Victoria Becomes the Capital of BC

With rapid growth came development, and Victoria was incorporated as a city on August 2, 1862.

By 1866, with the decline of the gold rush, decreasing government revenues, and increased debt, government officials needed to introduce some cost-cutting measures.  It was decided that the Colony of Vancouver Island would be folded into the Colony of British Columbia, thereby creating the United Colony of British Columbia.

New Westminster served as the home of the newly formed Legislative Council; however in an effort to unite the people, the first Governor of the united colony, Frederick Seymour, decided to allow the legislative council to choose where the new capital city would be: New Westminster or Victoria.

At the time, Victoria was BC’s largest city, the center of commerce and easily defended by the Esquimalt naval base.  While the Governor favored New Westminster as the capital city, the votes tallied in Victoria’s favor, and on May 25, 1868, he reluctantly proclaimed Victoria the capital of BC.