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Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria is a Canadian city, and the provincial capital of British Columbia.

It is near the southeastern tip of Vancouver Island, overlooking the Juan de Fuca Strait[?]. The city has a population 74,125 as of 2001. It is the largest city on the island. The chief industry is tourism. The district of Esquimalt, which forms part of greater Victoria, is the base for Canada's Pacific Fleet.

Founded in 1843 as Fort Camosun[?], a Hudson's Bay Company post, the city was later called Fort Victoria. When Vancouver Island became a crown colony, a town was laid out on the site and made the capital of the colony. With the discovery of gold on the British Columbia mainland in 1858, Victoria became the port, supply base, and outfitting center for miners on their way to the Cariboo gold fields. In 1866, when the island was united with the mainland, Victoria remained the capital of the colony and became the provincial capital in 1871.

It is the seat of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory[?] and the University of Victoria. The oldest Chinatown in Canada is also within Victoria.

See also: Canada, Canadian provinces and territories, Canadian cities

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