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16 Crazy Facts About Victoria, British Columbia You Probably Didn't Know

Because you don't know till you know, you know?

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3. Victoria's Chinatown also boasts the narrowest alley in Canada — Fan Tan Alley — which was named after gambling dens that were once there.

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4. In the latter half of the 19th century, Victoria was one of North American's largest importers of opium.

5. The 1858 Fraser River goldrush increased Victoria's population from 500 to 5,000!

6. Robert Service, who would later be known as the Bard of The Yukon for famous poems like The Cremation of Sam McGee, first settled in Victoria in 1906 as a banker.

7. And you can enjoy a beer in the bank where he worked — the building still stands and is now the Bard & Banker Pub.

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8. In January 1906, Victoria saw one of the worst shipwrecks in Pacific Coast history. Valencia ran aground in stormy weather and approximately 100 people lost their lives. Bodies washed up on Victoria's beaches in the days following the tragedy.

9. Greater Victoria is home to TWO majestic castles: Craigdarroch Castle and Hatley Castle.

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11. You can enjoy afternoon tea like you're royalty — no really, Elizabeth II herself stayed at the Empress . It also happens to be one of the oldest hotels in the city.

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13. The orca whale Tilikum, featured in the documentary Blackfish, once called Victoria's now-defunct Sealand of The Pacific home.

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Recently, and very sadly, it's been revealed that Tilikum is suffering from a chronic illness and may not recover.

14. Victoria really is the "City of Gardens." In the 2015 annual flower count, residents accounted for 17, 257, 368, 541 flowers across the city.

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16. And finally, a whopping 10% of Victoria residents commit to biking to work — the highest percentage in the country.

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Mild climates and gorgeous sceneries are also to blame.