Victoria West, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada for the This Old House 2013 Best Old House Neighborhoods « »

Victoria West, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Population: 4,095 in Victoria West; 80,017 in the city of Victoria
House styles: Victorian-era mansions, along with modest bungalows and workers houses
Expect to pay: Less than $400,000 for a house that needs TLC; the fanciest refurbished mansions can fetch seven figures

Surrounded by water on three sides, Victoria West—known locally as Vic West—was founded in the mid-1850s as a fur-trading post and later in the century became the chosen spot for vacation homes built by the city's über-rich. Its streets feature both upscale and modest historic homes interspersed with new condo developments, and the diverse mix of residents here are an eco-conscious group. "All of my neighbors raise chickens for their eggs—Im the only holdout," says Diane Carr, president of the Victoria West Community Association. They're also committed to staving off development that doesn't suit the neighborhoods character, such as the high-rise luxury condos on the water proposed by one builder. But when they're not fighting these battles or restoring their period properties, you might find them at the Spiral Cafe, a local coffee joint known citywide for its live music.

Among the best for: Canada, Victorians, Waterfront, Family-Friendly, Walkability
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