September 20, 2022  •   7 min read


Victoria – the capital of British Columbia, sitting right on the sparkling Pacific Ocean.

Situated on the coast of Vancouver Island, this lush city has everything from incredible cuisine, sustainable shopping, the grandeur of the parliament buildings and the iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel, and of course, all the oceanic delights you could want.

From whale watching to locally-grown food and drink, Victoria is the perfect landing point to discover the wonder that is Vancouver Island.


W H E R E  T O  S T A Y

Fairmont Empress

Recognized as one of the most sustainable luxury hotels in North America, The Fairmont Empress’s commitment to sustainability is to be applauded. The Fairmont Empress is one of the oldest hotels in Canada, opening its doors in 1908. Not a stranger to the importance of longevity, The Empress’s focus on long-term sustainability and stewardship for the earth is an integral part of their ethos, as they are well-aware of what it takes to stand the test of ever-changing time.

From their on-site bee apiaries, rooftop herb garden, plastic-free and low-waste initiatives, local sourcing for food and drink, and reduction of carbon emissions, this hotel is a must-stay when visiting BC’s stunning capital. Read more about their sustainability practices here.

Address: 721 Government St

Photo Courtesy of Fairmont Empress


W H E R E  T O  E A T



This dreamy cafe, situated in a heritage house built in 1888, is a brunch experience you don’t want to miss. Guided by holistic philosophies, traditional culinary techniques, and the boundless inspiration of nature, Nourish’s intention is to enhance life on earth through love in the kitchen. This two-level cafe is home to a casual restaurant, takeout counter and culinary market, and upstairs, a cozy communal space for workshops and gatherings. With a back garden full of bountiful herbs and vegetables, Nourish honours the wisdom of the seasons and the cycles of life. Their naturally diverse menu includes thoughtfully sourced whole foods, with both meat and vegan options available.

Address: 225 Quebec St

Photos Courtesy of Nourish


Wind Cries Mary

For a fine dining experience in a casual and moody atmosphere, Wind Cries Mary is a must. Their ever-changing, dynamic menu is focused on nose-to-tail butchery, and deep relationships with their local partners – farmers, foragers, fishmongers, craft-brewers, and winemakers, all located on the incredible Vancouver Island. With a goal to support local and small-scale growers and farmers, their menu changes with the seasons, offering the freshest ingredients. For a truly delectable dinner with the best cocktails around, Wind Cries Mary will be your favourite culinary experience on the island.

Address: 45 Bastion Square

Photo 2 courtesy of Wind Cries Mary


The Veranda at The Fairmont Empress

The stunning harbour front visible from The Veranda at the Fairmont Empress mixes scenic views with incredible cuisine. Known for its emphasis on sustainability, The Empress’s Veranda restaurant focuses on locally-sourced, hand-selected ingredients that flawlessly come together in their signature Pacific Northwest style. With strong partnerships with local farmers, artisans, fishers, and growers, The Veranda’s unique dining experiences offer fresh fare with a low food mileage. Choosing to support their local economy and local farms instead of relying on imports, the restaurant’s commitment goes beyond sustainability, promoting a rich cultural exchange within the community.

Address: 721 Government St

Photo 1 courtesy of The Fairmont Empress



A super casual eatery for some truly delicious Mexican fare. Tacofino is the best, quick stop for lunch that hits the spot. From their humble beginnings from the back of a surf shop parking lot in Tofino, the founders created a delicious chain that infuses their experiences traveling with their West Coast roots. With bold flavours, Tacofino strives to bring you back to the beach with every bite. Working with local farmers and supporting small-scale growers, Tacofino believes in clean meat and happy oceans. We recommend their burritos!

Address: 760 Pandora Ave

Photos courtesy of Tacofino


W H E R E  T O  S H O P


Open House

A beautiful shop nestled within the heart of Downtown Victoria’s historic Lower Johnson St District, this lifestyle store carries everything from clothing to herbal remedies, all sourced directly from small makers, sustainable businesses, and conscious creators.

Open House is a great place to find American and other international brands that might not ship to Canada, as well as unique pieces for the home.

Address: 106 – 561 Johnson St

Photos courtesy of Open House



Anián’s founding belief is that the clothes we enjoy in the natural world, should not be harming it. With this in mind, Anián has created circular, timeless, lifetime clothing that you can actually live in (hiking, walking, gardening, cottaging) while feeling good. With the environmental impact in the fashion industry being what it is, Anián has begun using entirely recycled natural fibre textiles from landfills.

From the beginning Anián has been about using natural fibres, manufacturing in Canada, and creating transparency. Their cozy knits, jackets and shirts are unisex, incredibly well-made and simple in design.

Address: 575 Johnson St

Photos courtesy of Anian



With their headquarters in Victoria, Ecologyst makes all of their clothing on Canadian soil, in an attempt to reduce waste and emissions, and pairing a living and fair wage to the wonderful people who make their clothing. With a focus on natural materials, Ecologyst is able to avoid harmful practices that contribute to our global microplastic problem, using natural materials like merino wool, tencel, and organic cotton. 

Address: 2110 Store St

Photos courtesy of Ecologyst

Some of these places were in collaboration with Forage & Sustain. With stringent requirements, I only work with brands whose visions and ethos align with my own. All thoughts and opinions remain my own.

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