This little promotional booklet, entitled Picturesque Victoria, was published by the Tourist Association of Victoria in 1902. It was the first of many similar publications used to promote Victoria, B.C. as a tourist destination and investment opportunity. The Tourist Association of Victoria would undergo many name changes over the years, becoming the Victoria Development and Tourist Association in 1906 and the Vancouver Island Development League in 1908 (and the changes would continue for several decades).
Victoria has been branded with more tag lines than most cities in the past 110 years. This booklet chose a rather understated byline: “The Tourist Resort of the Pacific Northwest“. “Queen City of the West“, “Gem of the Pacific Coast” and “Gateway to the Island of 1000 miles of Wonderland” had not yet been conceived by the P.R. adman. The hyperbole would have to wait because the very first booklet extolled some indisputable, albeit unusual, truths: No Mosquitoes, No Malaria and No Fogs!
The booklet, measuring 4.25″ x 6″, contains 20 pages and a nice selection of b&w images. The virtues of our temperate maritime climate are discussed in detail but the bulk of the booklet is devoted to describing places of interest to the visitor, including the Parliament Buildings, the Government Museum, Esquimalt and the Naval Station, the Royal Navy, Macaulay Point, Beacon Hill Park, the “Far-famed” Gorge, and Oak Bay Park. The booklet concludes with an endorsement by none other than the Prince and Princess of Wales (“If I could not live in England, I would live in Victoria”) and an overview of the many recreational activities including fishing and hunting.
For more scans of this booklet check out my 1902 Picturesque Victoria set on Flickr.