Docked inside British Columbia's former Supreme Court building in Bastion Square, the Maritime Museum of BC provides visitors with a bridge to the province's past through an affluent collection of nautical and legal treasures. More than 35,000 unique artifacts—plus 40,000 photographs—join forces to ferry eyes through history, including exhibits that showcase notable pirates, explorers, heritage vessels, and shipwrecks.
A fleet of three iconic sailboats has also dropped anchor beneath the museum's roof, and despite its age and creaky joints from years of playing pond hockey, the oldest operating birdcage elevator in North America still totes guests from floor to floor. Aside from its seafaring trove, the museum also runs public and school programs on topics such as immigration, pirates, women at sea, and the Canadian Coast Guard.
Like the colourful fan of its namesake's tail feathers, diamonds and triangles of billiard balls nestle into racks on Peacock Billiards' tables. A grid of 30 tables in an array of sizes and colours populates the room, surrounded by cushy leather couches and bright murals. Beneath the clatter of sunken shots can be heard the rhythmic tap of table-tennis matches and the furious spinning of foosball handles. The James Joyce Bistro resides in the corner, where patrons sitting in circular booths enjoy drinks and nachos served in cored-out copies of Dubliners.
The Braefoot Community Association was created to enrich its community with sports and recreational activities. Each of their programs is designed to help kids develop social and physical skills while encouraging healthy lifestyle habits and instilling in them an eagerness to remain active instead of imitating plastic-molded mannequins. Kids aged 16 months to 12 years can undergo non-competitive instruction in roller hockey, soccer, basketball, baseball, and tennis, and owners of fancy feet can take pre-professional and children's level dance instruction with the Westcoast Academy of Performing Arts. During the summer, a slew of camps keep children occupied and involved, teaching kids kayaking or biking basics, or helping them hone their soccer or hockey skills. The organization’s multi-use facility also has grounds for the Lakehill Soccer Association and the Saanich Lacrosse Association to play on and is working toward expanding their activities to include adult programs.
Craigdarroch Castle was built between 1887 and 1890 as a home for Robert Dunsmuir, a Scottish immigrant who made his fortune in coal and wanted to show off his wealth and importance to the surrounding country. The stately mansion has since transformed into a military hospital in 1919, a Victoria College dormitory in 1921, and now a renovated historical site owned and operated by the Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society. The castle retains its original 11th- and 12th-century-inspired Romanesque characteristics, such as a cylindrical tower with a conical cap and frames ornamented with 33 original stained-glass windows. Formerly a 28-acre estate, the present day 1.75-acre grounds house a 20,000-square-foot interior boasting 39 lavish rooms accurately furnished in 1890–1900 period wares, an 87-stair ascent to a tower overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains, and a fireproof underground rec room for the Dunsmuir’s pet dragon.