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Victoria, located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, is the capital city of British Columbia. Early history and the British influence meet as a First Nations totem pole shares the grounds with the 19th-century Neo-Baroque style British Columbia Parliament Buildings.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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The Fairmont Empress Hotel has stood facing the harbor and serving celebrities and royalty for more than 100 years. The Empress's famous Afternoon Tea is a Victoria tradition, and the hotel serves as many as 800 people a day. In 1989 the 45 million dollar 'Royal Restoration' updated the hotel, while still retaining its Edwardian area elegance.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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Seaplanes and boats peacefully coexist in Victoria's Harbor. Seaplanes swoop over boats of every description as they glide gracefully into the inner harbor. You could say that Victoria Harbor is unique for being an international airport (you can fly here from Washington State) with a water runway.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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There are plenty of street performers in the Victoria Harbor area, but Pierre St. Pierre the Mechanical Musical Marvel is the only automated one. Created by Victoria's Roland Grittani, this manmade accordion player starts to play, in a most convincing way, when coins are thrown in a cup. When not performing in Victoria, Pierre St. Pierre can be found entertaining in Montmartre in Paris.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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World famous Butchart Gardens, a National Historic Site of Canada, evolved out of an exhausted limestone quarry. The Butchart's bought the property in 1904 to accommodate a cement manufacturing plant and their home. Mrs. Butchart decided to turn the unsightly quarry into a garden. It evolved into 55 acres of floral loveliness, incorporating more than 1,000,000 bedding plants in 700 varieties, including this hairy tulip.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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Qualicum Beach is a casual coastal community located on the central eastern shore of north Vancouver Island. A popular vacation destination, the beach offers plenty of reasonably priced accommodations right on the sand, and at low tide you can walk for miles along the broad sandy beach.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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Chemainus was a typical mill town until the logging mill closed in 1983 and 700 people lost their jobs. To boost the town's flagging economy a local man came up with the idea of covering the downtown business's walls in murals chronicling the town's history. The resulting 37 murals turned the town from a mill town into a tourist attraction. 'Letters from the Front' covers one wall of the town post office.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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The tiny community of Sayward, located on Kelsey Bay, boasts the world's only structure wrapped in logging cable. The Cable Cookhouse is a steel-frame building covered in 8,200 feet of cable, meaning the walls are close to 26 tons in weight. Generous portions of home-cooked comfort food and fresh-baked pastries and desserts make it a popular spot with locals and visitors alike.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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It's estimated that there are 12,000 American Black Bears (Ursus americanus) living on Vancouver Island, with the majority being on the north end. In some areas at certain times of year it's not unusual to see 10 to 20 bears in a single day. Though generally non aggressive unless threatened, they can be unpredictable so the rule of thumb is to stay 300 feet from one. This bear was in a field near Telegraph Cove.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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Telegraph Cove started as a telegraph station and is one of the last boardwalk communities of eastern Vancouver. Historic buildings from the 1940s are still perched over the water on stilts. Its bay location ensures plenty of opportunity for kayaking, boating, fishing, and, in season, whale watching.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
 
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