Today, Victoria Harbour is still a very busy port and working harbour. Recreational motor and sailing vessels, fish boats, ecotourism and whale-watching vessels, car and passenger ferries to Washington state, industrial barges, and harbour water taxis and passenger ferries are some of the types of vessels that regularly use the harbour. Ogden Point, at the southern entrance to Victoria Harbour, accommodates large vessels such as cruise ships, coast guard vessels and fibre-optic cable repair ships. In 2012, more than half a million cruise ship passengers visited Victoria Harbour. Non-motorized recreational boats are also common including dragon boats, canoes, kayaks, rowing shells and stand-up paddle boards.
The harbour also serves as a busy aerodrome, for both commercial and private flights of seaplanes and helicopters. On average, over 80 aircraft movements (departures and arrivals) occur every day.
Aircraft Traffic Map, Victoria Harbour
(large PDF version of map
Ship-building and repair and other marine industries continue to operate in the harbour. Float homes, fishing boats and recreational vessels dock at Fisherman’s Wharf, east of Ogden Point, and a commercial fuel dock is located nearby. There are several other marinas located throughout the harbour, as well as harbour ferry docks and waterfront walkways.
Tourism is a growing business in the harbour, with boat charters and whale-watching tours offered. Residential properties are gradually being built on sites previously used by industry, such as the Railyards, Dockside Green and Selkirk Waterfront developments.
Victoria Harbour from Fisherman’s Wharf
Many festivals, regattas, floating boat shows and other events are held in Victoria Harbour, a spectacular setting for any outdoor event.
In 2012 the City of Victoria completed a rainwater management project at Fisherman’s Wharf Park
in the James Bay neighbourhood. The refurbished park includes Victoria’s largest rain garden (352m2) which receives and treats runoff from 14,250m2 of impervious surfaces in the James Bay area. The park also features a stone retaining wall that marks the original location of the harbour shoreline.