The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Crown

Queen Victoria’s Legacy

Celebrations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa marking the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Photographer unknown, 1897 / Library and Archives Canada, PA-034099
A poster produced by the Toronto Lithographing Company commemorating Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The background portrait of Queen Victoria depicts her as a new queen; the foreground bust represents her on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of her ascension. A young Canada, crowned with maple leaves, scatters flowers on the portrait’s plinth. Toronto Lithographing Company, in Supplement to The Globe, June 9, 1897 / Library and Archives Canada, C-039048
A one-dollar stamp issued by the American Bank Note Company on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. On the left, she is featured at the time of her ascension to the Throne in 1837; on the right, she is represented as she would have appeared around the time of her 60th anniversary as queen. Canada Post Corporation, in American Bank Note Company fonds, June 19, 1897 / Library and Archives Canada, MIKAN no. 2253531
The Diamond Jubilee window was created to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It is now located over the Senate entrance to the Parliament Buildings. Cpl Dany Veillette, 2010 / Rideau Hall, GG2010-0356-004

Queen Victoria reigned for 23 226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes, totalling 63 years and 7 months. Victoria surpassed her grandfather King George III's record-holding reign on September 23, 1896. Victoria sought no grand display or celebrations to mark the occasion. Instead, she preferred any festivities wait until the following year, 1897, which would be during her Diamond Jubilee—her 60th year on the Throne.

Canadian Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier attended the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in London with the other prime ministers of the Commonwealth's self-governing dominions. Participating in the official parade were regiments from all around the Commonwealth, including the Toronto Grenadiers and the Royal Canadian Highlanders. The Canadian section’s rear guard featured a contingent of the North-West Mounted Police (later named the Royal Canadian Mounted Police); this was the first time the NWMP had made an overseas appearance. Across the nation, Canadians marked the milestone at home as well.

Did you know?

  • Queen Victoria played an important role in bringing Canada toward Confederation in 1867. Believing that the creation of a dominion would improve British North America's relations with the United States, Victoria supported the efforts of figures like Sir John A. Macdonald. On the occasion of the British North America Act's (later named the Constitution Act, 1867) approval in the British Parliament (Westminster), Victoria told Macdonald, "I am very glad to see you on this mission…" Many referred to Victoria as the "Mother of Confederation"; this perception is represented in the poster above, produced by the Toronto Lithographing Company, that depicts a young Canada commemorating Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Note the crown of maple leaves atop Canada's head.
  • Many Canadians across the country continue to celebrate Queen Victoria today. Victoria Day, a federal public holiday observed each year on the last Monday before May 25, was established in 1845, in honour of Queen Victoria's birthday (May 24). Following Victoria’s death in 1901, legislation was passed to officially name May 24 "Victoria Day". Since 1957, this occasion has also been used to celebrate the official birthday of the current Canadian monarch (even though Queen Elizabeth II's actual birthday is April 21). The holiday continues to be a uniquely Canadian celebration.
  • In 1857, Queen Victoria decided that Ottawa, formerly the gritty lumber community of Bytown, would serve as the capital of the Province of Canada. With Confederation in 1867, Victoria designated Ottawa as the Dominion's national capital. A Canadian myth claims that Victoria made her 1857 decision after being shown beautiful watercolours and sketches of the small city drawn by Lady Head, the wife of then-Governor General Sir Edmund Head.
  • No matter where you are in Canada today, there is a good chance that the memory of Queen Victoria lives on around you. Towns, cities, parks, lakes, buildings, and many other public places across the country bear ‘Victoria’ (and other variations of her titles) as their namesake.

 

Ontario

Queen's Park, Toronto (site of the Provincial Legislature)
Queen Victoria Park, Niagara Falls
Victoria
Victoria Corners
Victoria Falls
Victoria Harbour
Victoria Island
Victoria Lake
Victoria Park, Kitchener
Victoria Park, London
Victoria Road
Victoria Springs
Victoria Square, Markham
Queen Street, Ottawa
Queen Street East & West, Toronto
Victoria Park Avenue, Toronto
Queen's University, Kingston
Victoria University, Toronto (now part of the University of Toronto)
Victoria Park Collegiate Institute, Toronto
Queen's Gates, Ottawa (formal entrance to Parliament Hill)
Queen's Lantern, Canadian Museum of Nature (formerly Victoria Memorial Museum), Ottawa
Royal Victoria Hospital, Barrie
Victoria Building, Ottawa
Victoria Hall, Cobourg
Victoria Hall, Hamilton
Victoria Hall, Kingston
Victoria Hall, Petrolia
Victoria Park Station, Toronto

Quebec

Grand lac Victoria
Parc Victoria, Québec
Victoria Square, Montréal
Victoriaville
Avenue Victoria, Saint-Lambert/Longueuil
Victoria Bridge, Montréal
Victoria Street, Montréal
Royal Victoria Hospital, Montréal

Nova Scotia

Victoria
Victoria Beach
Victoria County
Victoria Harbour
Victoria Park, Halifax
Victoria Park, Sydney
Victoria Park, Truro
Victoria Park, Westville
Victoria Road, Sydney

Northwest Territories

Victoria Island (the second-largest island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, after Baffin Island)

Nunavut

Victoria Island (the second-largest island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago after Baffin Island)
Victoria and Albert Mountains, Ellesmere Island
Victoria Harbour

Manitoba

Victoria
Victoria Beach
Empress Street, Winnipeg
Jubilee Avenue, Winnipeg
Victoria-Albert School, Winnipeg
Victoria General Hospital, Winnipeg

British Columbia

Mount Victoria
Queen Peak
Queensborough, New Westminster
Victoria
Victoria Harbour
Victoria Park, North Vancouver
Victoria Peak
The Empress Hotel, Victoria
Royal Jubilee Hospital, Victoria

New Brunswick

Victoria County
Victoria Park, Moncton

PEI

Victoria
Victoria Cross, Kings County
Victoria Park, Charlottetown
Victoria Provincial Park
Victoria West, Prince County

Saskatchewan

Lake Victoria
Regina
Victoria Park, Regina
Victoria Park, Saskatoon
Victoria Avenue, Regina
Victoria Avenue, Saskatoon
Victoria School, Kamsack
Victoria School, Saskatoon

Newfoundland and Labrador

Victoria
Victoria Cove
Victoria Lake
Victoria Park, St. John's

Alberta

Empress
Fort Victoria, Smoky Lake (now the Victoria Settlement)
Mount Victoria
Victoria Glacier
Victoria Park, Calgary
Victoria School of Performing and Visual Arts, Edmonton

Yukon

Date modified: July 18, 2017