James Bay

Surrounded by the ocean on 3 sides – it’s a small seaside village, steeped in history, steps to the downtown core.

James Bay Neighbourhood Guide

Surrounded by the ocean on 3 sides – it’s a small seaside village, steeped in history, steps to the downtown core.


James Bay, the city’s oldest neighbourhood, and is known for its lively waterfront, charming historic houses, and rich history. For a small community, the list of unique amenities is endless - Brightly painted float homes and kiosks selling fish and chips clustered around Fisherman’s Wharf is a great place to start, explore the Dallas breakwater for stunning views, or enjoy the neighbourhood from the back of a horse drawn carriage.

James Bay incorporates the area south of the Inner Harbour to Dallas Road, between downtown Victoria and the Juan de Fuca Strait, including the BC Legislative Buildings, and the Cruise Ship Terminal. The northern boundary of James Bay is the waterfront along the Inner Harbour, which boasts many of the most prestigious hotels in Victoria.


What to Love

  • Arts and culture
  • Walking and cycling
  • Vibrant village core
  • Close to everything

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

James Bay is home to some truly wonderful unique businesses. For food, Heron Rock Bistro, the Bent Mast, and Discovery Coffee are neighbourhood staples.

For eclectic shopping, if you are in James Bay, don’t miss the chance to visit James Bay Coffee and Books - this combo of food and literature is amazing (having the ability to eat in secluded nooks while surrounded by books is not only unique, but truly embodies the quirky yet artsy nature of the area). Also make sure you do a walk-through of Super Chance, an exciting thrift store with some interesting items that match with the eccentric nature of James Bay itself.

Historic James Bay Inn is the third oldest hotel in Victoria, preceded only by the Dominion Hotel and the Empress Hotel (1908). Opened in 1911 it has operated continuously as a hotel with only brief interludes during the war years.


Things to Do

For spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains, enjoy a seaside stroll in historic Beacon Hill Park on the eastern boundary of James Bay. Beacon Hill Children’s Farm is a hands-on petting zoo in the Park, and make sure you don’t miss the famous daily Goat Stampede at closing time! The farm is open seasonally.

A great waterfront trail along the breakwater wraps around James Bay, stretching from the Ogden Point Breakwater all the way to Ross Bay Cemetery, providing great walking, jogging, biking, and roller blading, with outstanding views over Juan de Fuca Strait and the Olympic Mountains.

The breakwater at Ogden Point in James Bay, at nearly 800 metres long, extends into the ocean and offers a unique opportunity to walk out to sea and enjoy great views in all directions.

            Emily Carr House is the birthplace of Emily Carr, one of Canada’s first (and best-known) independent artist and writer. Built in 1864, the home can be architecturally described as both “San Francisco Victorian” and “English Gingerbread,” You’ll enter the same Victorian ambiance the Carr family would have known in the 1870s, and upstairs are several of their actual possessions, including some of Emily’s pottery and sculpture.



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