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Shamil Nizamov

Unofficial Photographers
Guide to Victoria*
British Columbia
* - Preview Edition
Copyright 2014 by Shamil Nizamov
Cover and interior photos by Shamil Nizamov, unless written otherwise.
Maps by
All rights reserved. No part of the contents of this book may be reproduced or trans-
mitted in any form or by any means without the written permission of the author.
All brands, marks, logos, quotes are property of their respective owners. Any rights
not expressly granted herein are reserved.
This book expresses the authors views and opinions. The information contained in
this book is provided without any express, statutory or implied warranties. The au-
thor, resellers or distributors are NOT liable for any damages caused or alleged to be
caused either directly or indirectly by this book.
uick after I started photographing Victoria I realized difficulties in finding spots that I had seen
on other fellow photographers pictures. In some cases pictures were taken from the spots
that do not have public access, in another by using special devices such as UAV/drones. In contrast,
there are literally millions of pictures of The Parliament Building or The Empress Hotel, and it is very
unlikely that one may add anything new to that collection.
At the same time, there are about 300 buildings in Victoria built in beginning of 19th century that
currently received a heritage designation. It might take an entire day to locate them and to find a
better place and time for shoots, or a photographer might not find them at all. If you are not a
local, you may not have luxury of dedicating this much time to looking for best locations during
your Victoria (photography) trips. Even for the locals taking good photos can be very challenging
due to rapidly changing weather conditions and other similar uncontrollable factors.
So I have done my best to gather some places to shoot in and around Victoria, British Columbia.
Who is this book for?
I wrote this book for photographers of all levels, whenever you use a point-and-shoot camera or a
serious pro-level DSLR. The book aims to guide you to a series of Victoria locations that contribute
to it photogenic and heritage characters making Victoria one of a major tourism destination in
British Columbia. At the same time, the locations listed in this book are by no means the only
exceptional locations in Victoria. I recommend you spending time searching for your own
architectural or historical inspirations.
While you may not learn any new photography techniques, I try to include information such as
lighting, best times of day/night to shoot and a bit of history about each subject. Where possible, I
try to avoid places that require admission fees, commercial permits or have any photo restrictions.
Thus, almost all locations I have included in this book are public places and therefore any
photographers of buildings taken from them are free from any limitation of use. At least I have not
experienced any problems taking these shoots.
A number of local events are also included in this book in case you are interested in taking pictures
of them.
This guide is not intended to be a full-fledged tour guidebook. Therefore you would not find
information about local hotels, shopping areas, restaurants, etc. unless they are visually appealing.
It is also not a history book even though histories of some buildings and places are mentioned to
give you some historical background of that building or place. Should you need a bit more
information about Victoria in general, its history and architecture, or buildings and places in
particularly, visit Greater Victoria Public Library. The Central Branch of the library is the main
resource centre for the Library system and has many specialized collections and services, as well as
an excellent general collection. It is located in about 10 minutes walk from The Empress Hotel and
open 9am to 9pm. Staff there will be happy to help you.
Before you start reading this book, you should already be proficient in your camera settings, have a
basic knowledge of ISO, white balancing, aperture and shutter priority modes. It is also assumed
that you know how to read and use histogram, how to use exposure compensation, know what
depth of field is and how to control it.
Who should not read this book?
As mentioned earlier, the purpose of this book is to provide the reader a guide to Victoria's best
places. However, this book is not intended to be a reference manual on digital urban or landscape
photography or digital post-processing. There are several excellent books that cover these topics
in depth. So, if you are looking for a step-by-step description on how to operate your camera in
the field, it is very unlikely that you will find answers here. I will not provide DSLRs settings (e.g.,
aperture, exposure, ISO, etc.) for pictures presented in this book - I simply do not see how this can
be useful for you. Even if you use the same DSLR with the same lens and shooting exactly at the
same hour, the weather conditions will never be the same.
This book is also not a complete tutorial on photography composition. For some pictures I explain
why I took them from a certain perspective(s), however, this is not intended to be carved in stone.
You may do completely opposite and still get an appealing result.
This book does not cover any specific photography techniques such as HDR, time-lapse
photography, aerial photography, night sky photography and many others which may require
special devices or permits to operate. Majority of traditional (non- or semi-professional)
photographers do not have time or such special devices at least taken with them to a tour.
Errata and Book Support
I have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this book and its companion content. If you find
errors, have comments or suggestions, please report through email
Your feedback is highly appreciated!
Warning and Disclaimer
The purpose of this book is to educate and entertain. Every effort has been made to make this
book as complete and as accurate as possible, but no warranty or fitness is implied.
The information is provided on an as is basis. The author shall have neither liability nor
responsibility to any person or entity for any loss or damage caused, or alleged to be caused,
directly or indirectly by the information contained in this book or from the use of software
mentioned in this book. The information, methods and techniques described by the author are
based on his own experience. They may not work for you and no recommendation is made to
follow the same course of action. No representation is made that following the advice in this book
will work in your case.
This guide is written for individuals pursuing recreational activities. As all such activities inherently
contain elements of risk, the author, publisher, distributor, affiliate individuals or companies
disclaim any responsibility for any injury, harm or illness that may occur to anyone through, or by
use of, the information in this book.
This book contains links to third-party Web sites that are not under the control of the author, and
the author is not responsible for the content of any linked site. If you access a third-party website
mentioned in this book, you do so at your own risk. The author provides these links only as a
convenience, and the inclusion of the link does not imply that the author endorses or accepts any
responsibility for the content of those third-party sites.
Furthermore, the book contains information on the subject only up to the publication date.
Like most books, this guide has been a long time in the making. I would like to acknowledge
everyone who has assisted in this project. I could not have done this without you.
PART I - Planning
There are more than 3 million tourists visiting
Victoria and Vancouver Island each year, as wiki
informs. Presumably, they produce millions of
pictures of all kind of most known places in
Victoria. If you are serious about your photography
trip to Victoria, if you like to shoot something
unique and unusual, something that distinguishes
you from the crowd, prior preparation is becoming
This part touches topics as Victoria history, weather,
natural light and photography gear. It also brings
few tips about driving, transportation and safety in
Instead of reinvented the wheel, the book is
organized in a following way I provide a quote
from a source that covers a topic followed with my
comments what it means for you as a photographer.
For example, it is known that weather in Victoria is
mild, rainy winters and cool, dry and sunny
summers. In plain English it means that rainy
winter gives way to green winter, hence you
need to dress appropriately and prepare to
protect your valuable camera.
So lets get started.
The site of Victoria was chosen for settlement in 1843 by
James DOUGLAS, a chief factor at the HUDSON'S BAY
COMPANY [HBC] at Fort Vancouver (Vancouver, Wash),
near the mouth of the Columbia River. A boundary set-
tlement between the US and BRITISH NORTH AMERICA
was anticipated, and in the event that the 49th parallel
was extended to the Pacific, which did occur in 1846, the
HBC wanted an alternative fur trading headquarters site
under development.
The smaller harbour of Camosack (Victoria Harbour) was
chosen over that of Esquimalt for the establishment of
FORT VICTORIA (named after Queen VICTORIA) because
it was bordered by extensive tracts of level to gently
sloping land suitable for agriculture. Originally the area
was occupied by Lekwungen (now called Songhees)
Aboriginal people who fished and harvested camas bulbs
and cherry bark here. The place was associated with the
Songhees legend of a wilful girl named Camossung who
was turned to stone by Haylas, the mystical transformer.
There were also benign spirits. A promontory on the
harbour was a sacred site where cradles for infant
children were blessed in pre-contact times.
Victoria became a seat of government in 1849 when the
colony of VANCOUVER ISLAND was created. Douglas,
having succeeded Richard Blanshard as governor, con-
cluded 11 treaties with local Aboriginal groups between
1850 and 1854 to secure title to land in the vicinity of
More details here.
Victoria remained a small community of less than 1000
population until it burgeoned as the supply centre and
jumping-off point for the FRASER RIVER GOLD RUSH of
1858. It was the entrept for the CARIBOO GOLD RUSH
when incorporated as a city in 1862. The commodious Es-
quimalt Harbour nearby was designated as a naval base
by the British Admiralty in 1865 and still performs this role
today as CFB Esquimalt. Victoria's political capital function
remained through the successive stages as capital of the
colony of Vancouver Island, then of the amalgamated col-
ony of British Columbia (1866) and province of BRITISH
COLUMBIA (1871).
The inner harbour is flanked by the impressive provincial
legislative buildings completed in 1898 and the Empress
Hotel (1908). Recent planning developments have capital-
ized on the unique, old-world charm of this area by estab-
lishing an extensive public walkway along much of the
harbour front.
The rehabilitation of Old Town, the late 19th century com-
mercial core around Bastion Square, began in the 1980s.
Victoria's Chinatown, the oldest in Canada, was also revi-
talized then and is now graced by the colourful and deco-
rative Gate of Harmonious Interest. Still, several heritage
buildings have been replaced by modern, highrise struc-
tures in the city centre
Additional sources may be found here.
As you may notice from these excerpts, the
construction boom in Victoria is happened at late 19th
and early 20th centuries. With few exceptions, such as
The Parliament Buildings or The Empress Hotel, it
means that majority of commercial buildings pursue
architectural features common at that time, and even
those were not static representing examples of the
transition from one architectural style to another, as
well as buildings construction technologies.
Thus, several-storey, brick-clad commercial buildings
built in 18xx-ish follow what is called Italian
Renaissance Revival-style with decorative window
lintels, semi-circular entry arch, panelled stringcourse
between the first and second floors, and others.
What was built after followed Edwardian Commercial
Style with symmetrical design, sand-lime brick
cladding, segmental-arched windows, etc. It is the
time when architects started using steel enabling
construction of higher buildings and large expanses of
faade glazing. In mid-20th that was replaced by the
samples of Art Deco style.
If you ramble further than Victoria's Old Town, e.g., to
residential area like James Bay, residential buildings
built in that period represent transition between
Victorian and Edwardian versions of Queen Anne style.
You may familiarize yourself with architectural
elements of these styles in advance to prepare and
consider best shooting angles, lights and shades.
PART I - Planning Your Adventure
Victorias Early History


Once you know what to shoot, lets explore how
comfortable your trip can be.
This region has a varied climate that allows for diverse
activities no matter the season. In fact, the weather is a
microcosm of the province in general: influenced by
mountains and ocean, mild along the south coast and
more extreme as you move inland and north.
No matter the season, it's advisable to bring wet weather
gear, particularly if you plan to visit Vancouver Island's
west coast.
Summer temperatures are warm enough for t-shirts and
shorts, although sweaters and pants are useful for the
evenings, particularly at higher elevations. This is an
island pack your bathing suit as well as rubber beach
shoes or sandals for wading near rocky shores. A wind
jacket will also come in handy.
A raincoat or medium-weight waterproof jacket is a must
for winters on Vancouver Island, preferably worn over a
jacket and/or sweater as well as pants and accompanied
by an umbrella. (Source)
This is quite true. So Pacific Ocean and mountains are
two unpredictable factors that affect you and your
Time of Day
Obviously, the photography is all about light. So the time
of day plays an incredible role on how objects appear on
your photo. There are certain things specific to Victoria
that you need to know.
Before I continue, here is a SunCalc website that does a
great job showing sun position throughout the day. You
may use similar sites or applications available for
computers or mobile devices. So, open the SunCalc, type
Victoria, BC and select the day of your visit. Zoom in and
find the British Columbia Legislature Bldg., move the
marker (red pin) over that building. To see the sun
position at any specific time, move the slider on the
horizontal slide bar which is above the map. You probably
immediately noticed that The Parliament Buildings (BC
Legislature Bldg.) is in the shade except morning and
evening hours. At any sunny day you actually be shooting
against sun. Jumping ahead, I can tell you that on sunrise
The Parliament Buildings is shaded by BC Museum and
other government buildings. On sunset the building is
again in the shade of the hotel and high trees.
The middle of the day is considered as the worst time to
taking photographs. This may not be true for certain
places in Victoria. As you can see on the map, major
streets of Victorias Old Town are stretched from south to
north and from east
to west. Those
streets are relatively
narrow with two- to
buildings on each
side. So, north
facing buildings are
almost always in the
shadow except early
morning and late
evening hours. In contrast, south facing buildings are
always exposed by harsh sunlight. East and west facing
buildings may be in shadow except couple midday
hours when sun creates a perfect balance.
If you think you are wise enough to take pictures only
during the magic evening twilight hour, when sun has
just dropped below the horizon, here is another issue
called rain shadow.
The weather in this area tends to be benign for the
large part and is controlled to a great extend by the
Coast Mountains. Summer in this area is noted for the
incursion of the Pacific High and the development of hot
and dry weather. The weather tends to be dry and sunny
with late afternoon or evening thunderstorms occurring
mainly along the ridges. Eventually, the Pacific High
does break down and, when this happens, it is common
for widespread thunderstorms to develop as cooler,
moist air begins to move into the area. Winters are a
different story. Mountain valleys allow cold air to pool,
creating inversions. Most of the valleys have rivers and
lakes that seldom freeze up resulting in abundant
moisture that the inversion can trap, supporting the
development of low valley cloud. (Source)
Rain shadow may play a pretty nasty thing to you.
You may have absolutely blue sky during the day and
hoping to take great pictures at evening. Suddenly,
when sun starts going down, well before it hits the
horizon, treacherous clouds start rising over Juan de
Fuca area west to Victoria. Probably you still experience
great evening but in such days you may forget about
wonderful twilight. In other days, however, spectacular
red shaded evening clouds may add drama to your
pictures. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict what
to expect. So, even if you are local, refer to SunCalc like
tools and use day hours wisely to take as many photos
as you can in given conditions.
PART I - Planning Your Adventure
Weather in Victoria
Victorias Old Town, a mile or couple kilometres square
approximately, can be easily traversed on foot in less
than an hour.
Also, if you do not have your own vehicle, you may
rent a car, scooter, bicycle, use numerous bus routes,
taxi or take a bus tour to get around.
Driving rules are somewhat different from province to
province and from state to state, but if you have any
experience driving in North America it should not be
any surprise driving in British Columbia.
Anticipating that readers may be from other countries
here are some tips and interactive resources regarding
driving and parking in Victoria.
In theory The British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act is
designed to encourage pedestrians to cross at main in-
tersections in the marked crosswalks. Drivers who proceed
through a marked crosswalk into which a pedestrian has
just stepped from the far left will not be in breach of this
section. The best and safest rule for drivers, however, once
a pedestrian has stepped into the crosswalk, is to stop for
as long as it takes the pedestrian to reach the curb on the
other side.
In reality, locals and tourists are busy sending SMS mes-
sages, looking at the map, etc. when approach intersec-
tions and crosswalks. They assume that they have been
seen and drivers will obey the law. They hardly realize
that your head spins like a radar dish and you are quite
busy looking at new places as well - Oh, look at this
blue heron under the blooming cherry tree, what a won-
derful shoot! Damn, wheres this stroller come from!?
So, please be careful at places like The Empress Hotel,
Victoria Conference Centre, Wharf Street, Government
Street, Douglas Street, Dallas Road and others with
marked crosswalks. Be doubly careful near Beacon Hill
Park because of the children.
Wondering where to park when you come downtown?
There are more than 1,800 parking spaces available at
the City's five downtown parkades. Parking is free at
downtown street meters and at City parkades on Sundays
and Statutory Holidays.
VicMap, an interactive mapping system, provides one
click map layers including transportation (e.g., bike
routes, bus stops, and road paint lines) and parking (e.g.,
parkades, metered and non-metered parking spaces,
pay stations, parking restrictions, bike racks, and elec-
tric vehicle charging stations)
Public Transportation
The Victoria region has an excellent public transit sys-
tem. Regular service hours on the main routes are 6
a.m. to midnight daily. The Victoria Regional Transit
System runs seven days a week, from 6 a.m. to mid-
night daily on the main routes, connecting all ferry
terminals, major tourists attractions (such as Butchard
Garden) and the Victoria International Airport. Con-
sult Google Map to build routes to your destinations.
PART I - Planning Your Adventure
Getting Around the City
Canada as a whole is relatively safe country. Canada's national crime rate has been
falling steadily since the early 1990s and reached, in 2011, its lowest level since 1972.
The same can be said about Victoria. But like any cities of comparable size, there are
certain issues such as homeless people, beggars, drug dealers, drug addicts, etc.
Basically, Vancouver and Victoria are known to vehicle/property damage and theft.
Here are couple tips from the tripadvisory site which I found useful:
Watch your stuff. Never ever put a bag down & then turn away. Make sure you're al-
ways holding it, standing on a strap, have it sitting on your toes, etc. But never lose eye
or physical contact with your bag.
A common mistake visitors make is to drive somewhere, park, grab a few things, toss
everything else into the trunk, and walk away. Wrong! You just allowed someone to
watch you put things into the trunk & then they saw you walk off. You'll come back 20
minutes later to discover the trunk's empty & your possessions are gone.
The right thing to do is plan ahead. Before you drive somewhere, think about where
you're going & what you'll need. Then, *before* you drive off, put the extra stuff in the
trunk. That way, when you arrive at your destination, you don't need to open the trunk.
Just park & walk off. Nobody at your destination sees you loading goodies into the
trunk; your risk of having your vehicle broken into is vastly reduced.
Basically, use common sense; do not leave anything in your car that may give any im-
pression that there is something valuable inside such as suction cups from GPS or
mobile phones, purses, (camera, shopping) bags, backpacks, luggage, etc.
Plan ahead and you will be safe.
PART I - Planning Your Adventure
Safety Tips
This is probably the shortest section in this book simply because I'm not in a position to tell you what
gear to bring or what camera to use.
Basically I'm using three cameras. One is the point and shoot camera to take pictures Id like to share with
friends in places where noisy DSLRs are not allowed, photographer may disturb others or similar consid-
erations. These images are in JPG format and usually I do not expect them to be processed any further.
Another camera is Nikon DX format camera with Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens as a cheaper and lighter
alternative for a hi-end telephoto kit. And the third camera is a full frame Nikon DSLR with Nikon 24
70mm f/2.8 lens for all other shoots, especially night ones. Images by these two cameras are usually taken
in RAW format and processed later. I use UV and polarized filters, tripods, flashlights when required.
PART I - Planning Your Adventure
Photography Gear
This chapter is not too teach you to architectural pho-
tography. Nevertheless, I have included it to explain why
some of the buildings appear in this book, while others,
no less interesting from historical point of view, are left
Despite the wide variety of styles in architectural pho-
tography, from the purely functional/documentary to
the artistic, the three main components remain un-
changed. These three components are structure, line
dynamics and perspective. Plus two additional compo-
nents that affect it are framing and lighting. Combining
all of these, either theory-based or intuitive, allow you
to avoid commonly-repeated composition mistakes and
introduce your personality through photos. Let me
briefly describe each of the components.
Structure of the composition is responsible for the har-
monious organization of various parts of the image.
Line dynamics, as the name implies, adds dynamics to
your image. Depending on the subject, strictly vertical
and horizontal lines bring a sense of balance and stability,
or boredom. In contrast, the diagonal lines in the image
imply a feeling of tension or movement.
The last component - perspective - produces the impres-
sion of depth, enabling the viewer to distinguish size and
distance in your picture.
Rule of thirds
I believe you know what rule of thirds is, so this section is
just to recap it or to introduce major principles if this is
new to you.
When photographing old buildings in certain architectur-
al styles, a straightforward shoots solution typically works
because of the symmetry, showing the beauty and ele-
gance of the building.
Symmetry is the simplest form of compositional
structure you can apply (see Figure, top right
and top left). The simplicity of this style is both
its strength and its weakness. As I explained
above, strictly vertical and horizontal lines bring
a sense of stability. If a building is not intended
to express stability, absolutely symmetrical im-
age may appear boring or flat.
Buildings in Romanesque or Edwardian Baroque
(also known as the Neo-Baroque) architecture
styles may be good candidates to symmetrical
shoots. The best example of the building in this
style is B.C. Legislature aka The Parliament Buildings.
What if the building being photographed is not out-
standing in its symmetrical perfection? In such cases
photographers typically use a technique called a rule
of third (you may find other names to it) that basically
suggests dividing the image into one-third and two-
thirds around both vertical and horizontal axis, and
move the corner of the building close to a vertical
third. (see Figure, bottom right and bottom left).
Placing the corner of the building close to a left verti-
cal third or right vertical third may express different
feeling. Thus, placing it to the left vertical third axis
causes the building to get smaller as if it recedes. Plac-
ing the corner close to the right vertical third causes
the building to visually get advent as if its coming to-
ward you.
PART I - Architectural Photography Composition
Rule of thirds


Obviously, line dynamics exist not only for horizontal
lines. If you point your camera upward or downward
same effect appears, which for vertical lines is often re-
ferred as the convergence of parallels. This often hap-
pens when you take a picture from a close distance; a
building looks as if it leans over backwards whereas you
initially liked to represent it in a flattering way. (see Fig-
ure, on the right)
There are certain techniques to deal with it, but before
you start exploring different options you need to decide
if convergence really affects aesthetic appearance of the
building in front of you.
Basically, there are three types of building you may en-
counter in Victoria (as well as in other cities) low-pro-
file buildings in residential and industrial areas;
medium-rise buildings which are majority in Victorias
Old Town; and high-rise buildings which related to Vic-
torias Old Town are mostly churches or cathedrals.
Modern office buildings are out of scope here.
In my opinion distorted churches and cathedrals are ac-
ceptable because towers and spires staring into the sky
emphasize how small the viewer is in the face of eterni-
ty. There are lots of details and embellishments to show
and there are endless compositions from all angles.
Most likely, this is not the goal you pursue photograph-
ing low-profile and medium-rise residential or commer-
cial buildings. Such buildings are usually flat with fewer
details. The problem with such buildings is that no matter
how tall you are, your shooting point is always below the
desired shooting position to avoid vertical convergence.
Remedies to avoid vertical convergence are well known.
One way of keeping vertical lines vertical is to simply in-
crease distance from you and the building. Another way is
to go higher, place your camera almost in the middle of
the building and point it horizontally. What sounds easy
in theory can be very hard or often impossible to imple-
ment in real settings. For example, to move back far
enough on a narrow street is not always possible and can
lead to the inclusion of unwanted objects to the final pic-
ture. Going up can be challenging as well since most of
the best viewpoints are inside neighbouring buildings
with no public access.
(Employing shift lens or software distortion tools to con-
trol converging parallels are out of scope of this book.)
Thus, the main challenge in finding
buildings for this book was not to pres-
ent as many historic buildings as possi-
ble, but list only those that can be
photographed from the best publicly ac-
cessible points. Because of that I missed
some well known places such as Craig-
darroch Castle or Pinehurst building I simply cannot
find the best shooting point that suits my two major
criteria documentary depiction and aesthetic appear-
ance. Also places that require prior negotiation or se-
curity escort are not included in this book.
At the same time, feel free to break the rule and apply
your creativity.
The lighting is another important components in our
model. Obviously, the appearance of the building may
change significantly under different lighting condi-
tions; and we have touched the day light exploring
SunCalc tool already.
What I want to notice here is appearance of a building
under natural light and artificial illumination. You may
find that some building in downtown Victoria look
boring under the daylight and becoming stunning
once artificial illumination takes over at night. The con-
verse is also possible, i.e., what caught your attention
during the day, at night may seem like a lifeless pile of
bricks. And buildings like The Parliament Buildings
look great at almost any time.
So it makes sense to check some buildings under day
and night.
PART I - Architectural Photography Composition
PART II - Locations
Victoria is an easy city to get around on foot and there are many choices for
walking tours. Use many picturesque sites including beautiful Victoria Inner
Harbour, Old Downtown buildings, waterfront to plan your own photo tour
and enjoy an outdoor experience.
Locations that follow, which are in no way cover all historic locations in
Victoria and nearest areas, offer beginner and experienced photographers
lots of opportunities to learn more about the many features cameras offer.
Thus, take full advantage of the light and shooting locations. Bring out your
creative genie and help you see beyond the obvious.
The Parliament Buildings
PART II - Locations
he British Columbia Legislature is a
massive Richardsonian Romanesque
landmark building, surrounded by manicured
lawns, fountains, and statues, on the south shore
of the Inner Harbour.
The British Columbia Legislature is valued as the
most significant political, social, and architectural
landmark in British Columbia.
Initiated in 1893 to boost the local economy and
to ensure the city's retention of the seat of
government, the Legislature is representative of
the history of the political activities and
governmental regulation which have occurred in
Every December the Parliament Buildings are decorated with hundreds of colourful electric Christmas lights.
Furthermore, it is interesting to note that the silhouette of the Legislature was illuminated with electric
lighting in 1897 for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, one year before the building was completed, and
has continued to be illuminated at night ever since. More than 3,300 lights outline the British Columbia
Parliament buildings.
PART II - Locations
The Parliament Buildings
The Parliament Buildings and the Legislative Library map.
The Parliament Buildings view from BC Museum.
On weekdays, visitors are welcome to join a free public tour or to explore the building on their
own self-guided tour. On weekends and holidays, visitors must join a free public tour or reserve a
group tour in order to enter the Parliament Buildings.
Guided tours depart several times per hour from the front steps of the Parliament Buildings.
In a rainy or cloudy day you may hide
in BC Museum and take pictures of
the Parliament Buildings through
windows on second and third floors.
Besides "classic" common views, you
can always find plenty of close-up
views on such rich for details
buildings as the Parliament and
Legislative Library.
PART II - Locations
The Parliament Buildings
The Legislative Library of British Columbia from the porch of the Provincial Employees Fitness Society
(PEFS) building at sunset.
My preferred locations to take pictures of the
Parliament Buildings.
The Library was founded in 1863 to serve the Colonial Legislature of Vancouver Island and subsequently
the Province of British Columbia when it became a province of Canada in 1871. During its early years,
the Library assumed responsibility for archival and provincial public library service, and, therefore, was
often referred to as the Provincial Library. With the development of other larger library institutions, the
Legislative Library re-focused its services on the primary legislative clientele. In 1974 the library stopped
calling itself the Provincial Library and returned to its statutory name: Legislative Library of British
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