In the last decades of the nineteenth century, the young city of Victoria was being transformed from a manufacturing center to a tourist hotspot. As early as 1870, tourists from all over North America were visiting the "little England." By 1907, Victoria had become a bustling city that thousands of tourists flocked to each year.1
In 1907 William H. Harbeck attached a video camera to the front of a trolley and filmed downtown Victoria as a part of a tourist promotion sponsored by the Canadian Pacific Railroad. The purpose of the video was to show off the beautiful city and attract Europeans, not just as temporary tourists, but as permanant settlers. In its entirety, the twelve minute video features footage not only of downtown Victoria, but also of Victoria's harbour and the Gorge waterway, as well as footage of downtown Vancouver. Though this site only utilizes the first three minutes of the video, the footage of downtown Victoria, there is much to see and discover.
How to Use the Site
This site is designed for the viewer to explore Victoria in 1907 via the 1907 footage. As you watch the video you will have the opportunity to view some of the buildings that can be seen on the route. The site also features two stops; Chinatown, which unfortunately can not be seen on the video, and the Empress, which is only being built at the time of the filming. The site provides more indepth information on these two stops.
Using the navigation bar on the left Explore Victoria 1907 and Enjoy the Ride!