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Guided Tours at Ross Bay Cemetery

We welcome adult groups and children in school classes Grade 4 and up or other groups. We are always pleased to consult with individuals, group leaders and teachers who wish to have a tour customized to suit their particular requirements. Tours normally last 70 minutes, and can be arranged for any time except Sunday afternoon. Cost for each tour is $45.

Please call 250.598.8870 to discuss and/or book a tour or leave a message on our voice mail. Our Tour Coordinator will contact you as soon as possible.

  • Ross Bay Cemetery General Tour - This tour offers a balanced overview of the cemetery as an historical resource. Learn the stories of some of British Columbia's most prominent people, as well as the lore, symbolism, and customs associated with cemeteries.
  • Old Quadra Street Burial Ground (of Pioneer Square) General Tour

  • BC History Tour - Ross Bay Cemetery has become the final resting place of many famous people, including Sir James Douglas, Amor de Cosmos, Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie, and the Dunsmuirs. Also included are the stories of people who are perhaps not as well known, but who played their own parts in the development of our province.

  • Gold Rush Tour - The various discoveries of gold meant huge influxes of people from around the world, all drawn by the lure of the yellow metal. Billy Barker is the most famous; but there are many stories besides his.

  • Emily Carr Tour - Emily Carr is noted both as painter and writer. Many of the people she wrote about are buried at Ross Bay Cemetery. Hear about them in her words.

  • Canadians at War - Canada's armed forces have distinguished themselves in two world wars, many peace keeping operations, and service at home. This tour features some of their stories, and reminds us that we must never forget what they have done. Especially relevant in the week prior to Remembrance Day, this tour is available at either Ross Bay Cemetery or the Veterans Cemetery in Esquimalt.

  • Women's History Tour - From the fur traders' wives to the suffragists of the early 20th century, this tour reviews the lives of some of the women who helped develop Victoria from fur-trade fort to the capital city of a province.

  • Black History Tour - In the turbulent lead-up to the American Civil War, a large group of African-Americans came north seeking a new life in British territory. Our tour introduces some of these settlers and tells of their experiences in their new home.

  • Awake and Dreaming - Author Kit Pearson uses Ross Bay Cemetery as one of the settings in her popular novel Awake and Dreaming. This tour includes the sites mentioned in her story, and some other interesting ones as well.

  • Murder Most Foul! - This variation of our general tour, suitable for high-school age and up, includes the facts of several murder cases which remain unsolved to this day.

  • Ghost Walk - The most popular of all our tours, especially during the weeks leading up to Hallowe'en, the Ghost Walk blends famous ghost stories, cemetery folklore, and local history.

  • Multiculturalism - During the 19th century, people came to Victoria from all over the globe. This tour offers a picture of the surprisingly multicultural society of early Victoria.

  • Customs and Symbols - Ross Bay Cemetery was established in 1873 as a garden cemetery open to people from all levels of society and a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds. Whether designed by a famous architect or chosen from a mail-order catalogue, every monument makes a statement: in form, words, and symbols.

 

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