It’s Rare, But It Can Snow in Victoria!

Yes, snow is rare in Victoria, particularly on the low lying coastal areas, but it does happen.  On Dec 5 & 6th 2016 the city was practically shut down by less than 2 cm (less than 1″) of snow followed closely on the 9th by 10 cm (around 4″) with exclamations of ‘snowmageddon’ and ‘snowpocalypse’!  There were runs on snow shovels at Canadian Tire and generators were selling out!  However …  a few hours later it was pretty much all gone as the temperature warmed up and the snow turned to rain!  Disaster averted!

While anyone from practically anywhere else in Canada has a great laugh at this, Victorians take their snowfall very seriously.  However, to keep things in perspective, a significant snowfall of around 40 cms occurred in in 2014; and …  in some very rare circumstances a truly remarkable event can take place, for example in 1996 177 cm (almost 6′) of snow fell on the city over a period of a couple of days.  This is truly significant when you consider we only have around 5 snow plows in the city!  If you would like to see more historical snowfall data, click this link:  Victoria Snowfall Data

Keep in mind, around Victoria the amount of snow can vary greatly depending on where you are.  A short drive up the penninsula or out to the Western Communities or even a small change in altitude and you can see dramatically different accumulations of snow.

When the snow does fall, Victoria can be transformed into a magical place and it’s worth getting out for some exploration!


Westsong walkway in the snow

Westsong walkway at Westbay in Esquimalt

Westsong Walkway snow

Westsong Walkway looking towards Westbay


?Westsong Walkway with snow, Victoria,BCWestsong Walkway with snow, Victoria,BC

The Westsong Walkway


West Song Walkway with snow

The West Song Walkway, Westbay


Westsong walkway in the snow

Westsong walkway at Westbay in Esquimalt


Kayaks at Westbay Marine Village

Kayaks at Westbay Marine Village


Westbay Marine Village Snow, Victoria, BC

Westbay Marine Village


Macualay Pt Park. Esquimalt, BC

Macualay Pt Park. Esquimalt


Macaulay Point Park, Esquimalt, BC

Macaulay Point Park, Esquimalt


Kayaking Witty's Lagoon

Kayaking Witty’s Lagoon


Kayaking around Cole Island, Esquimalt

Kayaking around Cole Island, Esquimalt Harbour



About the Author:

Bruce is an avid sea kayaker and whitewater paddler, a writer and photographer. He and his wife Linda RV full time, love to explore, hike, bike, paddle, and write about their adventures. Their photography can be seen at


  1. Kawika July 4, 2018 at 10:21 am - Reply

    If you compare Victoria to the rest of Canada (especially East side like Ont., Quebec and Maritimes)-It’s like Paradise! You do not call a less than 2 inches ‘snow’. Maybe that is why it is so expensive and unaffordable!

    • Linda July 7, 2018 at 7:48 am - Reply

      Indeed! Although you should see the drivers here when we get that 2″ or less of snow. It’s like Armageddon … people begin stocking up food! We’re so spoiled. But … in 1996 we were on record as having the biggest snowfall in Canada … it was over our roof! So we DO get the odd snowfall!

      • Ted November 19, 2018 at 7:15 pm - Reply

        I don’t know where you have been but i’ve lived here all my life and i know of only a handful of years it didn’t snow. look up the years 1968 to 1969,the early 1970’s,late 1970’s,November 1985 we had more than 40 centimeters,i know i’ve missed some years.

        • Bruce Holland November 20, 2018 at 9:00 am - Reply

          Thanks for your comments, we always love to hear from people! When we say snow is rare in Victoria, it really is on the basis of how much we get over the course of a winter and how long it persists. Indeed, most years we do get some amount of snow fall, sometimes over a couple of weeks during a freezing period and maybe a couple to a few times a year, but the snow here never lasts, even after the record snow storm of 1996. I would still consider that rare compared to many parts of the country who have persistent snow all winter long. We do mention in the article that the amount that we get and what may persists depends a lot on where you happen to live. Thanks again!

Leave A Comment