Located near the waterfront of James Bay in the Inner Harbour of Victoria, B.C., this historical stone chateau-design hotel was completed for the Canadian Pacific Railway by nineteen o-eight. The gardens were developed soon afterwards. Rose and water gardens, arbours and walkways through lush areas lie on the south and northwest sides of the Fairmont Empress Hotel and Victoria Conference Center. The grounds of the Empress Hotel were claimed from the sea by filling in the tidal mud flat of James Bay and constructing the concrete and stone causeway that supports part of Belleville Street, Government Street and Wharf Street. The rose garden, on the south side of the hotel, has several beds of colorful roses and elaborate arbours draped with climbing roses. The rose garden has three hundred meters of concrete pathways with benches in appropriate resting areas to enjoy the roses, hydrangeas and other plants. Stroll along the hundred and twenty meters to pass in front of the Empress to enjoy the lawns, trees and clinging ivy along the building. The northwest garden is more whimsical with two Orca whale shaped moss topiaries, as well as arbutus and Garry oak trees that can be enjoyed from wandering along its fifty meter pathway. There are benches to enjoy the seasonal water feature in the garden which has perimeter wrought iron fence. Thunderbird Park, Elliot Square, RBCM Garden, Parliament Building Gardens, Harbour Walkway, Cridge Park, St Ann’s Academy Gardens and Beacon Hill Park are nearby.
Geographic coordinates N48° 25′ 20” W123° 22′ 6″
Empress Hotel Gardens can be reached from Blanchard Street. Stay on Blanchard as it curves to become Belleville Street. Follow Belleville Street to Government Street and turn right to pass in front of the Empress Hotel. The rose garden is near the corner of Belleville Street and Douglas Street and the northwest garden is closer to Humboldt Street. There is limited roadside parking in downtown Victoria and several parking areas such as a waterfront site accessible from Wharf Street. City buses travel along Douglas Street.