Spending Canada Day long weekend in Victoria definitely offers quite a selection of events to participate in!
As this trip was partly for a family visit, I had limited time to take in the sunshine and various Canada Day long weekend activities offered by the city.
On the Saturday, my niece wanted to go to Beacon Hill Park to visit the petting zoo – Beacon Hill Children’s Farm. During this visit, all the peacocks were showing its beautiful feathers, and the farm had recently welcomed 7 new piglets to the farm. Visiting the goats, there had also been several recent births of new baby goats to pet and play with. It definitely brought back wonderful memories of my childhood playing at this park and at the petting zoo. I would highly recommend anyone with children visiting Victoria to have a walk around Beacon Hill Park, visit the Children’s Farm, feed the ducks, and for the final stop, grab some delicious self-serve ice cream from Beacon Hill Drive In. Beacon Hill Drive In serves the best soft-serve ice cream in town, and also has delicious french fries and onion rings!
The following day I had a chance to check out the Jazz Fest 2012 (Victoria Jazz Festival) at Centennial Square, which also coincides with the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. On this nice sunny day, I happened to come across a high school band performing, Reynolds Secondary School. It turns out that Reynolds’ Grade 11 & 12 band was performing, under the direction of Mr. Dave Flello, who was actually my jazz band teacher back when I was at Esquimalt Secondary School many years ago! It was a wonderful treat to see that Mr. Flello was inspiring a new generation of students with his love of jazz music. Several of the students performing were highly talented, and hopefully we’ll see them out in the jazz community more through their music careers!
We then managed to head down to the Inner Harbour to celebrate the Canada Day festivities. There was A Flavour of Canada, consisting of several food trucks and kiosks selling a variety of ethnic cuisines, showcasing that Canada is multi-cultural when it comes to food. My favorite was the Langos from the Hungarian Society of Victoria. Langos are like fried chinese donuts, but flat and round like a flatbread, and you can either make them savoury or sweet. I prefer the sweet sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon on top of the langos. As well as the food, there was a stage where various world beats music acts were playing. When we were there, a spanish band was performing, while people were dancing.
After making our way through the food section, we stopped by the Parliament Buildings to enjoy the main stage of music festivities, some pictures, and a nice cool helping of Hawaiian Shaved Ice!
To cap off a long day of Canada Day festivities, Victoria showcased a 10 minute fireworks display at night, shooting fireworks up in the sky from the Delta Ocean Point Resort.
After a good night’s rest, on my final day in Victoria over the long weekend, what better way to complete it then with brunch at John’s Place. John’s Place has been quite the establishment in Victoria since 1984. Although growing up in Victoria, this was the first time I’ve been to John’s Place! My bf saw them featured on Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here, so we had to come out! He ordered the classic eggs benedict – with John’s Place’s famous hollandaise sauce and home fries, while I ordered the 222 Headache, which included John’s Place’s famous Belgium waffle, along with 2 Italian chicken sausage patties and 2 eggs. The eggs benny was delicious, but I found the hollandaise to be too creamy rich for me. My favorite was the home fries, I wish I could eat more of them! The Belgium waffle was also really delicious – nice and fluffy when you cut in, but crunchy on the outside. I’ll definitely be coming back for more of those and the home fries again on my next visit!
Despite Victoria being my home, I also keep finding new and exciting adventures each time I visit! I’m looking forward to discovering more new restaurants and things to do around town on my future visits!