The Victoria Experience

The Complete Guide to Victoria, British Columbia

Bard & Banker

1022 Government Street

$$

Large, English-Style Pub in Downtown Victoria

bard-and-banker

The Bard and Banker is one of the most interesting places to visit for a drink in all of Victoria. Located on the busiest strip of Government Street, it's a giant heritage building first opened in 1885. 

For 126 years, the building was actually operating as a bank as suggested by its name. It wasn't until 1988 that the premises were converted into a pub. 

 

The pub takes the other part of its name from one of the employees that worked at the bank in the late 19th century. Robert Service was a Lancashireman who travelled from England looking for adventure in 1896. During his time in Canada, it was his love of poetry that made his name and he was known as the 'Bard of the Yukon'. You can read more of his history on the pub's website

The interior would have you believe you've been transported to Victorian England. The high-ceilinged space is decked out in dark wood, brass and etched glass. The unusual layout has a selection of comfortable booths, little cubbies and fun seating looking down from the rafters. The beer selection is varied and the food is perfect pub fare that won't leave you disappointed and complements the overall experience.

A full pipe band at full volume on Burns Night, 2014.

A full pipe band at full volume on Burns Night, 2014.

The bank still in operation, 1976. Source: Royal BC Museum.

The bank still in operation, 1976. Source: Royal BC Museum.