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Victoria: The Unknown City

Victoria: The Unknown City

By Ross Crockford
Categories: Travel
Series: The Unknown City
Paperback : 9781551521954, 256 pages, 2006


In this revised follow-up to Victoria: Secrets of the City, former Monday Magazine editor Ross Crockford (co-author of Victoria: Secrets) delves further into the hidden intrigues of Canada's westernmost provincial capital, whose polite, "just-like-England" exterior conceals a surprisingly quirky and rough-edged heart.

Victoria has long been a city of contradictions; the home of the unfortunately phrased "newly wed and nearly dead" is also where you will find one of North America's oldest Chinatowns; where tales of secret satanic cults abound; and where the flowers bloom so early in the year, it's no surprise that Victoria is regularly named one of the world's (yes, the world's) top tourist destinations.

Ross Crockford takes readers on a tour of the city's best-kept culinary, shopping, and bar-hopping secrets, along with little-known facts that will beguile tourists and residents alike. There are directions to find remnants of the original Fort Victoria, 150 years after it was demolished; details on a nearby island purchased for Marilyn Monroe by her secret lover; a list of infamous criminals who got caught in Victoria, from Brother XII to Ahmed Ressam; and even advice on how to avoid long waits and bad seats on the BC Ferries.

So raise your teacup and make a toast to the outrageous, shocking, and glorious gems to be found in Victoria: The Unknown City.

Now in 2nd printing.


One guidebook is never enough for a single trip. Frommer's is great for pre-departure planning. Some swear by Lonely Planet or Let's Go to help them find accommodation as they travel. But LP's forte is nuts-and-bolts information, not embellishment, so it makes pretty dry beach reading. Vancouver's own Arsenal Pulp Press fills this void with its Unknown City series. The books don't advise on where to stay, how to get around, or list the top sightseeing spots. Rather, they act like a friend who lives in the city you're visiting. They tell you the really juicy stuff.
-The Georgia Straight

- Carolyn Ali