With the mildest climate in Canada, springtime in Victoria begins to arrive in late February or early March – a time where most other major Canadian cities are still contending with snowy weather and minus temperatures. When the spring hits in mid to late March, the days quickly become warm, sunny and full of brand new blooms. One of the most outstanding sights that is distinct to the capital city are the stunning cherry and plum blossoms that explode into pink clouds of blossoms creating fluffy tunnels over the city streets and scattering tiny fragile petals when the wind blows. Because most of the streets in and around the downtown area are lined with these trees, in the spring, no matter where you walk downtown Victoria, you’ll find yourself in a tunnel of pink – but if you really want to make the most of this phenomena, taking a dedicated cherry blossom walk is the way to do it! We’ve made a short list of the best streets to see cherry blossoms so that no matter where you’re staying, you can experience these incredible blooms at their best!
If you’re staying in James Bay near downtown Victoria you’re in luck because this little beach village to the south of downtown is one of the best places to see the cherry blossoms! James Bay is usually one of the first places in Victoria for the cherry blossoms to bloom, sometimes as early as January! So while you’re wandering through the streets enjoying the village vibes, the abundance of heritage buildings, the stunning ocean walks and all the little eateries, cafés and markets, you can also enjoy some of the best blossoms in the entire city.
Zig zagging through south James Bay: Croft Street, Clarence Street and South Turner Street
If you’re looking for a wonderful way to spend a spring afternoon in James Bay, pop into the very unique James Bay Coffee and Books to browse the shelves, grab a great cup of coffee to-go and get ready to go zig zagging through the streets of James Bay, packed with gorgeous trees and blossoms. Starting at Croft St and Simcoe, walk south to Niagara then head east to Niagara to Clarence St. Turn north up Clarence St back to Simcoe then walk east along Simcoe to the top of South Turner St. From there, head south again and enjoy the full length of South Turner and you’ll end up at Dallas road where you can sip your coffee on a bench and enjoy the fresh sea air.
Inner Harbour to James Bay Village: Menzies Street
Menzies St. runs all the way from the Inner Harbour to the heart of James Bay Village. No matter which direction you walk, this is one of the best routes to take to explore this area. This is a main road between James Bay and central downtown Victoria where you can find great coffee, breakfasts and markets as you walk.
Just east of downtown Victoria you’ll find the residential community of Fairfield. In Fairfield, you can walk through the historic neighbourhood of Rockland, shop, dine and grab a coffee in the bustling Cook Street Village, bask on some of the city’s best beaches and wander through one of the most stunning urban parks in Canada and in the spring this little residential area becomes one of the centres of jaw dropping, blossom-lined streets.
Fairfield and Dallas Road stroll
Starting at Foul Bay and Fairfield Road, head west to Robertson St. and turn south towards the water. Robertson St. turns into Hollywood Cres. which takes you west to enjoy the gorgeous Dallas Road seaside trail. While you’re walking, you can explore the Ross Bay Cemetery, loop up to Fairfield Rd. and head back or keep walking to Moss St. At Moss St. head north and enjoy this incredible stretch of blooms all the way to Fairfield Rd. and head back to Fairfield and Foul Bay. This 6 kilometre walk is a great way to see some of the best blossoms in Fairfield and an excellent way to spend a spring day!
Loop around Cook St. Village
If you’re visiting Beacon Hill Park and want to add a little blossom walk to your outing, there is no better way than taking this loop around Cook St Village that borders Beacon Hill Park to the east. At the east end of the park, right near the playground, you’ll find a small trail that leads to Oliphant Ave connecting Beacon Hill Park to Cook St. Village and one of the best small streets to see blossoms in the area. From Oliphant and Vancouver, turn north on Vancouver St. and enjoy this stretch of densely packed blossoms. When you come to Southgate St., turn right to and loop back to the top of Cook St. where you can stop for a coffee, and light lunch at Bubby Rose’s or kick back on the patio of the Beagle Pub, to enjoy great pub fare, an incredible tap list and do some people watching.
Downtown to Fairfield: Fairfield Road
While this long stretch of road goes from downtown all the way to South Oak Bay, it is also one of the nicest streets to see the blossoms and a direct way to get from downtown Victoria into the heritage neighbourhood of Fairfield. The most densely packed blossoms on this long street can be found from Vancouver St. on the edge of downtown to Moss St. You can cycle or walk down Fairfield Rd. to enjoy these gorgeous blossoms and get some exercise and fresh air in one of the prettiest cities in the spring!