Victoria & Views16 December 2007
I took a little trip and spent a little time in Victoria, the provincial capital of British Columbia, and liked it immediately.
It is home to a number of renowned sites I did not see during my brief stay; Butchart Gardens, Craigdarroch Castle, Royal BC Museum are but a few. Nor did I see any double-decker buses, street performers or whales. Such is the result of a wintertime visit.
But what I saw I liked very much. An attractive and manageable downtown, the enchanting Beacon Hill Park, and miles of waterfront walking offering a variety of splendid views. And as you may know, I am an out-and-out pushover for views.
This invariably leads to fantasies of living someplace where such vistas can be enjoyed daily. And, in fact, I am blessed with a temporary situation that offers something of the sort (see previous Chemainus blogs). But the reality is that if one were to move to a city like Victoria, the only affordable housing would not be anywhere near what attracted one in the first place. (Besides which, Victoria does not offer enough work in my field to even consider living there.) So I put fantasies aside, and enjoyed the city as a nice place to explore. I want to return with Katharine for a real holiday sometime.
But this “view thing” looms as an unfulfilled yearning. From our apartment in Toronto we can see a few nice trees, but neither the city skyline nor Lake Ontario. Both pale in comparison to the Olympic mountains visible from some Victoria areas, of course, but we can’t even see sunsets from our place. And I fear that ever-tougher economic times ahead will only mean less attractive surroundings, rather than the heart-lifting scenic landscape I have been craving for years.
I guess that’s why some of us travel. Or desire to.