An oxidised copper statue of Queen Victoria

The Life and Times of Queen Victoria

  • 2nd May 2023
  • 6 min read

Victoria Day has become a symbol of the beginning of summer in Canada. With the long, cold winters that Canada experiences, the arrival of warmer weather and longer days is something to be celebrated. The holiday is often marked by parades, fireworks, and other outdoor activities that bring communities together.

Celebrated annually on the last Monday before May 25th. The day is named after Queen Victoria, who was the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom and Canada during the 19th century. But why do Canadians continue to celebrate Victoria Day, long after the queen's death?

Join us as we take a closer look at how Queen Victoria played a key role in establishing a foundation for what we now consider Canada.

A colour image of Queen Victoria

Introducing Queen Victoria - Her Reign and Legacy

The reign of Queen Victoria has long been hailed as one of the most significant in British and Canadian history, with her regal presence influencing not just politics but also the culture across both countries.

From 1837-1901, Queen Victoria was an integral figure in the shaping of Canada’s future; during her time on the throne, she facilitated many advancements that would shape this nation for decades to come. At the time, Queen Victoria was also the longest-running monarch in British History, until Queen Elizabeth II.

During this time, Victoria witnessed significant changes not only in the British Empire but also worldwide. Moreover, she was known to be a devoted wife and mother, often seen doting on her children and grandchildren. Despite her strictness, Victoria was loved by her family, and her legacy continues to this day.

Victoria’s’ impact can still be seen today throughout various parts of Canada, from institutions built during her lifetime to modern-day symbols of freedom and progress that stand in honour of her legacy.

The parliament building in British Columbia

Exploring the Royal Family's Impact on Canada During Queen Victoria's Reign

Queen Victoria's reign marked a significant period in the history of Canada, as it coincided with the country's emergence as a nation. The impact of the Royal Family during this time was palpable, with their presence felt in every aspect of Canadian society. From the establishment of a Canadian flag to the creation of national parks, the contribution of the Royal Family to the country cannot be overstated.

Dominion of Canada

Queen Victoria played a crucial role in the Confederation of Canada. In 1867, Canada was a collection of four separate colonies - Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario.

It was Queen Victoria who approved the British North America Act, which united these colonies into a single country, the Dominion of Canada. Her support for the Confederation was instrumental in bringing the disparate colonies together and creating a new nation.

Victoria visited Canada twice, once in both 1860 and 1878. During her 1860 visit, she opened the Victoria Bridge in Montreal, which connected the city to the rest of Canada. Her 1878 visit was celebrated by the creation of Victoria Day.

The canadian flag

Mounted Police

Queen Victoria's reign was marked by an emphasis on law and order. She believed in the importance of maintaining a strong and stable government, and she encouraged the development of institutions that would promote this stability.

Her emphasis on law and order was reflected in the creation of the North-West Mounted Police, which was created to maintain law and order in the newly acquired territories in western Canada.

Civic Projects and Education

One of Victoria’s most important contributions was in the field of education, where she was a strong advocate for equality and access to knowledge for all.

Under Victoria’s reign, numerous schools were established across the country, allowing even the poorest of children to have access to education.

She was a patron of the arts, and she believed in the importance of promoting culture and learning. Her reign saw the development of libraries, museums, and art galleries, which helped to promote a sense of national identity in Canada.

Furthermore, Victoria's passion for civic projects resulted in various public works and buildings, such as the Royal Albert Hall and the Victoria and Albert Museum, which have become iconic symbols of the United Kingdom.

A statue of Queen Victoria

How Queen Victoria Strengthened Canada’s Economy and Infrastructure

During her reign, Queen Victoria played an instrumental role in strengthening Canada's economy and infrastructure. She supported the development of the railway system, which helped to connect the country and promote economic growth.

This stability encouraged investment in industries such as mining, forestry, and agriculture, which helped to create jobs and generate wealth, all contributing to help create a stable political and economic environment that was attractive to investors.

The country benefited from Victoria’s insistence on unity and cooperation, which helped to pave the way for stronger links between different regions and communities. Overall, Queen Victoria’s dedication and foresight played a pivotal role in shaping Canada’s identity and setting the stage for future growth and development.

Queen Victoria was one of the most influential monarchs to ever rule in Europe or Canada. Her generation rewrote the pages of history, pioneering ambitious projects and initiatives that would shape the future of our nation.

Changing the very look and feel of our Canadian cities, Queen Victoria initiated change, that echoed throughout generations. It is through her successful reign that she left an indelible mark on the world we now inhabit. Whilst Queen Victoria’s reign may have ended over a century ago, her legacy continues to be celebrated in Canada through Victoria Day.

The life and times of Queen Victoria have shaped us as a people and given us a sense of pride in our nation's story. Victoria Day has become an important holiday that not only commemorates the country's history but also celebrates its culture and identity.

Whether it's enjoying a fireworks show or taking part in a community parade, Canadians across the country come together on Victoria Day to celebrate all that makes Canada great.

Tommy Lloyd
Author: Tommy Lloyd, Managing Director

Tommy has over 15 years experience within the insurance industry, having worked with some of the worlds largest insurers. Tommy’s primary focus has been developing the best possible online experience for travellers looking to compare travel insurance rates. Music and travel are two of Tommy's greatest interests, and even better when he can combine the two together!


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