The DapperDame does Victoria

One summer, two major Canadian cities. Three if you count my triumphant return to Calgary after an 8 year hiatus. Yes, let’s count it. Three major Canadian cities. Each city was (unknowingly) trying to win my allegiance but who will earn a spot on my top places to live ever? Victoria!  I must drone on and on about how spectacularly better-than-everywhere-else Toronto is because my colleagues were all incredulous that I could be more enamoured with the quaint harbour city of Victoria over its massive neighbour across Georgia Strait.  Well people, it happened. Maybe it was the romance of a pinterest-perfect wedding (Congrats Hi-C!) at Glendale Gardens or sharing it with friends from all over the continent but I was sold. It really was one of the loveliest cities I’ve ever visited. For only having 350,000 in the entire metro area Victoria has a downtown of unique boutiques and fancy treats (oh heck, and charming eats!*) in keeping with (and surpassing) much larger centres *cough* Edmonton *cough*.  Calgary’s Glenbow was just about to win the “impressive museum” contest when the Royal BC Museum rolled in with its totems waving and its detail-oriented walkthrough replica of old-timey life steppin’ up its game. Not to mention touring the Maritime Museum complete with THE OLDEST WORKING BIRDCAGE ELEVATOR IN NORTH AMERICA. Did I ride it? You bet I did. Despite my fear of elevators I rode that creaky bastard up two whole floors and back down again just because National Geographic has decided it is the second best elevator ride in the world after the CN tower (also conquered by me). Didn’t know that was a list, did you?

JSLPA, ShanWow (+fetus) and I airBnB’d the cutest bachelor suite with a bed that actually rolled out from under the washroom and was hidden as a faux china cabinet drawer set when closed. We were walking distance to all of downtown and used it as a touring point for wandering. Downtown finds include hidden little shopping streets in back alleys, a store selling just macarons (pineapple basil was the best find), a gourmet chocolate shop and the best used bookstore on the planet. My finds for the trip included a pair of pink leather ballet flats for $15 second hand – an affordable way to buy quality footwear; a number of mid-century grammars of less commonly spoken languages like Sesotho and Barbadian dialect. Having not left the city there is still so much island to see nonetheless I was impressed.  The only thing that didn’t impress me was all the rain, cold and subsequent umbrella carrying.

The the worst photographer ever because I decided to leave my camera at home to enjoy the wedding sans lens so no photos to share! Sorry!


I carried that darn parapluie all over the city so it was making an appearance in a photo!


Girl can smize


JSLPA taking her top model challenge seriously. We’ll be taking orders for the purse and boots.


The most idyllic petting zoo sheep


That freakin’ umbrella again (beacon hill park)


JSLPA itching to get her gumboots wet


The loverly shore line at Beacon Hill Park


Someone’s art overseeing the beach


Somewhat traditional: sea JSLPA and Sea Dapperdame show up (but miss Hi-C and ShanWow!)


Bronies are alive and well in Victoria (this one is for you, Spice Boy)

*case in point “JAM”: the brunch place where the owner’s grandma supplies the homemade spreads)

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