Victoria in October

If you are planning a trip to Victoria in October, then you’ve probably got questions like:

  • what’s the weather going to be like
  • what to pack and what to wear while you are here
  • what’s happening in Victoria in October
  • what are some things to do
  • and most importantly, what food is in season

If you’re coming in October, you are going to experience my favourite time of the year. Our weather is too good to stay inside and with so many great places to explore outside, who wants to? Art and craft shows and sales start popping up at this time of year and foodies are still enjoying an abundance of fresh seafood and produce.  

The second Monday in October is Thanksgiving Day and is a national statutory holiday and originated as a way of giving thanks for the annual harvest.

It has transformed into a day we give thanks for all of our blessings, and typically enjoy a turkey dinner with stuffing, potatoes and a wide variety of vegetables with family, friends and neighbours.

Most shops and activities will still be open however they may operate on reduced hours. Banks and Provincial and Federal offices will all be closed. 

With just 10 scheduled arrivals in October, cruise ship season is winding down and Victoria will welcome their final 28,000 guests of the season.  

Outdoor farmer's markets are either closing up for the winter months or moving indoors. This is a time of year we still hang on to glimpses of the sunny warm days of summer but settle in to the cooler, shorter days of autumn.

Halloween is on October 31st and is celebrated by dressing up into costumes - mostly kids and party-goers but everyone is welcome.

Other activities include:

  • trick-or-treating
  • carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns
  • lighting bonfires (like the one held in the parking lot of the Archie Browning Recreation Centre in Esquimalt)
  • visiting haunted attractions such as Galey Farms Corn Maze and Festival of Fear
  • fireworks - mostly in neighbourhoods so don't be surprised if you hear or see them going off randomly
Kangaroo ready for Halloween
Pirate ready for Halloween

Weather in October

The weather in Victoria in October begins cooling off with highs around 15 C during the day and down to 5 C at night. It is definitely sweater, fireplace and down duvet weather now! The average precipitation is 85 mm so the rain is coming but most days will still be crisp, cool and dry. 

Autumn arrived on September 22 and fall is in full swing by October with foliage having changed colours and leaves dropping to the ground. It's time to enjoy the outdoors before the rain becomes more prominent.

Dressing for the Weather

Although I may still wear sandals in October, most others have put them away for another year and pulled out the closed toe shoes and waterproof boots.

For walking around Victoria and seeing the sights, comfortable walking shoes are still your best bet however waterproof footwear may be occasionally required. 

You will likely be most comfortable in a long-sleeved top and pants with a sweater or fleece vest during the day.

Once the sun sets and the evening cools down, a polar fleece jacket is common attire for the locals. I personally wear one by Columbia.

With the chance of rain increasing at this time of the year, you will want to pack a lightweight waterproof jacket. Again, I choose Columbia although if I could find one to fit, I’d likely wear an Arc’teryx jacket. They are stylish, functional jackets designed and tested here in British Columbia.  

Finally, you may want an umbrella and packable, waterproof hat.

Waterproof boots

Waterproof Columbia jacket

Waterproof Arc’teryx jacket

What's in Season

Several of our local restaurants reinvent their menus seasonally to take advantage of local seafood, meats, cheeses, breads, beers, wines and produce. October is a month of abundance with the following foods in season:

Fruits & Veggies

  • Artichoke
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage (green)
  • Cabbage (savoy and red)
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Corn
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard Greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions (red/yellow)
  • Parsnips
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Radishes
  • Rutabagas
  • Salad Greens
  • Spinach
  • Squash (winter)
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Zucchini

  • Apples
  • Crab Apples
  • Cranberries
  • Kiwi
  • Pears
  • Quince

Seafood & Herbs

  • Clams
  • Cod: Pacific
  • Crab
  • Crab: Dungeness
  • Flounder/Sole: Pacific
  • Halibut: Pacific
  • Lingcod
  • Mussels
  • Oysters: Pacific
  • Prawns: Jumbo
  • Sablefish (Black Cod)
  • Salmon: Chinook/King/Spring
  • Salmon: Chum
  • Sardines: Pacific
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp: Side Stripe
  • Shrimp: West Coast
  • Tuna: Albacore

  • Bay Leaves
  • Basil
  • Chervil
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Epazote
  • Fennel
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Savory
  • Shiso
  • Sorrel
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

Things to Do in Victoria in October

For the ultimate West Coast experience, head to Goldstream Provincial Park for the magnificent old growth trees - some estimated to be approximately 800 years old and the beginning of the annual salmon run. In mid-October until early December each year, approximately 30,000 (mostly Chum) salmon return to the river at Goldstream to spawn and die. This is an incredible natural phenomena and if you're lucky enough to be here in October, I encourage you to get out to Goldstream Provincial Park. 

If you enjoy live sports, the Pacific FC club is winding up their regular season, the Victoria Royals hockey team have hit the ice and there is lots of high calibre rugby being played in the region.  

Other highlight activities in Victoria in October include Butchart Gardens, a tour of Craigdarroch Castle or Hatley Castle (or both) and a visit to China Town.  

Festivals and Events include:

  • 05-Oct-19 - Psychic and Spiritual Arts Fair, Mary Winspear Centre
  • 12-Oct-19 - Thanksgiving Day
  • 13-Oct-19 - Victoria Marathon
  • 18-Oct-19 to 20-Oct-19 - Sidney Fine Art Show
  • 25-Oct-19 to 26-Oct-19 - Crafted Farmhouse Market, Mary Winspear Centre
  • 26-Oct-19 to 27-Oct-19 - Fall Studio Tour with artist studios in Sidney by the Sea, North and Central Saanich
  • 31-Oct-19 - Halloween
  • 31-Oct-19 - Halloween Bon Fire in Esquimalt 

I truly hope you enjoy your visit to Victoria in October.

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