Vancouver History Tidbits: Queen Victoria

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s the May Long Weekend here in BC and for many that means getting the boat out of hibernation, pitching a tent for the first time this year, lazy days at the beach, and tuning into daytime TV and wondering what happened to Bob Barker. The long weekend is due to Monday being Victoria Day and if you’re wondering what Queen Victoria’s influence has been on our province here are some quick facts:

  • The city of Victoria (BC’s capital) is named after Queen Victoria
  • The Empress Hotel in Victoria’s harbour is named after the Queen, who was the Empress of India
  • Victoria Peak on Vancouver Island was named after her.
  • Richard Moody (one of the most important figures in Greater Vancouver’s early history) named the area we now know as New Westminster, “Queensborough” – in honor of Queen Victoria. She then actually suggested it be named New Westminster and because of this name change, it became known as the Royal City and capital of the Crown Colony of British Columbia. [source: VancouverHistory]
  • Queen Victoria passed away in 1901 and all of the nations in the Commonwealth mourned her death after her 63 years as monarch (she reigned longer than any other). Her birthday was May 24th 1819 and the holiday we now celebrate is in honor of her birthday.

Now that we know a little bit more about the origins of today’s stat holiday we can get back to our BBQs, movie marathons, and head out to a local outdoor pool that is opening for the season as of this weekend (as long as the weather holds).

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