Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
Canadian modernists, Asian art, and works by Emily Carr anchor the impressive collections at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, where holdings go from fiber art to sculpture and oil paintings. The art gallery is housed in the historic Spencer Mansion, whose manicured gardens are a tranquil setting for a Japanese Shinto shrine.
A public art gallery with wide-ranging tastes, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is Vancouver Island’s largest public collection. The gallery is a great rainy day activity, and it’s an included stop on many hop-on, hop-off bus routes in the city. If you’d like to explore the galleries in greater depth, the gallery offers facilitator-led tours on weekend days and for groups who call at least two weeks ahead.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Great for art lovers and visitors interested in Shinto traditions.
- The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is wheelchair- and stroller-accessible.
- Admission is by-donation on the first Tuesday of every month.
- Museum admission is free for Indigenous peoples.
How to Get There
The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is located at 10 Moss Street, a 20-minute walk from downtown. Hop-on hop-off bus tours of Victoria have adjacent stops, or you can reach the gallery using public transit; a bus stop is located on Fort Street at Fernwood, with service from bus lines 11, 14, and 15. If you’re hoping to visit Craigdarroch Castle as well, keep in mind that it’s a short distance away from the gallery.
When to Get There
The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is open daily, but is closed on some holidays. While the gallery closes at 5pm on most days, it’s open late on Thursdays; that’s a great night to add a visit to a full day of exploring, but remember that the garden is best explored during daylight hours.
More Rainy Day Activities in Victoria
Plentiful rain keeps Vancouver Island forests lush, but BC weather can make vacation planning a challenge. In addition to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, other top picks for indoor activities include the Royal British Columbia Museum, Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria Bug Zoo, the Maritime Museum of British Columbia, and teatime at the Empress Hotel.
- Craigdarroch Castle
- Fort Street
- Victoria Bug Zoo
- Miniature World
- Old Town Victoria
- Race Rocks Ecological Reserve
- Royal British Columbia Museum
- Government Street
- Fairmont Empress Hotel
- Victoria Chinatown
- Victoria Inner Harbour
- Abkhazi Garden
- British Columbia Parliament Buildings
- Bateman Foundation Gallery of Nature
- Emily Carr House