1908: A Blackball ferry, the Chippewa, entering Victoria's Inner Harbour as seen from Esquimalt. At right the legislature can be seen, and at centre the Empress Hotel, which has since been expanded in size. The large building to the left was the post office.
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1860: Victoria looks almost like a Wild West frontier town in this photo taken only two years after the gold rush caused a surge in new building. None of the buildings shown appear to have survived to the present. Photos from this early had long exposure times, and so had difficulty capturing street scenes, and any moving people on the street would appear as blurs.
1864: This photo was taken from the Songhees, or Lekwungen, Reserve in Esquimalt, looking back towards downtown. At the far right in place of the Empress Hotel you'll see a bridge. That was once an area of mud flats that would not be filled in until the beginning of the 20th Century.
1887: This early photo of Johnson Street, looking down towards the water, shows a quiet unpaved road empty of people. The building at left is one of the few to have survived. The tower on the right in the distance was once the Tiger's Fire Hall.
1895: A streetcar trundles down Douglas Street. City Hall can be seen in the distance.
1898: A party of fortune seekers poses for a photograph before departing for the Yukon gold fields. The party, led by Msrs. Buechler and Letourneau, have just been outfitted at F.R. Stewart's store.
1900: A large number of buildings have survived to the present from this view of Yates, taken from Wharf Street. At left were the Henderson Bros. Wholesale Druggists, but most of the other buildings on that side of the street have survived as well. The main difference is the large cupola on the building at the next corner, the Oriental Hotel, has been removed.
1901: A large gathering of mourners attends Queen Victoria's Memorial, February 2nd 1901.
1914: A busy day showing traffic and pedestrians on Government Street from Fort Street.
1914: A ship has apparently run aground at Clover Point. At this time the little peninsula served as a rifle range, and the large mound of dirt was used as a backstop for the targets.
1915: In 1915 the RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-Boat, killing hundreds of Canadians, including some from Victoria. New recruits training at Willows Park in Oak Bay came into Victoria and began smashing the windows of German businesses, including the hotel seen here, which had been known as the Kaiserhof. A mob quickly formed and smashed the windows at several other businesses known to be owned by Germans, or with German sounding names. Eventually the police were able to get the situation under control, and nobody was injured in the riot.
1916: In February 1916 Victoria was hit by a total of 46.2 inches of snow, throwing the normally mild city into chaos. This snowfall held the record until Victoria's blizzard of 1996.
1916: A group of men from the 103rd Battalion trudge through the snow past City Hall during the so-called Great Snow of 1916. They are carrying supplies with them on sledges. The men would have been training in Victoria before being sent to fight in France.
1922: A view across the Inner Harbour towards the old Johnson Street Bridge as it was under construction.
1931: A Float plane docks at the Victoria Harbour in 1931. During this period only seaplanes could land in Victoria as the first airstrip would not open until 1939.
1933: A couple pose for a photo in front of one of the captured German artillery pieces that were mounted in front of the Legislature after Allied Victory in the First World War. During the Second World War these guns would be melted down to be used in the war effort.
1941: A light field gun mounted on a truck parades up Government Street as curious onlookers watch from the sidewalks.
1943: This wartime photo shows the Victoria Girls Drill Team posing for a photo on the steps of the Legislature.