Step Back in Time and Enjoy Victoria’s Storied Past with a Horse-Drawn Heritage Tour
Victoria is the ideal setting for a heritage tour, as one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest. British settlement in the city we know and love today began in 1843 and Victoria was declared the capital city on July 21, 1871. On that same day, British Columbia became the sixth province of the Dominion of Canada.
Today, Victoria is an exciting city that plays host to an incredible treasure trove of historical monuments. Some of the artifacts you’ll see on a heritage tour with Tally Ho are cemeteries, turn of the century gardens and even castles, like the famed Craigdarroch Castle.
Built by coal baron Robert Dunsmuir during the peak of the coal mining era on Vancouver Island, Craigdarroch is a glimpse into the life of the Dunsmuir family in the 1890’s.
Victoria was the site of Canada’s first police force and Canada’s largest Chinatown. It was also a hotbed of activity during the gold rush and coal mining era and so much more. There are countless stories and legends to discover, all hidden among the streets and historic sites of this modern Canadian city.
Tally Ho Carriage Tours is Part of Victoria’s Heritage
At Tally-Ho Tours, we love being able to show our guests all sides of Victoria’s rich history. A large part of why we have such fun and informational tours is because we ARE a part of Victoria’s history. At Tally-Ho, we’ve been a fixture in downtown Victoria since the Gold Rush, and officially incorporated as Victoria’s original public transportation/tourism company in 1903.
Started by Anton Henderson, the original stagecoach tours started near where Mayfair Mall is located today (the old Tally-Ho bar was originally the Tally-Ho horse stable). Back then, a route from Mt. Tolmie to Victoria would have cost 15 cents and the stagecoaches were packed with people. By the 1940s there were 13 horse-drawn wagons operating, each requiring a set of 6 horses to transport the crowds of families and tourists.
Today’s private single-horse-drawn carriage tours are meant for 2-6 people for tourism and enjoyment only.
At Tally-Ho, we are dedicated to preserving Victoria’s heritage by providing a unique, educational and memorable experience. This is why every member of the Tally-Ho family works tirelessly to provide the best experience possible for all of our guests.
What Can You Expect to Learn About on a Heritage Tour of Victoria with Tally-Ho?
Our knowledgeable guides tend to be history lovers themselves and are highly trained in the history of Victoria. Each of our fully guided private tours are geared towards highlighting the fascinating history of downtown Victoria and the seaside of James Bay, Victoria’s oldest neighbourhood. Some featured landmarks throughout James Bay include the home of famed artist Emily Carr, Mile 0 and St. Ann’s Academy.
We don’t want to give too much away in advance! Just know that the alleys, squares and buildings built so long ago might contain modern businesses and restaurants now, but they hold countless sordid, fun and fascinating tales from times gone by.
Depending on the tour you choose, our professional and knowledgeable guides can tell you anything you wish to know about the area. From spooky ghost stories in October to tales of Victorian Christmases in December, legends from historic Chinatown and more, your wish is our command. Of course, each tour is predetermined with the major stories and popular highlights from Victoria’s past but our guests have often been surprised at the depth of knowledge that our friendly guides share.
What is The Most Popular Historic Tour?
By far our most popular tour for true history buffs is our Heritage Tour. During this 30-minute tour, your guide will regale you with tales from the lives of past and present Victorians as you travel through charming James Bay. As your horse’s hooves gently clip clop along the streets, you’ll learn all about the heritage district. Marvel at the stunning architecture and picturesque gardens before enjoying a short meander along the waterfront.
Settled comfortably in your carriage guided by one of our gentle giant draft horses, you can let your imagination take you back in time. Imagine a simpler time, a slower pace and take a deep breath as history comes to life all around you.
A Historic Horse and Carriage Tour Makes a Perfect Gift for Your Favourite History Enthusiast
For a truly unique birthday gift, anniversary gift, or just-because gift, a gift certificate for a Tally-Ho Carriage Tour is a wonderful choice. Choose from our many popular city tours, from the 15-minute Short and Sweet Tour, to our 75-minute Grand Tour. You can even create your own Premier a-la-carte tour with our helpful team.
“Our tour guide driver was very friendly and knowledgeable of the heritage and history of Victoria. The ride was very safe and relaxing, and we felt very special and were treated like royalty. Highly recommended and well worth the price.”
-Morna, Niagara Falls, ON.
Are There Any New Victoria Heritage Tours Being Offered Outside of the City?
Yes, there are! For a limited time, our Tally-Ho and Sea Cider Picnic Experience gives our guests the opportunity to learn about the past and present of nearby rural Saanichton. A charming farm community, Saanichton holds plenty of stories of its own which are shared during this extra special tour.
If you’re looking for things to do in Victoria, nothing beats a guided tour in the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage. What better way to slip back in time than by enjoying the transportation that was mainstream hundreds of years ago? Our Victoria heritage tours are a fun experience for all ages and are always a popular choice for tourists and residents alike. To book your tour, contact Tally-Ho Carriage Tours at 1-866-383-5067 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.