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HomeTravel NewsHow Victoria, BC Became a Sustainable Travel Hotspot

How Victoria, BC Became a Sustainable Travel Hotspot


Victoria Harbor is well-known for orca and whale spotting, and there are now many certified sustainable tour operators with which to do so. Orca Spirit is an ocean-friendly, carbon-neutral whale-watching company, whose fleet uses ultra-quiet, ultra-clean Yamaha four-stroke engines. (Reducing standard disturbance to marine wildlife is not only better for the whales, but also increases the likelihood of a sighting.) Another carbon-neutral whale-watching tour operator is Eagle Wing Tours, which is a member of 1% for the Planet and charges passengers a minimum wildlife fee to support research and conservation efforts. Prince of Whales, on the other hand, has offered climate-positive whale-watching tours for three decades. And if you don’t have time for a whale-watching tour, hop on the zero-emission water taxi as sometimes there are orca sightings in the inner harbor.

The sunken garden at Butchart Gardens.Photo: Getty Images

Back on land, rent an e-bike from Ride the Glide or book carbon-neutral transport with Tesla Tours and spend the early afternoon at The Butchart Gardens to learn why Victoria is nicknamed the City of Gardens. The 55-acre garden, a National Historic Site of Canada, has been open for nearly 120 years and is dedicated to preserving Victoria’s flora via environmental initiatives such as composting programs and non-chemical weed control methods. There are florals and foliage to admire year-round, with technicolored tulips in bloom in the spring, 280 varieties of roses on display in the summer, peak leaf viewing of maple trees in the fall, and an indoor floral conservatory in the winter.

Where to Eat

In Victoria, even your meals can be green. Grab a vegan pizza at Virtuous Pie, plant-based buffet-style dining at Green Cuisine, or farm-to-table vegan and gluten-free meals at Be Love. Even if you haven’t adopted a plant-based diet, you can still eat sustainably at Canada’s first carbon-neutral fast food restaurant, Big Wheel Burger, which uses produce grown from community gardens within 100 miles of the eatery and compostable packaging. There’s also Floating Fish Store, North America’s first certified OceanWise fishmonger, with an on-site restaurant serving freshly caught seafood including local oysters.

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