[Links: Travel (Air, Ground, Sea) | Accommodation (On-Campus, Off-Campus) | In Victoria (UVic, Weather, Bus, Child Care, Eat & Drink, See & Do, Fitness)]

Travel Information

Victoria is the capital of British Columbia, Canada, and is located on Vancouver Island, 44km (27 miles) off the coast of mainland British Columbia.

Getting Here: By Ground

From Vancouver: There is a daily bus service between downtown Vancouver, Vancouver Airport and downtown Victoria. This trip involves taking the ferry from Tsawwassen on the mainland to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island. Once your bus has driven on to the ferry, you are free to wander the ship, get a snack and relax. You might even see a pod of orcas during your crossing! After your bus drops you off in downtown Victoria, you can take a #11, #14 or #4 bus to campus.

BC Transit provides affordable and convenient bus transportation throughout Victoria.

Getting Here: By Air

Victoria International Airport is located approximately 30 minutes from the University. Flights arrive daily from across Canada, the US, and Europe.

Air Travel Notification, Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA): If you are traveling by air to or through Canada -- and you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, American citizen, or dual Canadian citizen (who are exempt from this) -- you will need an Electronic Travel Authorization. You can easily get an ETA. All the information you need is available via this link.

Float plane service is available from Vancouver (Harbour Air) and Seattle (Kenmore Air) to Victoria's Inner Harbour. Helicopter service between Vancouver and Victoria's downtown Inner Harbour is also available. If you are considering these options, please ask for UVic student rates.

For getting to and from the airport, we recommend the YYJ Airport Shuttle; during DHSI's peak operations, it will run to UVic, but outside of that you may need to call and confirm a spot to UVic. The cost is approximately $20-25 CAD for one adult; less if you are traveling in a group of two or more. Specific fares and schedules can be found on their website. A taxi to the university from the airport will cost approximately $50 CAD. A taxi from downtown to the university will cost approximately $20-25 CAD.

Getting Here: By Sea

There are regular ferries from Vancouver and Seattle to Victoria. For more information, visit BC Ferries or Victoria Clipper Ferry Service.

The ferry from Vancouver docks in Swartz Bay, approximately 45 minutes by ground travel from the University. The Victoria Clipper from Seattle arrives at the Inner Harbour downtown, about 20 minutes by ground from the University. 

Local Accommodation On Campus

Most all DHSI participants stay in on-campus accommodation during DHSI, and comment that the on-campus environs really lend themselves to a fuller and richer experience at DHSI. Campus lodging is clean, comfortable, and convenient.

The University of Victoria holds space for Summer Institute participants in dormitory and cluster housing. Internet access is available in each bedroom and payphones are located in or near all buildings.

Residence Rooms

Bedrooms in Residence (dormitory) buildings come with either 1 or 2 single beds. Shared washroom facilities are located on each floor along with a central lounge to relax and watch TV with other guests.

Cluster Units

Similar to an apartment or townhouse, Cluster Housing units come with 4 bedrooms, 2 washrooms and a shower. Each bedroom in the unit contains 1 single bed. The living room is furnished with a loveseat and coffee table. The kitchen has a fridge, stove, dishwasher and dining room table with chairs and (for additional charge) is equipped with dishes, cutlery and utensils. Please note cable and phone lines are available however televisions and telephones are not provided in the units.

For additional information and floor plans visit www.uvic.ca/residence/visitors/

Notes on cluster units: Although they are composed of 4 bedrooms, cluster units must to be booked and paid for as a single block. UVic Residence Services is generously facilitating individual receipts to be issued. To book a cluster unit, attendees will need to abide by the following conditions: 

  • Arrival and departure dates for each individual in a cluster unit must be the same. (If there are any early departures, with others in a cluster staying on, the original departure date will still apply for all charges.)
  • One person must make the initial reservation, and needs to indicate the names of the 3 guests who will be sharing the unit. 
  • The full balance must be settled at the time of booking.
  • The individual that submitted the booking request form is responsible for settling the total if the roommates do not settle their outstanding balances.
  • Please be sure to write "DHSI" under "Conference name" on the summer booking form.


Booking On-campus Accommodation

To book on-campus accommodation, please visit the U Victoria Housing reservation site. They can be contacted by email at bookings@uvic.ca or fax at +1.250.721.8930. Please be advised that spaces may fill up quickly; we recommend booking early!

Any inquiries can be addressed to UVic Housing, at bookings@uvic.ca.

Local Accommodation Off Campus

For those who wish hotel-style accommodation, and don't mind a little distance from the activities of the day, we recommend the following hotels, which will provide discounted government rates to guests of UVic via our institutional agreement with them. Please contact them for further information, and please note both that rooms at discounted rate may sell out quickly and hotels do fill quickly in Victoria (especially June-August).

Downtown hotels are not located proximate to UVic, requiring taxi, car or bus (or other) transport to the university. Buses run frequently and directly, taking 30-45 minutes depending on route and traffic; taxi fares run approximately $20+ CDN each way.

The Victoria tourism web site can be found at the following URL: http://www.tourismvictoria.com/ This site has numerous links to other hotels, Bed and Breakfast accommodations, etc. Please book early, though--Victoria is a very sought after destination during the summer months!

When You Get Here . . . 

About U Victoria

The University of Victoria is a mid-sized university with a student population of approximately 25,000. During the summer, the population decreases considerably .... The University grounds cover some 400 acres and include expansive gardens and protected green space.


Victoria enjoys some of the most pleasant weather in Canada. June usually sees a high of 19° C (66° F) and a low of 9° C (48° F). Days tend to be sunny and warm, cooling off considerably in evening. It will also be cooler by the water.

We recommend packing light layers and don't forget sunscreen and a hat. Breezes off the ocean can make you forget how strong the sun is and before you know it, sunburn!

Getting Around Victoria

Victoria's bus system makes it easy to get around town. From campus, routes 4, 11, and 14 will take you downtown. There is no central bus terminal; the main downtown stop is at the corner of Yates and Douglas in front of Hope Key Restaurant (11, 14) or Douglas and View (4) in front of Chapters.

The current adult fare is currently $2.50 (exact change only). A DayPASS, which allows transfers and unlimited travel, can be purchased on board the bus for $5 or two bus tickets. Please note that the buses stop running around midnight.

For more information, including transit maps and directions to popular destinations, please visit BC Transit. We will have transit schedules available at registration on Monday morning and at the information desk all week.

Remember to do as the locals do and thank your driver when you get off the bus!

Child Care

Those with children requiring care during DHSI will find that, with some advance planning, there are local options available. Please be in touch with the DHSI coordinator for currently-available possibilities.

Eat & Drink

Below are a selection of on- and off-campus restaurants in Victoria. Check out YelpTripAdvisorChowhound or other restaurant reviewing sites for more ideas!

    • On-Campus Restaurants & Cafés 
      Note: most on-campus cafés offer a discount on coffee if you bring your own mug; also, while most on-campus vendors will not accept credit card, they'll be very happy for cash, debit card, or UVic One-Card as a way to pay.
      • BiblioCafé: McPherson Library, Main Floor (Mon-Fri 8am to 3pm, Sat-Sun closed): The BiblioCafé offers a variety of coffee and specialty drinks, pastries, and light lunch options.
      • The Grad House (Mon-Tues 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, Wed-Fri 11:30 am to 7:30-ish pm): They have healthy food, pub fare, and celiac and vegan-friendly options, as well as local craft beer on tap.
      • Bean There: Student Union Building (Mon–Fri 6:30 am to 7pm): Bean There sells coffee, sandwiches, light lunches, pizza, and baked goods.
      • Munchie Bar: Student Union Building (Mon-Fri 8 am to 9 pm, Sat-Sun 6 to 9 pm): The Munchie Bar is the concession for Cinecenta, the campus movie house. They are open during the day and during show times. The Munchie Bar offers Kicking Horse coffee (organic and fair trade) and local baked goods.
      • Finnerty Express: Bookstore, lower level (Summer Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30am-5:00pm, Saturday 11:00am-5:00pm, Sunday Closed): Finnerty Express offers Salt Spring coffee (organic and fair trade) plus a variety of teas and specialty drinks. They have a good selection of local baked goods as well as newspapers, cold drinks, essential toiletries, and candy.
      • Felicita’s: Student Union Building (Mon-Fri 11:30 am to 10:30 pm): Felicita’s is UVic’s campus pub. They offer a full menu, from traditional pub-style food to healthy salads.
    • Off-Campus Restaurants & Cafés
      • Pubs & Casual Dining
        • Smuggler's Cove: Cadboro Bay's neighbourhood pub. Full lunch and dinner menu.
        • Maude Hunter's Pub: Former corner store (1916) now neighbourhood pub. Full lunch and dinner menu.
        • Christies Carriagehouse: Neighbourhood pub. Full lunch and dinner menu.
        • Spinnakers: Gastro brewpub. Full lunch and dinner menu.
        • Bard and Banker: Former workplace of northern Canadian bard Robert Service; live music every night. 1022 Government St. Full lunch and dinner menu.
        • Fernwood Inn: Cool traditional pub in the heart of a funky neighbourhood. 1302 Gladstone Ave. Full lunch and dinner menu.
        • The Pink Bicycle: Gourmet burgers at their finest. 1008 Blanshard Street; (250) 384-1008; Mon-Sat 11:30am to 9pm
        • Stickey Wicket: Several floors of fun! Full lunch and dinner menu.
        • Strathcona Hotel: At the heart of downtown. Full lunch and dinner menu.
        • Ferris' Oyster Bar: Seafood restaurant just off of Victoria's Inner Harbour. 536 Yates St; (250) 360-1824; Sun-Thurs 5 to 10pm, Fri-Sat 5 to 11 pm.
      • Vegetarian & Vegan
        • Rebar: Vegetarian food, local baked goods, and fresh juices. 50 Bastion Square; (250) 361-9223; Mon-Fri 11:30am to 9pm, Sat 9:30am to 9pm, Sun 9:30am to 9pm
        • Lotus Pond: Buddhist restaurant offering a variety of vegetarian and vegan options. 617 Johnson St
        • Café Bliss: “100% organic, 100% raw, 100% vegetarian and vegan, 100% wheat and gluten free, 100% fresh and local ingredients, 100% made with love.” 556 Pandora Ave; (250) 590-5733; Daily 11am to 6pm.
      • International
        • The Tapa Bar: Wide selection of tapas-style Latin cuisine with Spanish and Portuguese influences. 620 Trounce Alley; (250) 383-0013; Mon-Thurs 11:30am to 11pm, Fri & Sat 11:30 to midnight; Sun 12pm to 10pm
        • Ebizo Japanese Restaurant: Cozy restaurant with a wide array of Japanese dishes. 604 Broughton St; (250) 383-3234; Tues-Fri 11:30am to 1:30 pm and 5:00 to 8:30pm, Sun 5:00 to 8:30pm.
      • Late Night (open for dinner until late)
        • Little Jumbo: Craft cocktails and small plate dining in Victoria's downtown. 506 Fort Street; (778) 433-5535; Mon 5 to 11pm, Tues-Thurs 5pm to 12am, Fri-Sat 5pm to 1am, Sun 5pm to 12am.
        • Veneto: Tapas-style dining in the lounge of the Hotel Rialto. 1450 Douglas Street; (250) 383-7310.
        • The Mint: West Coast fusion and Himalayan cuisine served craft beer and custom cocktails. 1414 Douglas Street; (250) 386-6468; Mon-Sun 5pm to 2am.
        • Vista 18 at Chateau Victoria: Seasonal, organic cuisine is served morning til night at this chic harbourview rooftop eatery.18th Floor, 740 Burdett Ave; (250) 382-9258; Daily 6:30pm to Midnight.
      • Finer Dining
        • Brasserie “L’école”: Award-wining French dining. 1715 Government St; (250) 475-6260; Tues-Sat 5:30pm to 11pm.
        • Il Terrazzo: Intimate, candlelit Italian nook with brick fireplaces, patio seating & a notable wine list. 555 Johnson St; (250) 361-0028; Lunch 11:30am to 3pm Mon-Fri, Dinner from 5pm Mon-Sun.
        • Zambri’s: Set in a stylish, eco-conscious building, this trattoria serves classics like pasta, pizza & wine. 820 Yates St; (250) 560-1171; Lunch 11:30 to 3pm, Sunday Brunch 10:30 to 2:30pm, Dinner Sun-Thurs 5 to 9pm and Fri-Sat 5 to 10pm.
        • OLO: Simple yet stylish setting for sophisticated Pacific Northwest dishes & global wines. 509 Fisgard St; (250) 590-8795; Day Menu Mon-Fri 11am to 2pm, Sat-Sun 10am to 2pm, Night Menu Sun-Thurs 5 to 10pm and Fri-Sat 5 to 11pm.
        • Cafe Brio: Unpretentious choice for salumi, wine & Italian-leaning meals, made from local ingredients. 944 Fort St; (250) 383-0009; Tues-Sat from 5:30pm.
        • Q at the Empress: Classic, fine dining with a modern twist. 721 Government St; (250) 389-2727; Breakfast 6:30am to 11:00 am, Lunch 11:30am to 2:30pm, Dinner 5:30 to 9:30pm.
        • Pagliacci’s: Pasta dishes & other generous Italian staples are served at this stalwart eatery with kitschy decor. 1011 Broad St; (250) 386-1662; Lunch 11:30 am to 3:00pm 7 days a week, Dinner 3:00 to 10:00pm Sun-Mon, 3:00 to 11:00pm Fri-Sat, Sunday Brunch 10:00am to 3:00 pm.
      • Breakfast
        People in Victoria love to go out for breakfast or brunch on the weekend. If you are arriving early, or staying a couple of extra days after the institute, check out some of our favourite breakfast spots.
        • Blue Fox Cafe: Famous for their eggs benny, beef burgers and hand cut fries. 101-919 Fort Street; (250) 380-1683; Mon-Fri 7:30am to 4pm, Sat & Sun 8am to 3pm
        • Floyds Diner: Great breakfasts and even better greasy-spoon atmosphere. 866 Yates Street; (250) 381-5114; Mon-Thurs 7:30am to 3pm, Fri 7:30am to 4pm, Sat-Sun 8am to 4pm.
        • Jam Cafe: Sweet or savoury all-day breakfast in Old Town Victoria. 542 Herald Street; (778) 440-4489; Daily 8am to 3pm.
        • Mo:Le: Great dishes made with local ingredients; Very busy on weekends. 554 Pandora Avenue; (250) 385-6653; Daily 8am to 3pm (4pm on weekends)
      • Need more restaurants?

See & Do

  • On-campus (and nearby) Events & Attractions
    • UVic Observatory offers Wednesday evening viewing sessions.
    • Cinecenta is our campus movie house.
    • UVic Bookstore: books, gifts, UVic merchandise and more.
    • University of Victoria Legacy Art Galleries
    • Finnerty Gardens is a nice spot for a lunchtime stroll.
    • Mystic Vale
    • Cadboro Bay Village is a short walk down the hill from campus. At the foot of Sinclair Road you will find Peppers Grocery, a pharmacy, Olive Olio’s Pasta & Espresso Bar, Starbucks, and Smuggler’s Cove Pub & Liquor Store. Further along Sinclair Road is Cadboro-Gyro Park, a nice spot to sit by the water and see the boats at the nearby Royal Victoria Yacht Club. Sinclair Road is on a very steep hill; if you prefer not to walk back up, you can hop on the number 11 bus (fare is $2.50, exact change only) in front of Peppers and take a 5 minute ride back to campus.
    • If you're looking for something else to do around the UVic, Gyro Park in Cadboro Bay or Mount Tolmie can be quite nice. If you are wanting to go just a bit further out, Mount Doug is also an option. Several walking paths at different difficulties run around the small mountain and the top provides great views of the university and of Victoria.
  • Off-campus Events & Attractions
    • Museums, Galleries & Heritage Sites
      • Royal BC Museum: Located right beside the inner harbour, the Royal British Columbia Museum holds exhibits on natural and modern history as well as First Nation’s History. On top of that they have special exhibits and an imax theatre which can be a great way to spend a rainy day. 675 Belleville Street; Summer Hours: Daily 10am to 5pm
      • Art Gallery of Greater Victoria: The art gallery is home to an extensive Emily Carr collection but also holds a large Asian art collection. To complement their asian art collection, the Gallery also has the only authentic Japanese Shinto shrine in North America. 1040 Moss Street; Summer Hours: Mon-Wed 10am to 5pm, Thurs 10am to 9pm, Fri-Sat 10am to 5pm, Sun 12pm to 5pm
      • Maritime Museum of British Columbia: 634 Humboldt St; Daily 10am to 4pm
      • Miniature World: 649 Humboldt Street; Daily 9am to 9pm
      • BC Parliament Buildings: The Parliament building is located right by the inner harbour and is impossible to miss. Tours can be booked to see the inside, but one can also easily admire the architecture by exploring the parliament grounds. 501 Belleville Street; Mon-Sun 9am to 5pm
      • Victoria’s Chinatown is the oldest in Canada and is home to Fan Tan Alley, the narrowest street in Canada.
      • Craigdarroch Castle: While it might not be a castle in the european sense, Craigdarroch castle is a victorian-era Scottish Baronial mansion. Inside and out, it has remained accurate to the era. The house also tells the story of the baron and his family who lived there. It is located about 10 minutes by car or around a 30 minute walk from the downtown core. 1050 Joan Cresent; (250) 592-5232; Daily 10:00am to 4:30pm June 15th to September 6th, Daily 9:00am to 7:00pm.
      • Inner Harbour: Located in downtown right on the water, the Inner harbour holds many attractions. Buskers, vendors and food trucks will often be found in the summer. The inner harbour is a great way to add on to a day of exploring downtown Victoria. At night the Inner Harbour provides an amazing view of the fully light Parliament Building.
    • Gardens, Parks & Natural Sites
      • Butchart Gardens: Containing several gardens, most notably the sunken garden, rose garden and Japanese garden, Butchart Gardens is a popular tourist destination. Located 25-30 minutes outside of Victoria, it is a great place to wander for an afternoon taking in the beauty of the surrounding environment. 800 Benvenuto Avenue (23 km north of Victoria); Daily 9am to 6pm (until 10pm starting June 15)
      • Beacon Hill Park: Just outside the downtown core, Beacon Hill Park is large greenspace that is wonderful to explore. Containing several walking paths, ponds and statues, it is easy to spend time wandering around. At an instance Beacon Hill Park connects to Dallas road, which has a popular walking path that runs along the water, providing views of the Olympic Mountains. Downtown Victoria; Bounded by Douglas Street, Dallas Road, and Cook Street. (Children’s Farm open daily 10am to 5pm)
      • Thetis Lake: Located about 15-20 minutes outside of Victoria, Thetis lake holds a number of different walking trails that provide scenic views of the lake. If you are inclined to get in the water, their is a beach but there are also several access points off of the walking trails. Six Mile Road (Langford); Sunrise to Sunset.
      • Sooke Potholes: The Sooke Potholes are approximately 30 minutes outside of victoria and are home to 50km of trails and many popular swimming spots. Located on the Sooke River, the water has carved away into the rocks creating picturesque scenes and many cool places enjoy a sunny afternoon. 8am to 9pm.
      • Government House: 1401 Rockland Avenue; Grounds open daily, dawn to dusk.
    • Shopping
      • Books & Music
        • Munro’s Books: 1108 Government Street; Mon-Wed 9am to 6pm, Thurs-Sat 9am to 9pm, Sun 9:30am to 6pm
        • Russell Books: 734 Fort Street (Mon-Sat 9am to 6pm, Sun 11am to 5pm) and 702 View Street (Mon-Sat 10am to 5pm)
        • Renaissance Books: 14 Bastion Square; (250) 381-6469; Daily 10:30am to 5:00pm.
        • Chapters: 1212 Douglas St; (250) 380-9009; Daily 9:00am to 10:00pm.
        • Beacon Books: 2372 Beacon Ave. W (Sidney); (250) 655-4447; Mon-Sat 10am to 5:30pm, Sun & Holidays 12pm to 4pm.
        • Tanner’s Books: 2436 Beacon Ave. (Sidney); (250) 656-2345; Daily 8:00am to 9:00pm.
        • The Haunted Bookstore: 9807 3 St. (Sidney); (250) 656-8805; Daily 10:00am to 5:00pm.
        • Ditch: 784 Fort St; Mon-Sat 10am to 6pm; Sun 11am to 5pm
        • Lyle’s Place: 770 Yates Street; Mon 10am to 1pm and 1:40 to 6pm, Tues-Sat 10am to 6pm, Sun 12pm to 5pm
      • Clothing & Accessories
      • Gifts
    • Theatre, Live Music & Sports
    • Movies
    • Other Interesting Things to See & Do
      • There are a number of heritage and art features “hidden in plain sight” in downtown Victoria. Read about our sidewalk prismsmechanical clocks, and mosaics then see how many you can spot when you visit downtown.
      • If you are still in town on Saturday, the Moss St Community Market is definitely worth a visit for live music, local and organic produce and food, and handmade crafts. The Market runs from 10am to 2pm and is located at the corner of Moss Street and Fairfield Road on the grounds of Sir James Douglas school.
    • Need more things to do?

Fitness On and Off Campus

  • Fitness on Campus
    • Vikes Recreation
    • McKinnon gym (indoor 25m pool and small weight room)
    • CARSA Complex (large gym/weight room, drop-in court space, climbing wall, offers spin classes and aerobics)
  • Yoga
    • Found City Yoga (Bus Route 26 or 39), alight at Shelbourne and McKenzie.
    • Moksana Yoga (offers Hatha, Flow, Kundalini, Ashtanga, and Yin; take the number 4 bus to get downtown).
  • Running
    • Galloping Goose Trail (~60k rails to trails conversion, passes through urban, rural, and semi-wilderness landscapes). Closest access to campus off McKenzie Street and Borden.
    • Mt. Doug park (about 4k north of campus)
  • Crossfit (for something a little different)

Contact info:
institut@uvic.ca P: 250-472-5401 F: 250-472-5681