This website is a teaching, learning and research tool. It’s principally concerned with the history of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, but is also a vehicle for exploring broader themes in Canadian history during the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries.

Map of Vancouver Island

Our searchable database comprises over 150,000 records, including nominal census records from 1871 to 1911. Complimentary records include directories, tax assessment rolls and maps of the cities of Nanaimo and Victoria.

In 2013 we added an inventory of Victoria Building Construction Documents, 1877 – 1921. It provides a record of notices and building permits for over 11,000 construction projects, ranging from large hotels to modest residential dwellings. We also added an inventory of Victoria street name changes, 1900 – 1914.

We recently added 1911 census records for Alberni and Port Alberni.

Take a moment to find out how this web site works, or browse through the site help, before you begin to search the viHistory database.

This project was begun in 2003 as a joint venture by Vancouver Island University external and the University of Victoria external. The viHistory web site is now maintained with the support of the Humanities Media and Computing Centre at the University of Victoria.

This website is edited by Patrick A. Dunae.

Revised October 2018.