Victoria, BC is a walking paradise.  There are so many great walks and so many interesting things to see, but here are my  picks for the 5 best walks in downtown Victoria.  There are many more walks and hikes in Victoria – see the posts under ‘Hiking/Biking/Walking Trails’.

West Song/West Bay Walkway

By FAR my favorite walk in all of downtown Victoria is the West Song or Westbay walkway.  The two names are interchangeable. This seaside walkway runs from the bridge on Johnson St. all the way to the West Bay Marina – about a 45 – 55 minute walk one-way.  It’s wheelchair accessible, completely paved and flat.  It has numerous benches along the way to stop and look at our beautiful harbour.

The path is mostly paved but has some boardwalk sections as well like this stretch in Westbay

There are lots of places to sit and enjoy the amazing views of the harbour

There is always lots of activity in the harbour

About 1/3 way along you pass by Spinnakers Gastro Brewhouse – a perfect spot to have a sip or a munchie.

The path crosses right in front of Spinnakers Brew Pub

The end, or start, of the Westbay Walkway at Westbay in Esquimalt

Once you’re in West Bay you can turn around and stroll back or hop on a Victoria Harbour Ferries for a different perspective on the harbour!

Dallas Road Waterfront

Dallas Road Runs from Erie St. (which is just across from Fisherman’s Wharf) and runs along the waterfront to Hollywood Crescent in Fairfield.  It’s a fairly long walk, but there is angled parking all along the road for you to stop and stroll whatever part you wish.

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The beach long Ross Bay

It will take you past Beacon Hill Park, past Clover Point (a popular kite-flying spot) and eventually past the Ross Bay Cemetery.  Views are to the Olympic Peninsula to the south where you’ll see (usually) the snow-capped mountains just behind Port Angeles, WA.  Lots of people walk their dogs there as well … so lots of doggy watching – if you’re into that kind of thing!) You may even see paragliders and on very windy days, wind surfers and kite surfers!

Paragliders along the Dallas Rd Waterfront – Clover Point in the backgroind

Spectacular views along the Dallas Road Waterfront

The pathway along the Dallas Road Waterfront

You will pass by the Harrison Yacht Pond and you may find some folks sailing their RC watercraft or maybe some ducks.

Harrison Yacht Pond, Dallas Rd


The Sundial

In July 2009 an interactive analemmatic sundial was installed on the pathway between Dallas Road and the breakwater at Ogden Point adjacent to the Victoria Pilot Station ((211 Dallas Road, V8V 1A1 – 48° 24.91N 123° 23.05W)). The 18-foot-wide sundial has one unique feature. It does not have a fixed gnomon as most sundials do, but uses the viewer as the gnomon. It also has brass Roman numerals and instructions to show users where to stand at various times of the year to ensure their shadow (it does need to be sunny) correctly indicates the time of day.

Sundial Dallas Rd waterfront

Sundial on the Dallas Rd Waterfront at Ogden Pt

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Beacon Hill Park

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Beacon Hill Park in spring

Beacon Hill Park is right in downtown Victoria.  It’s 62 acres of beautiful flowers, ponds, trails, a petting zoo (so great for young AND old!), picnic areas and sports fields.  Be sure to be on the lookout for the many peacocks in the park … ducks, turtles … and sometimes you’ll even see nesting Great Blue Herons!  A lovely stroll in any season!  Parking is on the street although there is some parking inside the park – but not much in the summer months.  Parking might be best on Dallas Road, then walk into the park from there.

Beacon Hill Park

Fields of Camas in the spring

Park Map

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Layout of Beacon Hill Park

David Foster Pathway

First envisioned as a continuous, uninterrupted walkway stretching from Ogden Point to Rock Bay the David Foster Pathway is still not completed. The path was named after David Foster, born and raised in Victoria and is a well known Canadian musician, record producer, composer, songwriter and arranger.  He has been nominated for 47 Grammy Awards and has won 16.

You can walk a good section of the pathway from the Johnson Street bridge along the inner harbour, all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf. Along the path you will experience the vibrancy of the busy Inner Harbour.  You will pass the fading Wyland whale mural on the side of a brick building up on Government Street and past restaurants like Blue Fish Red Fish and the Flying Otter.

David Foster Pathway

The Wyland Whale Mural

The Causeway on the Inner Harbour

Coming on to Ship Point you’ll see some many yachts moored and the busy Harbour Air Seaplane Terminal. Once on the causeway there are great views of the inner harbour and the Legislature Buildings and in the summer the  causeway will be busy with busker activity.  As you continue along the south side of the harbour you will pass by the Coho Ferry Dock at the historic Steamship Terminal and a little further along, the Clipper Catamaran docks.  From here you can continue all the way along the waterfront to Fisherman’s Wharf.  If you haven’t stopped for a bite to eat yet, you will find lots of choices from fish & chips, Mexican food to ice cream at the many vendors located here!

Path leading back to Inner Harbour from Fisherman’s Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf,

Fisherman’s Wharf

The Breakwater at Ogden Point

A short walk but VERY cool … walk from Dallas Rd. out onto the Ogden Point breakwater, built in 1916.  You walk right out into the harbour, and the views are amazing!

Ogden Point Breakwater and the Land & Sea Mural

The Ogden Point Breakwater is open to public access, and is an awesome walk. Skateboards and roller blading is not allowed. It is only closed during high wind days due to safety. Keep an eye peeled for whales, herons, seals and otters. If you’re love watching cruise ships, this is the place to be.

Great cruise ship watching from the tip of the breakwater

To honour the traditions and history of the Salish Nations, the Ogden Point Breakwater was decorated with murals.  Called the Unity Wall Mural, it is a project that transforms the breakwater into an enormous canvas upon which established First Nations artists, and the young artists they mentor, share their stories with the world.

Unity Wall Mural

The Unity Wall Mural