Queen Victoria circa 1900The dawn of the new century was overshadowed by the death of Queen Victoria after which the city was named, on January 22, 1901. What had been a celebration of the new year and century was replaced with mourning for the only monarch reigned throughout the entire history of the city, the only monarch that all but the very oldest Victorians could remember. She had reigned for 64 years.

Beacon Hill Park circa 1900Her empire that had seemed so secure at her Diamond Jubilee was now mired in a guerilla war it could not seem to win against some ragtag settlers in South Africa. Victorians had sent some of their sons of to what had first seemed a noble defense of empire.

Victoria was shaken in another way as the census for that year revealed that the city had been eclipsed by its mainland neighbour, Vancouver. Vancouver, by 1901 had more people, more manufacturing, and more wealth than the capital city. Victoria, would now start to make a positive virtue out its less commercial, more "civilized", orientation.

In part the Canadian Pacific Railway Company assisted with this new identity by building in 1908, on reclaimed land in the Inner Harbour, a luxury hotel that became one of the hotels inthe British Empire. Rudyard Kipling, the unofficial poet laureate of the empire, stayed at the Empress and described Victoria as "that quite English town of beautiful streets." Times of London on October 10, 1908, considered Victoria the most English of all towns in Canada.

Research Sites

Victoria is Dead!

Created by Melissa Quantz, Jassi Shonki, and Angela Oh

The main objective of the site is to examine how Queen Victoria's death was viewed through the eyes of the citizens of Victoria. The sympathy expressed by the city is an example of Victoria's loyalty to the British Monarch...