The grounds and the British Columbia Parliament buildings in Victoria are a major attraction on Vancouver Island. The buildings overlook the scenic Victoria Harbour and are considered by some to be an architectural gem and one of most magnificent capitals in the world.
At night the Parliament Buildings have beautifully lighting using over 3,000 bulbs. A great time to photograph the buildings.
The lush front lawns of the Parliament Buildings have also been utilized for concerts, celebrations and political protests.
BC Parliament Buildings History
The BC Parliament Buildings were designed by Francis Rattenbury, a 25 year old immigrant from the United Kingdom. The construction was completed in 1898 with a cost of just under $1 million – considered at the time to be outrageously expensive. The impressive buildings definitely reflect the ties to England.
As is today, the construction of the buildings was done utilizing as much as possible local resources and supporting local businesses. The Douglas Fir and brick was from Vancouver Island and the granite rock foundations came from nearby Nelson Island. The facades are from Haddington Island in northern Vancouver Island.
Rattenbury also designed the very impressive Empress Hotel, across the street from the BC Capital Legislature Buildings (Parliament Buildings), the the Crystal Gardens indoor swimming pool, and the Vancouver Court House (now home to the Vancouver Art Gallery).
BC Parliament Buildings Location
The BC Parliament Buildings and grounds are in the heart of downtown Victoria on Belleville Street.
The buildings are right on beautiful Victoria Inner Harbour which seems is the hub of activity for Victoria. In front of the Parliament buildings is a beautiful and large lawn and garden.
Across the street is a two-level walkway along the waterfront where you can view and all the comings and goings of a busy harbour – buskers (street performers), yachts, sailboats, whale-watching boats and the ferry to Washington state.
BC Parliament Buildings Tours
You can tour the Parliament Buildings to learn about its construction, history and its current use as the capital of British Columbia.
Tours are available in several languages including: English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, Norwegian and Swedish. During the tour you will learn about its design, history and the current day operating government building as the heart of the democratic administration of the province of British Columbia.
The tours are daily during the summer months between the May long weekend and Labour Day long weekend in September.
Reservations are recommended as the tour is popular amongst the some 3 million visitors to Victoria each year.
Contact info Legislative Tour Office
Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Amazing Vancouver Island and a clickable link back to this page.