Historic buildings are the vainest of all structures, demanding open houses, constant weatherproofing, and hourly compliments on the shapeliness of their iconic columns. Acquaint yourself with legendary people containers with today's Groupon: for $10, you get two tickets to a guided architectural walking tour of Victoria from Architectural Institute of British Columbia (a $20 value).
The Architectural Institute of British Columbia's self-governing efforts regulate the architectural profession throughout British Columbia and promote excellence in modern and historical architecture for all BC citizens through architectural walking tours for up to 30 guests. The Inner Harbour tour leads façade fans downtown to stroll Government Street, elaborating on the history of famed structures such as the Empress Hotel and legislature buildings and offering insights on the architects' superhero side careers. On excursions through Old Town and Chinatown, tour leaders guide guests to the plazas, back alleys, and secret horse-drawn hot-dog carts between the district's 1880s structures and illuminate the rich cultural history of Chinatown's Douglas Street. Meanwhile, Ecclesiastical Architecture tours traverse paths between the city's two cathedrals, Canada’s oldest original synagogue, and a pioneer cemetery, showing how these sites' traditional aesthetics and frequent nagging influenced modern designs.
While guests meet at the Atrium for five out of six sojourns, tours of James Bay's residential structures gather in front of the legislature buildings under the Queen Victoria statue's protective invisible parasol. Tour participants enter the Atrium's window-lined ground floor at the start of their journey and pass the building's surrounding rain gardens upon departure. The Atrium is constructed from a panoply of natural materials, including LED and high-efficiency light fixtures, all designed for durability and resistance to gangs of loitering teenage bookworms.
Architectural Institute of British Columbia
Iconic buildings rise up on either side of tour groups as they trail guides who regale them with stories and historical insights. Traversing a total of 9 Victoria and Vancouver neighbourhoods, the Architectural Institute of British Columbia’s walking tours illuminate pivotal and noteworthy structures throughout the city. In Victoria, explorers can ramble through Chinatown—the oldest Chinatown in the nation—or feel the waterfront breeze while taking in the splendor of the Parliament buildings. Alternatively, Vancouver walkers can embed themselves in the city’s first neighbourhood, Strathcona, or investigate industrial expansion by roaming Yaletown.
The AIBC, established in 1920, is a self-governing body dedicated to excellence in the profession of architecture for the benefit of the public, its membership and the environment.
800 Yates St.
Victoria, British Columbia V8W 3S2