Boring Canadian award). That kind of action is good for journalists, and bad for everyone else.

Labelling Victoria as boring can be justified. It can be tough to find a good restaurant open after 9 p.m., which is the same time as when much of the downtown shuts down.

The city once held a number of colourful 24-hour or late-night diners and coffee shops, and had a vigorous nightlife. Not so much in the past two decades.

On the other hand, the region is so crammed with outdoor festivals, fairs, farmers markets, concerts and sporting events, it’s hard to find a weekend to relax.

Just in the past few weekends we’ve had the Highland Games, the Luxton Pro Rodeo, the Oak Bay Tea Party, festivities at the University of Victoria with Congress 2013, the Goddess Run and the Bastion Grand Prix cycle races.

Residents still have a big Canada Day party to look forward to, Buccaneer Days, the Buskers Festival, the Chalk Art Festival, Symphony Splash, the Saanich Fair, HarbourCats baseball, Highlanders soccer and Shamrocks lacrosse.

Big celebrities and bands are coming here now – Sting and Jerry Seinfeld recently; Kiss and John Cleese in upcoming months. No longer do we peer across the water at Vancouver with envy.

So is Victoria boring? If you’re looking to party until 6 a.m. or find a bistro at 2 a.m., yes, most likely. If you’re a family or a senior, the city can be boring and not boring in just the right doses.