“Tourist Association of Victoria” created

The Victoria Daily Colonist (local newspaper) started reporting on Cuthbert’s efforts to entice tourism to the city; and took up a campaign to raise $5,000 via newspaper subscriptions to establish a tourist association.

The campaign worked, and in February 1902, the Tourist Association of Victoria (TAV) was created, with members that included prominent businessmen and politicians, including Frank Barnard Jr and Anton Henderson.

The TAV focused on attracting farmers and settlement, and investment: tourism would help bring new factories, encourage farmers to come to Victoria, and promote local industries such as fishing and mining.  They embarked on a drive to ‘beautify’ Victoria, improve transportation, expand accommodations, and develop new ‘attractions’ for visitors to enjoy.

Beautification projects included paving the streets with wooden blocks, installing concrete sidewalks, and, in 1903, the construction of the inner causeway wall began and the James Bay Inlet mudflats were filled in.  This laid the groundwork for development in the Inner Harbor.

The TAVs “Standing Committee on Hotels and Sea Bathing” started discussion with CPR to build a hotel by the summer of 1903: this would eventually become the Empress Hotel in 1908.

It also established the Tally-Ho coach (yes, our Tally-Ho!) which would provide visitors guided tours of the City for six months of the year.  Anton Henderson, General Manager of the Victoria Transfer Co and Vice-President of the TAV, was appointed as the Manager of the new Tally-Ho.