Wheelchair Accessible Victoria, B.C.
Accommodations & Tips
By Diane Brown   2012

Diane Brown of Victoria, B.C. made it her personal mission to research accessibility in Victoria, B.C.. Here she graciously shares her research with Global Access News. Thanks, Diane!

There's no problem getting around Victoria.  I'm everywhere all the time.  Curbs are all lowered, and the locals are used to wheelchairs and scooters because there are a lot of us, scooterers, here.

Butchart Gardens is fully accessible, except for one little area.  If you go in the summer on Saturday evening, they have fabulous fireworks.  Personally I find it's easiest to go out on a tour bus, and reportedly some of these can accommodate wheelchairs. Access tour buses from Government Street, in front of the Empress.



I didn't call every hotel/motel, but I called a range of nice ones, the cream of the crop in town.  Tried to call places with varying room rate levels.  They are below, in no particular order.

Inn at Laurel Point
680 Montreal Street
250-386-8721; 1-800-663-7667

Has a room with wide doors and grab bars in the bathroom.  There is a tub with a hand-held shower attachment, and they will provide a seat for the tub.  Room doors are wide, and there's room around the bed.  $100-180, depending on season.

 Magnolia Hotel
 623 Courtenay Street
 250-381-0999; 1-877-624-6654

Has two rooms with wide doors.  There is a stand-up shower, but they can provide a seat.  There's a hand-held shower attachment.  Grab bars.  Lowered counters.  $169-219.

Sandman Hotel
2852 Douglas Street
250-388-0788; 1-800-SANDMAN

A "boutique hotel", located downtown. Has three accessible rooms.  Wider doors.  Roll-in showers.  Grab-bars.  They're what they call "suites", so the room is large.  $125-154

This is not located downtown, nor could you walk there easily.  It is, however, located on the street that leads you right downtown by car, and there are buses that run along there too.  All buses in Victoria should be able to accommodate a wheelchair or scooter.

Comfort Inn
3020 Blanshard Street
250-382-4400; 1-866-299-2910

Has a room with roll-in shower, grab bars in bathroom, and wider doors.  It's a larger room.  $99-159

Blanshard Street leads right downtown, but it's about a mile.  Near Mayfair Mall and other stores.  Bus service to downtown should be on several routes, but you need to go over to a Douglas Street bus stop, about 2 blocks.

Accent Inn
3233 Maple Street (right off Blanshard at Cloverdale)
250-475-7500; 1-800-663-0298

They have three special rooms.  No roll-in shower, but they do offer a bath bench for use in the tub.  There are grab-bars in the bathroom.  Wide doors into the suite and into the bathroom.  $74-109

In a similar position to the Comfort Inn, but a little further away.  Still a couple of blocks to a bus stop on Douglas that will take you straight downtown.  Mayfair Mall is a couple of blocks away.

 Travel Lodge Victoria Airport Sidney
 2280 Beacon Avenue, Sidney BC
 250-656-1176; 1-866-656-1176

 Very up-to-date on these issues.  Has rooms with roll-in shower, raised toilet, grab-bars near shower and toilet, wide doors.  Also mentioned that the beds had been adapted if someone needed a lift, so the lift can "go under".  A shuttle bus to the airport that has no lift, but can load a folded wheelchair.  Wheelchair taxis to the airport are about $12.  $125-150 This place is located right on the highway which leads to downtown, about 15 minutes.  Bus #70 serves Sidney with 1/2-hour service.

 Empress Hotel
 721 Government Street
 250-384-8111; 1-866-540-4429

 Has a room or rooms with a roll-in shower, grab bars near toilet, and wide entry doors.  It's a "suite", so extra roomy.  $150-300. 

The old Canadian Pacific hotel in Victoria, it's located right in the heart of tourist-land.  The Royal BC Museum and the Parliament Buildings are just across the street.  Government Street caters to the tourist trade.  There is a lower parking garage with elevator and access to the hotel.

 Marriott Hotel
 728 Humboldt Street
 250-480-3800; 1-800-333-8338

 Has several accessible rooms with roll-in shower, grab bars in bathroom, and wider doorways, and lowered door handles.  $110-199.  Located behind the Empress, this one is also very near the touristy part of town.  Also just off Douglas, behind the Empress, so the centre of downtown is about four blocks up.

Hotel Grand Pacific
 463 Belleville Street
 250-386-0450; 1-800-663-7550

 Has accessible room or rooms, with roll-in shower, grab bars, tilted mirror, wide entry.  The vanity mirrors are tilted outward.  The room doors are controlled automatically with a key-switch, and the peep-hole has been set lower.  $119-199

Located across the street and beside the Parliament Buildings.  Has an enormous spa with a lap pool.

 Oswego Hotel
 500 Oswego Street
 250-294-7500; 1-877-767-9346

 Does have a couple of specialized rooms, no roll-in shower but grab bars in the bathroom.  Wide doors.  $129-249  A couple of blocks from the Inner Harbour in a quiet James Bay neighborhood setting.  About three blocks from the Parliament Buildings and seven to the middle of town.  Bus #31 provides service at that corner.

 Queen Victoria Hotel & Suites
 655 Douglas Street
 250-386-1312; 1-800-663-7007

 Has two accessible rooms with wide doors and grab-bars in the bathroom.  No roll-in shower.  Large room.  $80-140. Not the best hotel in town, but the location is great, just a block from the Empress or the Royal BC Museum.  About four blocks to the centre of town.  Near Beacon Hill Park.

 Robin Hood Motel
 136 Gorge Road East
250-388-4302; 1800-434-8835

 Doesn't feature high-tech bathrooms, but they did mention that they have a regular clientele with wheelchairs.  Has a large parking lot and reasonable room rates ($54-90).  An older family-run motel.  The person I talked to was sensitive to the issue of wider doors, and depending on the size of the wheelchair; they were eager to accommodate.  Rooms are large.  About 2.5 km. to downtown, along Gorge Road, then turning on Douglas.  Bus route #8.

Additional Victoria access information:

The Akal Airporter (250-386-2525) connects the airport to hotels and drop-off points in Victoria.  They have one van with a lift, so do notify them ahead of time. 

There is double-decker bus with wheelchair access, to take a City Tour.  These depart from Government Street in front of the Empress.

Butchart Gardens (800 Benvenuto Avenue, Brentwood Bay BC; 250-652-5256; 1-866-652-4422) rents wheelchairs for a $10 refundable deposit.  Here's what they say:  "Only the area that rises in the middle of the Sunken Garden, the wharf area and our boat tours are not accessible to those in wheelchairs."  Allows mobility scooters as well.  The parking lot there is flat.  There are buses and tour buses that provide access, but it's mostly a place you'd go by car.  About 20 minutes from downtown Victoria.

As for curb height in Victoria, as I've told you before, there should be no problems.  I'm all over the place all the time.  There are a lot of people with walking aids of various kinds in Victoria.  People are accustomed to making way for them.

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