Your BC Transit journey doesn’t have to involve just your start and end point, and route 11 Tillicum Centre/UVic in Victoria is a prime example.

On a typical weekday, this route travels ~3,000 km and carries over 7,000 passengers. While one of its key tasks is transporting thousands of students and staff to and from UVic, route 11 also links its riders to some of the region’s most extraordinary shops, services and sights!

After leaving Tillicum Centre where you can find “everything for everyday”—from hardware to fabrics and more—route 11 winds its way towards Gorge Road. If you haven’t strolled the historic Gorge Waterway yet, consider it for your next adventure! And make it that much better with a seasonal drink or one-of-a-kind pastry from Bakeology Café at the corner of Admirals Road and Gorge.

If you opt to stay onboard this time around, the route continues through Tillicum into the Burnside neighbourhood – home to its own scenic stroll, the Selkirk Waterfront. From the boardwalk, take in views of the Upper Harbour or head into Vic West via the trestle bridge – also part of the Galloping Goose Regional Trail which runs along a WWI freight railway line.

Back on board, the bus hangs a right on Douglas into Victoria’s downtown core. Hop off for one of the capital’s famed brunches, or pick up treats for later – there’s no shortage of stellar options to choose from like the Blue Fox Cafe and Crust Bakery.

Looking for more adventure? Chinatown packs that and more into Fan Tan Alley – the narrowest street in the city, and Canada! Explore the range of shops that fill one of Victoria’s most Instagrammable spaces, or travel back in time with a self-guided heritage walking tour.

Only time for a short break? Consider some new or secondhand reading material for your trip at Russell Books, conveniently located a few steps from the Fort Street stop.

Once you’re ready to head out of downtown, route 11 continues up Fort and into South Jubilee. On the way, however, is another hidden gem: the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Located two blocks up Moss Street, a historic Rockland mansion is home to seven galleries and a 20,000-piece collection. Take in visiting exhibitions or permanent displays of contemporary, Indigenous and Canadian works, including those by Victoria legend, Emily Carr. And don’t forget to find a memento for your visit (and transit journey) in the gallery shop, featuring local artist and artisan items.

Back en route and if the time is right, stop for a pint on the patio at Christie’s Carriage House Pub, then warm up with a wood-fired slice at Pizzeria Prima Strada. Or pick up a post-workout order after your skate, swim or studio routine at Oak Bay Recreation Centre.

Carrying on through Oak Bay and into the park-like Uplands, route 11 emerges in sunny Cadboro Bay with its panoramic view of the Salish Sea. Walk the perfect stretch of sandy beach, or meet the Cadborosaurus and other sea creatures face-to-face in Cadboro-Gyro Park’s iconic playground.

Before diving back into your studies or work, cover all your snacking needs with a visit to Pepper’s Foods – their local and ethically-sourced product range (including gluten-free and diet-sensitive eats) are sure to get you through the day or night! And don’t forget to swing by JUSU Bar for an organic cold-pressed juice or coffee for the rest of your journey, or hike up the Sinclair Road mini-mountain.

This 20 km end-to-end trip is clearly brimming with places to see, and things to do – everything you need to rediscover the journey with us. Whether you’re travelling route 11 or one of the other 52, Victoria’s hidden gems run all the way from East Sooke to Sidney.

Explore Route 11