As much as I brag about the mild weather on Vancouver Island, I have to confess there’s a part of me that misses the snow at Christmastime – its delicate sparkle in the sunlight and street lamps that echoes the sparkle of tinsel on Christmas trees.

I wonder if that’s why Victoria’s downtown seems so magical during the holidays. A bit of sparkle is added to even the most common places. This is what The Bay Centre mall looks like right now.

Bay Centre clock

Bay Centre balconies

One rainy night about three years ago, my husband and I went for a walk from The Bay Centre to the Empress Hotel. Although the rain was quite heavy and cold, it made for some beautiful photos of reflected light that added a West Coast sparkle to the evening. Here are some of the sights we saw along the way. We started off near the corner of Douglas St. and Yates St. and wended our way down to the Inner Harbour.

Inner Harbour1
BC Legislature and path along the Inner Harbour
Empress Hotel
Fairmont Empress Hotel

Once safe and warm inside the Empress Hotel, we toured the Festival of Trees, an event that helps raise funds for BC Children’s Hospital. These are a few fun trees that caught our attention.

The year before, we ventured out in -15 degrees Celsius windchill temperatures (an unusual cold snap for our area) to enjoy a ferris wheel ride in Centennial Square.

December 2013 - Victoria Ferris Wheel

This photo probably looks a little blurry because I was shivering. All those years spent growing up in -30 windchill on the Prairies, and I can barely handle -15 now.

But it was worth it, because we also got to enjoy a Tuba Christmas performance in Market Square. Here’s a video I shot that day where you can hear some crowd participation during “Silent Night.”

Wherever you live, dear readers, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and moments of sparkling beauty each day.

Thank you for all your support of this blog. I wish you all the best in 2018!

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