Visitors sometimes confuse Vancouver Island with the City of Vancouver, located on the British Columbia mainland. Both are named after Captain George Vancouver, who charted the waters of the Pacific Northwest in 1792.
Victoria began life in 1843 as Fort Victoria, a Hudson Bay Company trading post, on a site selected by Sir James Douglas, and named in honour of Queen Victoria.
In 1849, Vancouver Island became the first Crown Colony west of the Great Lakes. With the Fraser Valley gold rush in 1858, Victoria grew rapidly as the main port of entry to the Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
In 1862, Victoria was incorporated as a City. In 1866, the Crown Colony of Vancouver Island was united with the Crown Colony of British Columbia. When the colonies combined, the City became the colonial capital and was established as the provincial capital when British Columbia joined the Canadian Confederation in 1871.
The government of British Columbia was originally housed in “The Birdcages,” which were replaced by the present Parliament Buildings, completed late in 1897.