The cost of living in Victoria is higher than other cities in Canada; however, many people justify the extra costs with the high quality of life and moderate weather. Victoria is currently considered one of the three most expensive housing markets in the country and has among the lowest rental vacancy rates (1.5 percent) of any Census Metropolitan Area in Canada.
Considering racial make-up, 92 percent of the population in Victoria is White. 3.4% are Chinese and 2.7 percent are Aboriginal. Another 1.8% classify themselves as Asian and 1.4% said they were of mixed race.
The largest ethnic groups in the city are English and Canadian – of those, mostly are of British/French origin whose ancestors have lived in Canada for many generations. There is also a strong presence of Scottish, Irish and German.
In the early 1880s, 8000 Chinese workers arrived in Victoria, unaccompanied by their families, to help construct the B.C. section of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Despite the hardships many Chinese workers endured, many stayed in British Columbia after the completion of the railway; some settled in Victoria, which caused the development of thriving Chinese communities.